Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Fragile Peace

Do you remember the Rocking Chair Wars of February '10? There was much strife over who got to sit in the prized chair, until Ava and Nate arrived at a creative solution:

Since then, to mediate chair-related disputes, we have used timers, they have alternated days with the chair, no one has sat in the chair, they have sat on top of each other. None of these have been an ideal solution. Both sides feel they have the rights to exclusive chair-usage. This is problematic, for obvious reasons. I have a whole new level of compassion for those working towards peace in the Middle East. Like I said before, there's just one dang chair and everyone wants a piece of it.

This morning, I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher (I am always in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. Or unloading it.) when I heard Ava say in a disgusted tone, "Nate! Stop it right now! Get off!" Then, Nate came running in to find me. "Ava pushed me off the chair," he said, wounded. I walked to the doorway of the living room. "Ava, did you push your brother off of the rocking chair?" "Yes!" she said, "Cause he was tooting on me to make me get out of the chair!"

(This is called withholding vital information, Nate.) "Nate, did you toot on Ava to make her get up?" A wicked gleam came into his eye. He nodded. "Well, of course she pushed you off the chair. I would have, too! That's disgusting." Nate snickered.

The arguing continued. And I instituted chair lockdown. No one sits in the rocking chair. If we can't peacefully co-exist in a living room free of tooting, pushing, and name-calling, if we can't embrace a culture of mutual chair stewardship, then no one gets to enjoy the chair. So now, the chair is our very own DMZ. I'm gonna go to the hardware store this weekend and see if I can get some barbed wire.

For now, the arguing has stopped. But I can feel it brewing. As sure as Nate will live to toot another day, the battle is not over.


  1. ok now I need to google "tooting", never heard of that word before:)

  2. nope, nothing! I can only guess what it means as the only "tooting" i've heard of is "tooting your horn".:)

  3. Rosemary, you kill me!

    (It's flatulence.) :)

  4. You gotta give Nate his props for his weapon of choice.
    I just laughed so hard that my dog came in to see what was going on!!

  5. Such a thing my brother would do! He used to ask me to turn down the t.v. during the commercials just so he could "toot" extra loud. Got me everytime.

    Also we used to fight over the couch. Rule was whoever was on it during a t.v. show could stay, until a commercial. Then the other sibling had the length of the break to try and physically remove the other sibling. If they succeeded the couch was theirs until the next commercial.

    Oh and we were probably 10 and 13 when this was at its peak, just so you know what you have to look forward to!

  6. Ahhh fighting over a chair, with tooting as a weapon. How genius to pick something you can not take away from him and something he can use anytime, anywhere to repel the sister.

  7. Tooting is a stealthy and powerful weapon.

    And I love that you say "toot". When Jude was little, Jimmy and I actually had a rather lengthy conversation about what term to use for "passing gas". It had to be polite enough, but not too dorky. And we ended up with "toot". Jude has recently learned "fart" at school, which is much less cute.

  8. In our house growing up, Gretchen, fart was the "f" word-- it was like the crudest thing you could say, and I still feel that way about it. I'm surprised, though, that Amy hasn't taught her kids "poot" like civilized people say.

    Nate is a riot. It's a bio-weapon!

  9. AEL--that is hilarious!! I laughed out loud at the image of you and your brother wrestling through the commercials. Too funny! I can definitely see that in our future.

    And Gretchen--I'm sure the day is coming when they'll learn the "f word" too. But like Becky said, that was a big no-no in our house as kids. And I was a few years into adulthood before I could say it without feeling like I was gonna get in trouble!

    Becky, I don't know why we chose "toot". But I wish that you could just respect the choices that we make for our family. LOL

    Lily--yes, Nate is a tactical genius. And he has a generous supply of ammo.

  10. thanks Amy! that's what I was trying to get at:)
    yea, the "f" word was a no no for us too and I still don't use it around here!
    it's just plain old "gas" for us:) or something else which I'm not game enough to type here though it's not crude, just funny! actually I think I got the "gas" word from you if I remember correctly a few years ago. Before that it was "wind":)

  11. Amy, thanks for the info on the school vacation times. I really like the schedule where "summer" is 6 weeks long and there are other breaks during the year. And Jan being the school start is kinda cool. Here you have to be age 5 on 9/1 to enter kindergarten. What is the age rule there?
    Nate has figured out survival of the fittest, being in the middle of two girls.

  12. Well, he "is" a boy. And that's what boys do best ;).

  13. Of course as a school teacher, I often heard children ratting on each other with phrases like, "Billy just cut the cheese!" or "Who pooted!" Kids are not troubled by society's dictates on how to deal with these more delicate issues.
    I've discovered, being the mother of boys, that they were not bothered at all with sharing the louder bodily functions with the whole family. The louder the better.

  14. My mother used to call it "fluffing".

    Your kids are hilarious!

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  16. That is hilarious! :D

    Brothers are disgusting, I guess! But he's being resourceful - working with what he's got!

    (And I guess Joy will have something similar to look forward to!!)