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.