Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Black and White Stripes

Female referees are hard to find in the world of
professional sports. They seem
virtually non-existent. This is
unfortunate, as it seems to be a role that females in general and mothers in
particular were born to play. I have
learned this lesson the hard way in the past two months as I have adjusted to
my new role. I tend to be a solid
color, peace-lovin’ kind of girl so it has taken me a while to get used to my
new black and white striped uniform. I
do not wear it well and would most definitely get canned at Lady Footlocker if
I ever had the desire to sell overpriced tennis shoes and sportswear to young
female athletes.

My children fight all of the time. I am constantly running interference between them, trying
desperately to negotiate a peace plan.  It’s not working. My
diplomatic efforts have been snubbed by the inability of my two-year-old
daughter to communicate effectively and my four-year-old son’s unwavering
intolerance of anything and everything outside the realm of what is “supposed
to happen” in his grand life plan. It
is a really bad combination and I do not know if these two strong personalities
will ever be able to coexist in harmony. It doesn’t seem likely in the near future. 

My daughter is an instigator. She likes to irritate my son for the sheer joy of making him
angry. I can’t imagine where she gets
this quality. Other than the bi-weekly
pain tests (pinching of each of his fingers as hard as I could muster while
forbidding my brother to utter even the softest sound) and the constant
manipulation, I was the perfect sister. I was sweet and loving and fun as long as my brother did exactly what I
told him to without question. My son is
not quite as innocent and vulnerable as my brother was but he is still a pretty
easy target. Making him angry is a very
simple task and he always comes back for more. He just can’t seem to recognize the fact that his reaction is what
motivates my daughter to irritate him. Will he ever figure that out? Only time will tell.

Right now I need a plan. I need a consistent plan that will give me the power to punish my
daughter for irritating my son as well as the power to punish my son for
telling on her in the whiny, indescribably annoying voice of a hapless victim. The latter is incredibly taxing. Hearing my son whine and play the victim has
become so commonplace that it sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. I have to put a stop to it. Right now my plan is to divide my living
room and the backyard (where we spend the bulk of our time) into two equal
halves with a tall, clear plastic, soundproof partition. I realize this may not be the most practical
or economically sound plan but for now it’s all I’ve got. I’m open to suggestions.


  1. my suggestion is not do anything. When Truman comes tatteling tell him you are only going to deal with the big problems ( bleeding, broken bones, etc. ) and that him and his sister and the ones with the problem and to not involve you. I find that I get involved wayyyy to much in my children's normal arguements and sibling rilvary. How will they ever learn to resolve their own problems if someone is always doing it for them or making the bad guy stop so on and so on. If tatum is just doing things to aggravate him then he will have to soon learn that such is life and she is not the last person who is going to aggravate him and make him mad. He will soon learn to "get over it" Good luck and if needed bring them to my house for a few days and I will deal with them. I have tons of patience for other people's kids!

  2. Melinda, I question your sanity, and, Jullianne, jump on this offer as quick as you possibly can!!! Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, just jump on, and ride!!! By the way, I tend to lean in the no blood, no problem direction myself. It got me through three sons, and, drove Grandma Mary kinda crazy at the same time, all you have to do is find that little island, pick out a palm tree, and pretend the loud noise you hear is the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, blow out your flip-flops, step on a pop-top, and squeeze some limes. Gotta love that Jimmy B.

  3. Grandma and "Pop Pop"May 10, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    My best advice to you is "everything is a phase". Your friend Melinda has a lot of wisdom and objectivity. Send T & T there for the day!!!
    Seriously, Hang in there. Just deal with the "bleeding, broken bones" issues (which I hope you won't have). My heart goes out to you. I bet that before long, T & T will be the best of friends!
    Love you, MOm

  4. Papa Dale, Melinda and Mom and Dad-
    I've been trying the, "if it ain't bleeding then don't respond" philosophy and it is, thus far, surprisingly effective. I'll keep you posted.

  5. I agree w/Melinda. When my boys "fight" I only get involved now when it gets physical. It's so hard not too, especially when you do have a whiner, and for me that is Cody, and he can whine with the best of em'. There are times where I wanna pull my hair out, but that is when I go into another room, and grab a pillow and scream or heck even cry into it! All kidding aside, it is a phase, and they will both learn that it's getting them nowhere.