Monday, March 30, 2009
One of my favorite things to do is to create useless theories about nothing and so here I go. This is not the first time I've likened parenting to raising animals and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last, but today's discussion revolves around leaving the room and wild dogs.

Today, I left the kids unattended so that I could go and get dressed. Horror of horrors! What was I thinking! I literally walked across the threshold of the bedroom and a screechy, piercing, "you wronged me" scream hit me in the cerebral cortex and radiated instantly down my spine.

"Not even 5 seconds! How is this possible?" I asked myself. Then I realized, the alpha-(fe)male-well, maybe the beta-(fe)male-has left the pack unattended and now the remaining dogs are fighting over who gets to take his/her place. The problem is that they both know that it's not always the stongest, biggest dog that wins. Sometimes it's the smaller, faster one. This means the battle for superiority has to be quick and decisive with a good healthy dose of shock and awe.

Unfortunately for me, it means many days of dressing in the living room, but I have discovered a few things that marginally delay the pack instinct for long enough to make it to the bathroom on occasion or to turn on the kettle to boil (but probably not enough time to fill it with water first).
  • Bribery
  • Blackmail
  • Threats (only effective for very quick trips up to 15 seconds)
  • A loud hair dryer (if a tree falls in the woods and a hair dryer is on, does the falling tree make any noise?)
  • Pre-emptive time-out
  • Lollipops or "silencers" as we call them in our house (as long as no one has a better color than the other)
  • Inappropriate television shows or movies
  • The Transformers theme song
That's about it really. I can usually make it through the day with these tactics in my parenting toolbox. Some times I have to use a blender or vacuum in place of the hair dryer for a little extra shock and awe on my end. But, for the most part, I can get an extra 30 seconds of peace for each tactic implemented in my campaign to dress in the privacy of my own bedroom. That's a whole 4 minutes of "me time" every day. Can't beat that, can you? Oh, wait....I forgot that I gave up privacy and peace the day I got pregnant.


Anna said...

I just get dressed before I go to bed, then I don't have any of those problems. Well, it's either that or the shock collar electronic fencing system I installed.

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