I Think I Won That Argument

I don’t try to solve all my kids problems, but I am occasionally brought in to referee. I often give a word of encouragement to speak up or a suggestion to practice taking things a little less personally, high-five myself, and move on to the sounds of laughter and fun and parental satisfaction.

However, this week, two kids burst into my room, legs and words akimbo.

Aggrieved child: He won’t tell me the name of the Pokemon and can only quote the girl dragon from the other episode and he keeps copying me and

Other child interrupts: I FORGOT!

Aggrieved child glares and continues: …and then I was supposed to be a Ravenclaw with a Pikachu and Ash Ketchum* is in Hufflepuff, but I can’t do that without the heir of Slytherin and {some words I don’t even register as words} and he won’t tell me the girl dragon and keeps saying other stuff and repeating what I say and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

I considered my options during this unexpected pause between complaint and rebuttal.

I could go with some standbys like “It takes a Pokemon to know a Pokemon” or “Your brother is grounded for life” (can you even ground a 7-year-old?). But I had nothing mostly because I didn’t understand the problem at all, but I could sense we were about to enter an argument spiral and I couldn’t go through that explanation again. I could see that my daughter was sad-ish.

“That’s sad,” I replied.

My kids paused, obviously waiting for more, but I’m older so I can wait longer than they can. I arranged my eyebrows into their most understanding scrunch as I know eyebrows are the most expressive part of the face thanks to my high school social anthropology class, and I hoped the right answer wasn’t “Don’t build fires in the house” or “Cats tails don’t grow back even if you do know a spell for it from Hogwarts.” Eventually, she nodded (or gave up) and ran off with her brother on  her heels. They spent the rest of the afternoon playing Pokemon at Hogwarts in peace.

Ash and Pikachu from the Pokemon wiki (http://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Ash_Ketchum?file=Ash_Pikachu_Taillow.jpg)
Ash and Pikachu from the Pokemon wiki are impressed.

I’m either a genius or that noise I also yelled “That’s sad” to is my smoke detector.

*His name is pronounced by my kids as “Ass Catch Em,” which makes me quite gigglingly, and also makes figuring out the real spelling difficult and a little bit shocking.

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Alex Iwashyna went from an undergraduate degree in political philosophy to a medical degree to a stay-at-home mom, poet and writer by the age of 30. Now she spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog, except when it’s serious, about life, parenting, marriage, culture, religion and politics. She has a muse of a husband, two young kids, four cats, one dog, and a readership that gives her hope for humanity.