Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tattle Tales, Water Trails, and Referee Fails

Friday with Elijah was maddening and hysterical all at the same time. 

Let me take a moment to describe this crazy, precious boy. He is 7 years old but in many ways this hardly seems believable to me. He is naive in all of the right ways, innocent in many ways. He is convinced that deep down all animals are kind and gentle and he could easily be friends with any one of them. He has a beautiful heart. If you cry he WILL join you. He feels everything deeply and is highly emotional. This can be a great thing, causing him to be sympathetic and kind. It can also be exhausting. His feelings are easily hurt, he is easily offended and deeply terrified that anyone and everyone will think he is foolish, always... all of the time. He is my 7 year old baby and I say that with a heart absolutely full of love for him and thankful that he is exactly who he is! 

Here was my evening with him a few days ago. As we were leaving the house to drop the two big kids off at play practice I told the younger two to be sure to feed Bugsy when we get home. 

Arriving back at the house a few minutes later. I reminded them once again. "One of you give Bugsy food, the other give him water." 

Hannah and Elijah, in unison asked, 

Hannah: "Can I do the food?"
Elijah: "Can I do both all by myself?"

I took on the role I play most often as a mother, referee. Thankfully those stripes are a slenderizing vertical. I am confident I have been mentally yelled at by all four of my players on a regular basis.

I made my call, knowing there was no way to please them both.

"Hannah you feed him, Elijah you do the water." 

"I asked if I could do both." Elijah said. Nearly in tears, of course.

I told him I knew that but they had asked at the same time and so this time I want you to do it this way. Telling him if he wanted he could do both tomorrow. 

Then he broke. Through tears he said the words that nearly brought my head to the steering wheel over and over just to make the madness stop! 

"But, sniff, it's too hard, sniff sniff, to do the water by myseeeelfffff!!" 

I didn't say it! I lacked the will power to even ask, in what way giving our doggy both food AND water made it easier than giving him water alone. 

I re spoke my original instructions and stumbled off the playing field into the house. 

Thirty minutes later, Bugsy had been fed (and given water, the floor from the bathroom sink to the deck had been watered, along with a good quarter of the deck) and the little kids were settled in the living room. 

Hannah and Elijah, when it is just the two of them, get along famously. Until they don't. I heard the wail from the living room. I picked up my whistle and penalty flag and braced myself. 

In came Elijah gripping some part of his body and crying. 

"Hannah punched me!" 

My kids are not big hitters but it has happened enough times for me to know there is always more to the story. I have learned to ask questions. 95% of the time he who tattles first threw the first punch, slap, or kick! 

I began my line of questioning and then called in the accused for her side of the story. I admit I was surprised by the results, a twist in the usual plot...

"He told me to punch him!" 
The 7 year old piped up, "not that hard though!"

I was downright impressed by the absolute self restraint Jarrod and I showed, not even a smirk until the kids left the room. 

I am equally impressed by my 4 year old Hannah's critical thinking skills as, a few hours later she punched Elijah in the face insisting, "He told me to!" 

He had not! 


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1 comment:

  1. cute and very well written. I love reading your accounts and I love the way you write. I encourage you to print your posts and keep them in a notebook - I believe one day they will make an excellent book. Love you and those babies.

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