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5 Things My Kids Fight About

photo-3 copy 21). WHAT DOOR OF THE CAR THEY GET IN. And, the thing is, there’s not even a preferred door. It’s not like they both want to get in the rear driver’s side door OR the rear passenger side door. That would be too easy. No. My kids fight over the door that the first one begins to open. So if my son opens the rear passenger side door, that door becomes the door my daughter NEEDED to open. Cue whining and bickering and my daughter insisting on entering the same door to climb over my son while she knees him in the nuts. Cue my son SCREAMING my daughter’s name while coughing up blood. I made that last part up. But you’d think he was coughing up blood if you heard him moaning and groaning. Actually, I take that back. Getting kneed in the nuts is maybe the worst thing ever. The pain travels up your vans deferens, through your stomach, and clutches you by the heart and won’t let go. Anyway, then they argue about what just happened, why it happened, and how they’re ruining each other’s lives. I’m usually too confused to be irritated. I just lied again. I’m usually mad as hell so I turn the radio up and wish vile things.

2). WHAT COLOR AIR IS. My son says air is invisible. My daughter says it’s blue. And then they just fight about it but neither of them ever ventures to entertain the fact that an argument should probably move past their initial assertions to perhaps offer some logical SUPPORT for their positions. So it just goes on and on like this: “Air is invisible.” “No it’s not. It’s blue.” “Are you crazy? It’s totally invisible.” “No, YOU’RE crazy. It’s blue.” “It’s so invisible.” “It’s NOT. It’s BLUE. DADDY!” And so on. This is where I should probably step in, Google it, and use this opportunity for an enriching teachable moment with my children but instead I think things like Are you two out of your mother flipping minds? Go play stuff! The logical part of me understands that the color of air is not the real issue. My kids are vying for power. But there’s so many ways to exert power in the world. Why don’t they just go step on ants or be rude to cashiers like normal people? Will one of them ever evolve spiritually and give peace a chance? We’re all going to die, kids. And you’re fighting about the godforsaken color of air? Go figure out the meaning of life. Or color something.

3). WHO IS SMARTER. My son thinks he has a lock on this one because people have been raving about how smart he is since he started talking like an adult when he was 3. He goes to this computer engineering super brain high school and he’s been in every gifted and talented program the school district offers. Nonetheless, he’s not smart enough to NOT argue with his 8-year-old sister about who’s smarter. My daughter says she’s smarter because she’s a girl. I think she might be right. I’m no slouch but I’ve never won an argument with a girl or a woman, not once, not ever. Every time I try to zero in on a point that I think I’m indisputably right about, the woman, like a shotgun, spews a scattershot of off topic information that I can’t address in a linear fashion so I just admit I’m a jerk and wrong. Anyway, my son tries to explain that he’s smarter by default simply because he’s older and my daughter snaps back that she is a girl, that an ecosystem is a delicate balance of living things and non-living things, and that air is blue because the sky is blue and you just can’t see the blue down here because it’s too close to notice, dummy.

4). WHO GETS TO PUSH THE ELEVATOR BUTTON. I totally get this one. I love pushing the elevator button.

5). WHAT FIRE IS. My son says that fire is something about combustion releasing heat and light when something that’s flammable reaches a flash point with enough oxygen, which may or may not be invisible or blue. Whatever. Some crap he learned at super brain school. My daughter says that fire is the Devil eating logs. This is a classic example of the clash between the scientific method and mythical thinking. And they’re both right because fire doesn’t have to be one thing but I’m not silly enough to enter the fray of this argument because neither of them are ready to accept the simultaneous validity of contradictory perspectives. And so back and forth they go, repeating their positions with ever increasing volume and disgust in the backseat of the car, having never even resolved the issue regarding why they should both be the one to enter a particular car door.

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