“Nobody wins an argument,” may be true, but I still have to laugh at the professional soccer players. They look so cool on the field, so suavely athletic,…until that whistle blows and the theatrics begin. Following the referee and screaming at his back, do they really expect him to turn to them and say, “Well, now I see your point; I am glad you argued and brought me to my senses, so I will reverse that call in front of this crowd of hundreds of thousands of spectators, and blow the whistle on the other team instead.” Of course not! But they scream at the ref anyway.
Sibling bickering is a song that plays in the backseat of my car too often. When my younger two were four and five-years-old, they had the “did not!”, “did too!”, “did not!”, “did too!” chorus perfectly memorized for performance any time and any place.
I have often said that children act the way adults would if tact didn’t bridle us with censors. I guess I can say I prefer the “control-top” version of my mouth, at least when it comes to the aftermath, but I have often had a giggle over the things the kids say…that I wish I could still say…just once in a while.
A few years ago, this was the conversation in the car from my backseat toddlers (age 4 and 5):
Christine: “Look at ALL those cows!”
J.R.: “Yeah, but look! There’s a horse in the middle.”
Our car sped by the barnyard.
Christine: “There was no horse! They were all cows.”
J.R.: “Yes there was a horse. It was all brown. The cows were black. There was a horse.”
Christine: “No there wasn’t J.R.! They were all cows. Farmers don’t put horses in the same yard with cows!”
J.R.: “Well THAT farmer did, because I SAW A HORSE!”
This continued and even escalated a bit, so I calmly interceded, with those “Mom lyrics” I seem to sing over and over:
“Christine and J.R. please stop the noise pollution. Remember who wins an argument? NOBODY. So just change the topic. We will never know whether there was a horse there or not. Arguing will not convince anyone and only makes it unpleasant for us all. God knows whether there was a horse there or not.”
There was almost thirty-seconds of silence in the car.
Then J.R. broke it and said matter-of-factly, “Yeah. And when I get to heaven I am going to ask God and He is going to tell you it was a horse.”
My daughter, Christine (now age 9) is reading Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People for her homeschool “business-ownership” class. She came to me today, and explained how she doesn’t understand why anyone would ever need to fight! “All they have to do is agree with the other person and say, ‘sorry.’ Then the other person can’t argue any more. But if you disagree with them, then they will never back down!”
I like her (and Carnegie’s) thoughts. If it were only as easily done as said, there would be a great reduction in noise pollution around the globe! And in the mean time, we can look forward to one day finding out if it was a horse or a cow that we sacrificed in all of our arguments that we dropped. (smile)