Monday, June 23, 2008

The Argument Arrangement

Do your kids argue?

Never mind -- because I don't want to hear it if they don't. I once asked that to a mom at playgroup and she looked at me in disgust. "No," she answered, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "My kids always get along." Was she kidding? Were they robots or something?

So let me rephrase the question: What do your kids argue about? Mine have been arguing about everything lately. Maybe because school's out and they're bored. And it's always about something really stupid.

As soon as they wake up they're fighting over who gets in the bathroom first or about where they're going to sit at the breakfast table. Then it's the "I want the United States place mat" or "I had the pink cup first" arguments. And it's not even 8 o'clock yet. Can't I at least get a cup of coffee first?

But it continues through the day. The formula is usually that Volcano will tease Monkey with a distinct note of sarcasm (which, I have to admit, he gets from his parents) and with the direct goal of upsetting her. Like he'll say, "Oh, the doctor called, and he said you're allergic to waffles. So I guess you're not eating breakfast!" Then Monkey will howl in protest -- not understanding his twisted sense of humor -- and the fight begins.

It seems to escalate even more when I am on the telephone, as if a bell rings to signal the beginning of a new boxing round. When I say, "Hello?" the round has begun, and they're fighting over which plastic golf club they want or what DVD they're going to watch.

Usually, when I've finally reached my limit, I'll send them both to their rooms. I don't care who was "right" or who was "first" or whose turn it was. All I want is quiet.

Then there's silence. Beautiful silence, with a few sniffles here and there. I think I can even hear crickets chirping. And then Volcano usually calls down to me, timidly from his room, "Mommy? I want to play with Sister."

"What?" I sigh in disbelief. Every time, I'm still caught by surprise. Wasn't this the same person you were just yelling at? "But then you guys are just arguing the whole time," I reply from downstairs. "It makes Mommy very tired."

Silence again, as if the logic needs to be mulled over. Ahhh... sweet silence. Then Monkey usually adds sweetly, "But I love my brother," and my heart just melts. Every time. I even scold myself, as I let them out of their rooms with a stern look of warning, Sucker...

But... who can argue with that?


Life As I Know It said...

That woman who told you her kids never argue was lying!
Please, all siblings argue, bicker, squabble sometimes.

debbie t. said...

Who was that mom that said her kids don't argue? Ghandi's mother? My kids argue ALL the time! I think it's a part of growing up and learning to stand up for yourself.

Sweepea said...

Adorable! I'd be a sucker too...

Lynette said...

She was lying. Her kids probably fight all the time, and twice on Sundays. She just wanted you to feel bad. I hate that! ALL kids argue

McMommy said...

She SERIOUSLY said her kids never argue?? And she expected you to BELIEVE her????


My kids are only 3 years old and 17 months....AND THEY ARGUE. Over the smallest little things. Like who gets to use the yellow crayon. Ahhhh!!! THERE ARE LIKE 10 MILLION OTHER CRAYONS!! PICK ANOTHER ONE!!

happy pow!!