Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To Fight or To Flee

It's been a few days now. I am able to share the events of the weekend. My husband's birthday conveniently turns out to be on a holiday weekend. So of course we must party. The weekend gets started like most then on his birthday we get to go to a party and we load up the crew and head on over. This seems like it would be an easy task to accomplish for most who have children who are past the stage of diaper bags and gear that takes up an entire car to bring with. No bags are needed, no jumping seats required, no bottles to prepare here, nope just a "hey kids, ready?" and they should flow from the house in an orderly fashion and get into the vehicle and buckle up for the evening adventure. This part did go off without a hitch. It's the unloading where we find the problems.

We have three children. We have a vehicle that has three rows for the reason that they are unable to sit quietly next to one another in a car that only has a back seat. This is too much to ask so I have to be able to separate them for my own sanity. I should mention that what is about to develop outside our friend's home is not to be linked to any such event that has happened at our home. My husband and I are happily married and the punishment of choice in our house is to take away all electronics until they can get a grip on reality. As Michael Jackson would say "I'm a lover not a fighter." I'm not into confrontations unless it would be to defend someone I love. I should also mention that we are not WWF followers, we are not into mud wrestling, Neither hockey nor boxing are sports we follow. My children are not allowed to watch prime time television and the channels of choice are Disney and Nick. That said, take a seat and get some popcorn because this is about to get sticky.

We arrive at our friends house. The yard is full of people and my middle child's friends and teammates are there and coming to greet her. At some point between my husband and I and my younger two children getting out of the car, the middle one acted as though she were going to shut the door in the oldest one's face. (She had the pleasure of sitting in the very back) So the door shuts in her face and almost hits her in the nose. She gets out of the car and while the friends are watching, grabs her sister, throws her to the ground and proceeds in trying to beat some sense into her. I turn around to see the commotion in time to stop her from kicking her while she is down. Now tell me this, what is your initial reaction? First thing you think you should do? Well you remove her from the scene and take her home to a life without electronics for the rest of her life of course. You also might think about which Military School will take her after school has started. You may even explore options for a career in wrestling and tell her that mud wrestling is out because she would have to wear a bikini and that's just trashy. She's too cute for boxing so that's out. She is pretty orderly I suppose she could be a drill Sargent. In my mind I think, well I suppose I don't have to worry about her defending herself when she starts dating. I'm pretty sure she could take anyone down if she got mad enough. The first boy to try and kiss her is likely to lose a few teeth.

I grew up alone. I didn't have any brothers or sisters. I have told you that I always thought that if I had siblings we would be best of friends and of course, would never think of fighting because we would be so happy to have each other. Obviously that is fantasy and my husband being one of three children, with two older sisters just like in our family assures me that sisters fight. I envisioned what it would be like for them growing up so close together in age. I assumed of course (You know what happens when you assume right?)that they would team up. The girls against the world. Ready to conquer the world side by side. BFF's forever. Never in my mind did I think they would be what's the word the kids use now? Frenamies? Yeah, that I didn't count on. When our first one came along she was so beautiful and sweet and pure I thought to myself "This is great, but what would be better than one little angel? I know! Two little angels. We need another one!" So I stepped into the valley of no return and had one more perfect beautiful baby. Ten fingers, ten toes, perfect round heads. The perfect little angels grew up is what happened. Of course when that wasn't enough I had one more and three made our family complete. With a boy to carry on the family name.

My mother had a look. I was an only child so I knew that the look meant one of two things were about to happen: 1. Either I stop and continue life as I know it, or 2. Her head is about to spin around and I'm gonna be looking for my rear end because the one I have is coming off! Mom made no attempt to hide her authority and no attempt to be my friend. I knew where I stood at all times. She was the boss, you did things her way or the highway. Over the last 14 years I have tried to establish a look. I just don't have it. Perhaps I am too funny looking for it to really take hold, I'm not sure. I'm plenty scary I suppose, I can yell like a banshee. I have follow through. They know I'm the mom and not their friend. Friendship comes after my job of raising them is done and they have become adults. But darn it if they don't stay up nights playing rock, paper, scissors to see who's turn it is to throw me for a loop. Why? Why I ask you? My daughter asked me if it was fun for me to punish them. I said "no why on earth would it be? If you are grounded that means I don't get to have any fun either." She said "oh I just thought it would be fun for you." There is nothing fun about having to discipline your children. The "perfect" child does not exist any more than the "perfect" parent. Both sides are human and both sides are bound to make mistakes. The learning from the mistakes is what makes it probable that both sides will get through it with their sanity intact. Even an animal can learn from it's mistakes, surely we mere humans can do the same.

All I know is this. If my daughters can find it in themselves to continue to love each other even after a WWF style smack down. I can learn to accept that even though their relationship isn't what I had envisioned for them, it is what it is and it's still something special. They spent the next evening playing cards and laughing with each other, without any media assistance whatsoever. I think this week of no media may help their relationship. It's amazing how they can find things to do together when the t.v. and computers aren't available.

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