Each time a mom blissfully advises me that her kids don’t argue with her, I laugh and laugh. Then I pat her head, because it’s adorable she’d think I’d believe that even for a second. I don’t care who you are; we’re in a constant state of having arguments with our kids whether we realize it or not — their mere existence is fueled by their own innate belief that they are always right.
Parenthood is essentially living with a bunch of small debate team captains with questionable hygiene who love to condescendingly throw around the phrase, “Actually, Mom … ” with wild abandon, and refuse to adhere to things like common sense or a familial hierarchy of power.
Thus, if you are currently speaking to your child, you are quite likely in the midst of an argument.
Don’t believe me? Track the chats you have with them for a week, come back here, and let me know whether you had a single quick and civilized conversation about any of the following:
- What time to get out of bed.
- Why shoes must be worn.
- The importance of socks.
- How much interaction with a toothbrush is enough to be considered “brushing your teeth.”
- Whether or not it is appropriate to wear a pirate costume/mermaid tail/no pants to school.
- Why going to school isn’t optional.
- Why they should not hit their brother(s)/sister(s).
- Why what they just did is getting them punished.
- Why homework needs to actually be done and handed in. Preferably on time.
- Where urine should go.
- Where boogers should go.
- The appropriateness of fart jokes in mixed company.
- Whose turn it is to take out the trash/feed the cat/not leave all the housework to Mom and Dad.
- Why shoving all their clean clothes, books, and toys under the beds isn’t considered “cleaning their rooms.”
- Who is actually in charge around here.
- What constitutes “a bite” of a food they don’t want to eat.
- How many cookies are too many for a pint-sized human.
- When their last shower was.
- Whether showers are necessary.
- Whether soap and/or shampoo are necessary during showers.
- Whether the underwear they put on is, in fact, clean.
- Why clean underwear is important.
- What time to go to bed.
- How many books will be read before bed.
- How necessary it is to make 47 trips back-and-forth from their bedroom at night after they’ve been tucked in, for one or more of the following: a glass of water, an attempt at pooping, to ask a question about the cat, or just because they missed you.
- That it is time to stop being so damn difficult and stop arguing now for the love of all that is holy.