Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Inevitable After-Guests Debriefing

This is kinda late, but we had our friends Justin and Lauren and their three kids over last week for the holidays.

"Does it have to be that loud?" I asked my husband with real concern, after our guests had left for the evening. "Does it have to be that way?"

"No, it doesn't." I was kind of surprised by the vehemence in his voice. After all, I had never seen him in this kind of situation, surrounded by the madness of numerous under-twelves in our home. I thought he had been very patient. He had looked unruffled throughout the entire evening.

"So talk to me. Tell me your thoughts." I love a peek inside my husband's brain, and it sounded like he definitely had an opinion about the night's events.

"Well, I know what you mean when you say that Justin isn't very hands-on. I mean, Lauren kept asking him to help out with the kids, and he just stood there. If you made a point to ask me, in front of company, to help out with one of our kids, I would assume that meant you were at the end of your rope. I would step in and discipline. And if the kid started to cry or whatever, I would just take him in the other room."

(Is it weird that I find my husband extremely hot when he talks about equitable division of parenting tasks in regards to our future children?)

"And also..." he continued, "what is with that whole 're-directing' thing? If a kid wants something, and they shouldn't have it, say no. No, you can't have that present. It isn't yours. Don't just try and distract him with something else, without making it clear. And for frick's sakes, be consistent. If you tell a kid 'no', and he keeps asking and asking and asking, and then you give it to him, what does that teach him? It teaches him that if he keeps asking long enough and wears you down, that he will eventually get what he wants."

Be still my heart. I love that man.

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