Monday, May 30, 2011

Parenting Mistake 102: Conflict Resolution

This mistake ended with Luke sliding down the wall. He was semi-conscious and confused. When he regained his composure (and his consciousness), I couldn't help but wonder just how dead I was gonna get when Susan got home.

I considered bribing the kids to keep quiet, but I knew they'd let me down. They always do. Here's an example from the week prior. After a little drive I told them,

"No need to tell your Mom about that little blast off back there!"

And here's what they heard,

"Please tell Mom immediately upon entering our home that our maniac of father almost killed us!"

They elaborated further by adding,

"We're just lucky a Police Officer didn't see – he'd have been arrested for sure!" And "I'm sure we hit 1000 miles per hour!"

To make matters worse, they always lead me into temptation. Using puppy dog eyes and Jedi mind tricks likely learned from their Mother, they plead me to go "blast off". I know what you're thinking and I agree 100%. The blastoff was so absolutely not my fault… After all, who could fault me from doing an itsy bitsy blastoff under those conditions? I have a good mind to tell my kids that there are Amish Children out there who will never experience the thrill of a 0-60 dash in 6 liter V8 muscle car!

You know, thinking more on this, I'm wondering if it's a trap set by Susan? Maybe Susan asks the kids to ask me to blastoff in hopes that I'll give in and willingly let myself be led into temptation? You know, like those P.I's that are hired to look like Jessica Alba? Those P.I's are paid to tempt a loving husband away from his wife for a night of other-worldly coitus-maximus with the hottest piece of crumpet on planet Earth. I just have no idea how so many loving husbands take the bait. Animals!

Anyway, back to Luke… Just like many of my other mistakes - this one wasn't really my fault either. Susan left me and the boys together while she went out on the town. She knew I was grumpy. She knew the kids were being little hellions. She knew that I'd had a long hard day of watching TV and eating chips. Yet she still left us! All things considered, it could have been much worse. Nobody had to visit urgent care this time around.

Before I get to what happened to Luke, I need to tell you about my Dad. He was the youngest of 4 brothers. Growing up he told me legendary stories of heroic battles on the lawn – battles between good and evil (him and another brother). He told me that my Granddad settled conflict the only way he knew how – pushing the kids outside and letting them duke it out.

I bet you can see where this is going. All day Jake and Luke were fighting like cats and dogs. All day I had mediated between tears and fists – tears usually won. At 7:40pm I had enough. I screamed at them in a voice that caught me off guard. It wasn't the booming Dadda voice. It could have been the voice of that "maniac father that almost killed his kids". I shouted at them to stop fighting like little girls and get serious. After all,

"If you really want to fight each other then at least do it properly!"

At that I grabbed Jakes sparring bag and divided up 1 set of sparring gear between the two of them. Luke got the head protection, left foot pad and right glove. He was 5 and likes snuggles, riding his bike and telling jokes. The left glove and the right foot pad went to Jake. Jake was 7. He likes a lot of the same stuff as Luke but is also a red belt at Taekwondo.

They squared off. I screamed "FIGHT!". Jake shook his head and pleaded with me not to make them fight. I screamed "FIGHT!" for the second time and Luke stepped forward with his right hand drawn so far back that he was clearly ready to put his brother in orbit. The next bit happened in slow motion. Jake stepped to Luke's left and delivered a picture perfect round kick. Jake's right foot hit Luke's left jaw in an upward motion just as Luke was stepping forward… And then the fight was over.



Suz Wheatley said...

Bad Dada! ;D

Kandice Mallinger (Carroll) said...

LMAO! You are killing me man. Children -- they come with a little dementia so at times we just DON'T KNOW what we are doing! Keep up the good and demented parenting!

Sara said...

I am laughing so hard I'm crying!! That is sooo great. Think that would work with Brooke and Joshua??

Ellie said...

They've got to learn somehow.

Debby said...