So a piece of rope walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a drink.
“We don’t serve your kind in here,” says the bartender, gruffly.
The rope walks out of the bar. Once outside, he ties himself in a knot. Then he runs his hands ferociously through his hair til it is sticking up in all directions. Then he walks back into the bar.
The bartender eyes him suspiciously and asks, “Say, aren’t you that piece of rope that came in here a few minutes ago?”
“Nope,” says the rope. “I’m afraid not.”
Get it? A frayed knot?
That’s me today. Zoe and Lucy spent most of the morning roughing me up til I swear I looked like this. It came to a head when they took all the magnets off the free-standing freezer and threw them on the floor. And then refused to help me clean them up. Big deal, right? But at this point in this already warped day, I started feeling like I was just being their enabler.
So I thought I’d experiment. While they were throwing the stuff to the floor (laughing hysterically — drunk with destructive power), I, the queen of idiotic timing and, apparently, under the imperious curse, suggested that when they were done, perhaps they would help me clean it all up. They didn’t have to put it back on the freezer, just throw everything into, um, into… this tupperware bowl I’ve pulled from the cabinet. Imagine my surprise (not) when not only did they not obey my request, but they outright ignored me.
At this point, I had a choice. Engage, and fight it out until I got my way (tears guaranteed), or back down before they even know they’ve backed me down, thus preventing them from also celebrating the win over their weaker opponent (two-against-one works even when the “two” are 3-yr-olds and the “one” is 12 times that). I’m sure you all know which I should have chosen, and I’m sure that, being good readers, you can all guess that I did just the opposite.
For about 45 minutes we duked it out. They landed on the naughty step/chair (aka, time-out) no fewer than 58 times (such an effective tactic it was). They were furious, I was furious. It was, frankly, embarrassing, and I’m really glad that you didn’t walk into my house in the middle of it. But Zoe and Lucy, being the good red-headed Leos that they are, would not pick up one single magnet.
Finally, I realized I was completely at the end of my rope (welcome back to the rope allegory). Certain that I had already altered the future of Lucy and Zoe’s personalities by showing them that mine was acceptable behavior (note to self: get this book), I left. They were sitting on the floor of the kitchen, trying their best to ignore me, and I just said, “That’s it — I’m leaving.” And I walked out the door (slamming it behind me just to show them how a mature person behaves). As I sat on the front steps taking deep cleansing breaths of North Carolina’s crisp, 80° November air, I imagined myself telling you about this day, explaining how I was doing the right thing even though yes, I know they’re only three years old, but still — it’s the principle that matters… right? They need to learn to listen, right? Right?
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Does it start with “A” and end with “hole?”
Back inside I went. I apologized to them for yelling and told them that I’d make a deal with them. I would try really really really hard not to yell at them anymore if they would try really really really hard to answer me when I asked them to do something. They said ok.
Then we left to go play at the park.
Later, while they were napping, I cleaned up the magnets.
And now I’m exhausted. Thanks for listening.