As a mom of 3 kids within 3 years of each other, much of my time is spent in the area of conflict resolution. “Yes, yes, I know he touched you with his pinky nail on your right, outside elbow hair... but that doesn’t mean you can whap him with your giraffe.” And “Guys, stop wrestling over the bag of Cheesy Puffs, there’s enough for everyone/”
But the worst is when they’re squabbling over something that is pretty darn clearly brought on by one of them digging in their heels. The “My Way or the Highway” he or she-devil that surfaces in one of the kids from time to time.
And here’s the perfect segue to the shutdown in DC right now. And who better than the hilarious and point-on Jon Stewart to explain what the hedge has happened here and why we are in this predicament.
WATCH THIS video, and then read on: Jon Stewart's Rockin' Shutdown Eve VIDEO - Watch Now!
Ahem. WHILE OUR BELOVED NATIONAL PARKS ARE NOW CLOSED and families are now not being paid - while the very loud, very shiny-teethed people in Congress who created this whole mess are still collecting a paycheck - something’s gotta be done.
So here’s what we do in our household when this happens – MOM TAKING CHARGE and cutting the bull-hoogie.
1st step – Deep breath – Realize we’re witnessing: Toddler Behavior – It’s all about ME. And I’ll hold you hostage with a giant tantrum until I get what I want.
2nd step – Remove the Toddler from the limelight. No more interviews. No more speeches. No more meltdowns at the supermarket. Cut all stimulation that gives an audience for the bad behavior. Enforce quiet time.
3rd step -- Start applying Consequences.
#1 Consequence – Take away their toys - No Angry Birds, no Minecraft, no Candy Crush Saga for the kids. No twitter, no Facebook, no CNN or FOXy news outlets for Congress.
#2 Consequence – Hit ‘em where it really hurts - No playdates for the kids...... No pay for congress. NO PAY FOR CONGRESS. This is the ultimate, “Noooo, Mommmy!!!” consequence. Use it.
4th Step – Hugging it Out – If the above steps haven’t created a shift in behavior, I then release my secret weapon #1. The dreaded “Hugging it Out” solution to which my children react as if being thrown into a torture chamber.
Grab your least favorite sibling or Democrat and hug. Hug for ½ hour. Not in a gross way, you perverts, but in a connecting way. Feel the anger start flowing away after about 10 or so minutes, and feel the silliness come in. Realize that your “worst enemy” is a warm-blooded human being and that you can calm your inner-boil and move forward with humor and civility and work it out.
Hug until you feel the flexibility move in. A smile creep on your face. And a reminder that there are bigger problems in the world than your Toddler, ego-centric view on taking care of people. And there can be resolution for the greater good here. Movement.
And only if Steps #1-4 don’t work, then we head to Step #5. Which is a “Moms’ Only” Top Secret. Only to be applied, used, unleashed in the dire situation that Steps 1-4 still haven’t shaken the Toddler behavior out of reasonable folks.
If we need to dig out Step #5, find me, and I’ll give you the secret password which sounds something like: “Big Old Twap to the Bottom”
But just this one time, people, as a last resort! And, darn it if some of those Congress people just might enjoy that. Urp.
Namaste & Three Cheers! & Enough of this Silliness, Congress - OM
PS. I have never, ever used a “Twap to the Bottom” as a consequence, but it was just such a perfectly cheeky ending to the piece that I couldn’t help myself. I don’t condone this sort of solution. But in the spirit of keeping this light, it’s funny to say it with a Jon Stewart wink.
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