First off, I want to publicly thank Another Ordinary Girl for giving me an award this week. I have to pass it along – and do it quick (by the looks of it) because people are already honoring most of my favorite blogs! Stay tuned. 🙂
We’ve been having a fun parenting weekend here at the Emmy & Garbanzo household. It started Friday when Garbanzo declared that the kids would be without TV, Wii, and computer until their room was clean. Three days in a row, they were unable to locate things like shoes and book bags. Each time claiming they were “somewhere in their rooms”. I think Garbanzo’s head almost exploded on Friday as they were trying to leave for school, but couldn’t because something was “lost in their room”.
Yesterday, after Saturday morning taekwondo, we came back and sent them upstairs to clean up. Within 5 minutes, Indigo, the chief negotiator and legal representative for the two, came downstairs to start negotiations for “help”.
Any parent knows that “help” in cleaning the room means “come clean my room for me while I act like I’m helping”. Garbanzo and I swore to each other that this was not a trap we would fall into … again. No matter how bad the whining and complaining got, we were holding strong.
We told her “not this time” and sent her back upstairs. Then the fighting started. You hear DJ screaming “owww” as Indigo screams back at her. What I always find funny about listening to this interaction is two things. The first is the fact that DJ could take her little sister down pretty quickly, yet she is the one that is getting hurt. This is the same kid who finds humor in kicking the crap out of people in taekwondo yet her less skilled sister can do the same for her. And the second is the fact that DJ is at least 6-inches taller than Indigo. I haven’t quite figured this one out yet.
Anyway, so the fighting is now going on. They are trying to solicit a response from us by fighting, an intervention, if you will. But, I don’t feel like playing referee today. They are hoping I will because it will mean a temporary reprieve as one of them serves their punishment. Nope – not today.
Soon, Indigo returns “crying”. (She has a great fake crying act.) DJ isn’t cooperating. She is doing all of the work. It is only fair, in her humble opinion, that DJ be forced to clean solo for a while until they are back in equity. Yep, that failed too – and she was sent back upstairs.
Now, it is DJ’s turn to plead. Indigo is not helping, and to make matters worse, Indigo has thrown shoes at DJ thus making her cry. I hear Indigo yell from upstairs, “But I’ve said sorry a whole bunch of time!!” I call them both downstairs because they are both in trouble. Their punishment: to clean their room.
Both kids leave shaking their heads and plotting their next attempt.
Their next attempt is to claim hunger. I mean, they have been “working hard” for an hour. They need food. Indigo comes back down to make their case for food. There are more tears and more begging. An agreement is made for when lunch will be served. They are to work until then.
After lunch, they decide to use diversionary tactics. Indigo wants to show us her new jump roping tricks. They have a jump rope club at school, and her coordination is finally getting to the point where she can jump without tripping over the rope.
She performs her demonstration while DJ slinks off to “not clean”. To ensure the demonstration last as long as possible, she brings her PE teacher into it claiming she has been told to practice at home. She doesn’t want to let the teacher down. After about 30 minutes of this, she’s sent back upstairs.
Within minutes, she is back to complain that DJ is not helping (again) but instead is laying on her bed sleeping.
I send Indigo back upstairs with instructions to first start by picking up all of the books and dirty clothes. She stomps back up the stairs, and issues the orders to her sister.
Here is where the kids decide to use the divide and conquer method of negotiations. I was off doing something in another part of the house, and they knew that Garbanzo wasn’t in the room to hear my initial instructions to them. I love the innocence of children. Do they think that as children, we didn’t try this same trick?
Indigo comes downstairs and tells Garbanzo that they are done picking up the books and dirty clothes. And, that, per the agreement they had with me, this was all they needed to do to get their privileges back. They have held up their end of the bargain, so they expect him to honor the agreement I made.
They didn’t know where I was – but they didn’t factor into it that I was in another part of the house. … and could hear them. So I yell out “I didn’t say that”. The kids say nothing more, and head back upstairs.
My favorite tactic from yesterday was “DJ is very very sad and can’t come down and talk to you – so I’m here to negotiate her release from cleaning.” We told Indigo that we could not negotiate this through a third party, and that DJ needed to do her own negotiations. Soon, DJ came down with her super frowny face and slumped over shoulders. She is all upset because her day has been wasted.
Garbanzo and I decide to play good cop & bad cop. He takes the good cop role. I point out to both of the kids that if they had used half of the time spent trying to get out of cleaning on the actual cleaning, that they would be done by now. For some reason, maybe it’s the fact it is getting close to bedtime, the light bulbs turn on for them – and they realize they have screwed up their own day by not doing what they were supposed to do.
Within an hour, they get it 75% clean. Now they are finishing it up….or so we hope.
And, if my parents heard this story – they would laugh their asses off…….because this is EXACTLY how my brother and I were when we shared a room at this age. Damn Karma!