Friday, April 18, 2014

Yes, it was stupid

I'm just gonna be honest with you.  Yesterday, a certain girl and a certain boy were on my nerves.

Their constant back-and-forth arguments were driving me crazy. And the arguments were stupid. Some parents would say "We don't say words like stupid", and I'll admit, for a long time, my own children thought the s-word was stupid. (It's sweet now that they know what the actual s-word is.) But I'm over it. You know what? Stupid. That's right. Your argument. Stu-PID.

And annoying.

And they would not listen to reason. No amount of practicality or logic would sway them from arguing over who sat on the couch first.

The thing that bothers me the most about my kids is the fact that they have no problem retaliating word for word, hurt for hurt. My grandma AND my mom used to tell me that two wrongs don't make a right (do you know how long it was before I really understood what they meant?), so now I say it to my kids. All. The. Time.

"But she pushed ME first. So I pushed her back."

"But HE kicked ME first. So I kicked him back."

"But HE told me he didn't like mmeeeeeeeeeeee first. So I told him that I didn't like him MORE."

"But SHE was mean to mmmmeeeeeeeeee first. So I was mean to her."

Two wrongs don't make a right, sweetie!! {insert fake smile and lots of sunshiny patience}

Our afternoon was a tad rushed because of a baseball game we had to get ready for, and I, determined NOT TO BE LATE (I was born late. True story.), kept on them to get ready, get ready, GET READY.

I was so proud of all of us when we rolled out of the driveway at 5:25. How awesome am I? I'll tell you. I rock.



Except that when I pulled into the parking lot at 5:40 (a full FIVE MINUTES before we actually had to be there), my husband made several astute observations:

1) we forgot my son's sports glasses (you kinda need those)
2) we forgot my son's water bottle
3) we forgot my son's baseball hat

And he wasn't friendly about it.

And seeing that HE wasn't being friendly with ME first, I decided to be unfriendly back. To show my displeasure, of course. Don't mess with me. I'm dangerous. Especially when it comes to trying to give someone a banana. (No, not everyone will understand what this means, but he will.)

Turn about is fair play. (Another grandma-ism. Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth!)

Sitting there watching the game a little later on, it suddenly struck me how much my kids learn from me. They both sat and watched as their parents got into a stupid argument over glasses and a banana. And if that weren't bad enough, they also witnessed their mother being rude to their father because their father was discourteous to their mother.

Two wrongs don't make a right.
{grandma and mom}

So even though I was saying all the right things, all the most reasonable things, all the logical things when it came to my children's arguments, they were following the example already laid out for them.

Quick on the uptake, this one.

Kids will be kids. They will get into stupid arguments that get on my nerves and they'll keep arguing even when I tell them all the wise things I've ever been taught. But I don't see them changing their ways until I decide to change mine, which means that the actual adults in the house need to show them how it's done in a positive, constructive way.

It's going to happen. I'm going to have a bad day, I'm not going to feel like being nice, and I'll choose to be rude to my husband rather than choosing to put his feelings ahead of my own. And he's going to have a long, frustrating day, and he'll choose to be short rather than putting my feelings ahead of his. We know that we aren't perfect people, and we shouldn't try to be. But that doesn't mean that the cycle has to continue. As hard as it is, we all need to understand and respect our partner. Our friend for life.

And when we do, we lay out a beautiful example of respect, dignity and appreciation of others for future generations to follow.

Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.
{1 corinthians 10:23}

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