Saturday, May 19, 2007

Old Jim (He's a Good Dog, Him)

Maybe I looked like a witch on Thursday but on Wednesday I was a witch. I was the bad mommy who pulled over and took away the library books my kids were fighting over. I was also "dummy" and "stupid" according to my older son. Maybe I should have just felt lucky to have kids who fight over library books.
I didn't feel lucky though. First H was crying because his older brother grabbed away the two books he'd personally picked out that morning at the little library. Then I took the books away from C and gave them back to H which started C screaming. So I relieved them both of the books and listened to them both cry and call me names.
After making a stop at Don's house where I left my wailing children in the car, I explained to them that they needed to work out their problem themselves if they wanted the books back.
"We could share them," said my teary-eyed four-year old.
"Good idea." I said.
And - they did.
Everyone was happy for the rest of the trip home. You wouldn't think there could be so much drama on a ten-minute car ride across town.
The technique of removing the object that's causing friction between children, otherwise known as giving the toy a time out, is not one I made up myself; but as far as "expert advice" goes, it's pretty good. Kids seem more willing to work together to solve a problem when they know they'll both lose if they don't.
I don't like to comment on the politics of the day, because plenty of other blowhards already do, but this incident reminded me of the legislation being explored in Massachusetts regarding a statewide ban on pit bulls. If a handful of owners can't train or control their dogs, then nobody can have them. Sounds a lot like putting the toy in a time out to me except that even a four-year-old could tell you that unless the legislation applies to all breeds of dogs, then it's not fair.

song: Old Jim (He's a Good Dog, Him) • artist: Jonathan Edwards


BebeGurl said...

Excellent! Luckily we had a huge turnout last Monday at the State House including professors of veterinary medicine from Tufts, trainers, responsible "pit bull" owners, etc. explaining to knuckleheaded politicians what dogs are all about. Well done, Joanne.

Joanne said...

Perhaps the legislature should look into doing something about m&m-eating beagles who pee on people instead.