The weirdest thing happened at dinner tonight. My little angel babies of light were *gasp-snork* fighting with one another. And it wasn’t a good fight or a noble fight. They were not fighting to protect the honor of a fallen comrade or to maintain their basic human freedoms.
They were fighting about whether or not Magoo had seen me and Dan kiss. He maintains to this day that he NEVER sees us kiss. We’ll kiss in one room and he’ll yell from the next room, “I didn’t see that!” It’s sort of a joke in our family. Well today Dan and I were on the make-out war path. He’d kiss me mid-sentence, whenever he thought Magoo could not possibly miss seeing it.
Magoo would calmly close his eyes and say, “Didn’t see that.”
Well, by golly, Laylee was pretty sure he had seen one of them and she would not stand for the lies, those dangnable, dangnable lies. If a person has seen two other people snog at the dinner table, he’d better darn well man up about it.
She would not let it go.
“I didn’t SEE IT!” he protested.
“Yes you did,” she persnicked.
They would not stop. Dan told them to stop. Then he commanded them to stop. But they just kept nitting and picking at each other. Tears were shed and the war waged on.
Dan encouraged them to use kind words. “We just need to build each other up. I know you love each other. Why say things that are hurtful? Will this fight matter in ten years?”
“Well he did see it,” Laylee said in that really annoying voice of a Disney star, who’s bound to get busted for shoplifting or a DUI because she’s so mad to be 18 and still playing a 13-year-old snot face on TV.
Then the thought came to my mind, the best way to behavior modify is to set a good example. You’re supposed to love them into wanting to be kind.
But that takes too long.
Maybe if I love them really really hard.
So I grabbed Magoo and asked Dan to grab Laylee and I said, “You guys are obviously sad because you don’t feel loved enough. We’re just gonna love you until you can be kind to each other. We’re gonna love you like widdle babies, yes we are, goochy-goo-googly goo.”
We scooped them up into our arms, 7 and 9 year old infants, giggling and struggling to get free.
“Do you feel loved enough to be kind? I just want to love my widdle Magooly-face until he feels the love in his heart just spilling over into the way he talks to his sister. Do you feel loved enough?”
At this point we were rocking them back and forth and everyone was laughing.
“Yes, I feel loved, I feel loved. Put me down!”
So we did. And the cycle was broken. The fighting stopped. Stellar parenting? Not necessarily. But it got the job done. Love heals all, even raucaus, what-the-heck-are-you-doing-Mom love.