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
Ghost in the House
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