Saturday, February 6, 2010

The art of the deal

Lately, Ava and Nate have been arguing a lot over who gets to sit in the super-comfy rocking chair that's in our living room. We've had it since Ava was born. It's one of the only things we brought with us to Australia and I always tell them how I used to rock and feed them in it as babies. They love to sit in it.

Nate has discovered the classic little brother move: wait till Ava gets up from the chair to go to the bathroom or whatever, and then take her spot. So now, Ava is afraid to get out of the chair: whether it's to eat, get dressed for school, pee. She asks me to bring her things, because if she gets up "then Nate will steal the chair". I accommodate her sometimes, but I'm gonna have to draw the line at a catheter so she doesn't have to go potty. It's like those environmental activists who live in trees to protest deforestation or something. They have food passed up to them in buckets and wear the same Guatemalan-style embroidered vest and cargo pants for six months. No matter what happens, they ain't coming down.

(It's not really much like that, is it?)

This morning, after listening to The Great Chair Debate, Part 37, I'd had it. (You may remember that I happen to be a little emotionally fragile right now.)I marched into the living room with Grace on my hip as they were watching morning cartoons. I turned off the TV. Gasp! Did Mom just turn off Fifi and the Flowertots? This means it's serious.

"Alright, both of you look at me. Natey, look at my eyes. I am really, really tired of listening to you argue about the rocking chair. You are both big kids now. You need to figure out a way to take turns. And if you don't, then guess who gets to sit in the chair? ME. Cause actually? It's my chair in the first place. Got that? One more arguing word about it and your rocking chair days are done."

Gosh that felt good! Wielding power over those smaller and more helpless than you are feels real awesome, doesn't it? I mean, isn't that why you become a parent in the first place? To give ultimatums and feel important? No? Just me, then? Oh.

A few minutes later I looked in the living room and saw this.

Besides noting their TV-glazed eyes, observe the power and beauty of compromise. Everybody's happy. You see a thing like that and wonder why the US Senate can't hammer out a deal on health care reform. For example.

Of course, this particular compromise lasted about ten minutes till somebody had to pee. Then it was back to the negotiating table. You see a thing like that and understand why the US Senate can't hammer out a deal on health care reform. There's just one dang chair and everybody wants it for themselves.

P.S. About that other thing: Not a lot of new stuff to report. No new dramas, either,so maybe we've plugged the last hole. Jason had a heart to heart with the exterminator yesterday, so hopefully I won't have to move to another state and change my name.


  1. Loved this! You have some great parent skills. The photo was priceless.

  2. Way to lay down the law! I cracked up at that picture.

  3. That seems like a good solution to me. Wait till Grace is big enough to sit in that chair. Then you may have a problem.Cute picture!

  4. Necessity is the mother of invention :)
    better share the chair than lose it altogether! how cute!

  5. That photo is def going to be one for the archives! Now was that a contented look on Ava's face or begrudging resignation?

    Very nice ultimatum-ing. Gah, I hate pulling those, but what's a mum to do sometimes?

    It does look super comfy tho! Do you ever get to sit in it? ;-)

  6. Love it! Nate looks perfectly satisfied with his situation. Ava I'm not so sure about.

  7. Thanks Amy...I needed a good laugh today. Yes your parenting skills are amazing. Look at those darlings.

  8. Maybe the Senate needs mom to come in and give them a good healthy ultimatum.

    BTW, you have been particularly hysterical lately. I think that trip to the states gave you an extra dose of funny.

  9. I just like that Nate and Ava are wearing matching pants... :)