Preteen + preteen + peacemaker AKA tattletale + one year old = it’s spring but if we dare open our windows someone may call the law. And I might need them to.
After much begging, pleading, and coercing from tomboy mom, I think my girls have finally chosen a sport they want to practice. My girls – especially the older two – seem to have adopted a new way of life. It is hard to describe, but if it had a name it might be called, “Four Girl Fight Club.”
Apparently they have come to believe that the only solution to their ridiculously difficult life is to fight with one another over everything. Sometimes, the decibels are so high in this compound that it takes a conversation with a hard of hearing mom, a machine washing clothes, a screaming baby, a running lawn mower, a phone alarm ringing to remind me that today’s the last day to pay that bill before I have a 32 thousand dollar late fee, and the noise of a 25 year-old refrigerator to successfully ignore the bouts of unmitigated rage.
Oops. Did I say ignore? I mean avoid. Er. Um. No. I mean, I would never ignore or avoid my own children. That’s ridiculous. Clearly I’m busy with all the above mentioned, conveniently noisy tasks. I would really prefer to be ringside. Who doesn’t love a good fight, right? That’s why, even being the free range parent that I am, I always make sure I rush in to see the good parts. Anytime I am in the middle of 17 other things and I hear someone getting pummelled with pretend accusations, I run right in!
Yesterday was one of those days.
By the time I came to see what was the matter, one fighter was already crying and drawing an emo self-portrait complete with tears and monster sister hovering over her in the sketch, and the other was smugly smarting off about her rightness in the matter.
Now. I always like to get the facts straight from both sides before I go trying to sub out for the referee, but, with all the commotion I didn’t hear that phone alarm and it just so happened that the ref’s paycheck was the bill I forgot to pay. So, unfortunately, I had to jump right in quick before someone lost a tooth, or, in my case, their own flippin’ mind.
“What on the earth is going on in here, girls?!”
“Addie made an app and she made rules for the game she created but she isn’t following HER OWN RULES that SHE made!”
“That’s not true! I made it so I am allowed to make the rules!!”
When I got down to the bottom of it all, it seems that my very technically inclined daughter made up a game and made a rule for her fellow gamers that she was not following herself. This reality ignited the call to use every justice bone in my other daughter’s body.
“You can’t do that!!! You can’t just change the rules for yourself! You can’t just make other people follow them and not follow them yourself!”
“I made it!!! I am the owner! I can do whatever I want!”
“AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” said the referee.
“Ok. Let’s see here. You are both right – in a way. Addie is right that if she created it, as the administrator she is ABLE to do things in whatever fashion she chooses. If she sets it up with an exception for herself, she can because she owns and created the game. However, as a matter of good business and fairness, Mia is right. No one likes leaders who expect others to follow the rules that they made but do not follow the rules themselves. That’s why everyone gets mad at the government. They have the authority to make the rules and laws because we have entrusted it to them – given it to them – but they are so unjust that they apply them to everyone but themselves. They also change the rules whenever it is personally advantageous. That is called injustice. We do not want to be unjust to others.
So, I understand why everyone is upset but, while both of you are right, you are also both wrong. Think about your other two sisters, girls. Maylee is upset. Sonny is screaming. You are scaring them. I understand why you both feel justified, but the truth is that neither of you are. Look how you’re treating each other. This is not acceptable.
Next time, listen to each other. Stop yelling over top of one another to get your ideas heard by the person you clearly disagree with. Talk about it. Don’t get upset when someone challenges your decisions. Instead, answer them. Know why you’re doing something and be able to explain it clearly when asked. If you are the one asking, don’t be condescending. When you have a different perspective, respect for the authority goes a long way – especially if you are older than they are. Lastly, never forget to consider others who hear your disagreements. Namely – your sisters. But the windows are open for goodness sake! Everything we do affects other people. Remember that.
And in that four girl fight club, I believe the Lord truly showed up with wisdom like unto Solomon’s for me. My own heart was revealed as fighter number five and my own foolishness was found out. Like the mechanic always says, they only know what you teach ’em. God did none other than prove Himself faithful once again.