The Vyne's had a family meeting this morning. An uprising boiled over a certain sentence in our family agreements which caused major contention. We agreed that consequences for a six year old girl should not be as severe as for a ten to thirteen year old boy, and that Mom would decide. Everytime Pooh Bear yelled at her brothers calling them "Big Meanies!", (and she does have quite a short fuse), I followed our group recommendations to have her serve time away from the family, which apparently put my reputation as a fair judge into question. My boys began to complain, "She calls names and has a ten minute time out playing dolls?" As many times as the boys grumbled I answered, "She's six for goodness sake. Did you have to have hour long time outs when you were in kindergarten?"
Finally, I asked all of us to come together for a discussion. I talked about child development and how a little girl isn't able to withstand the same consequences as older boys. I talked about nitpicking Pooh Bear's words and actions as if she had some complicated sinister plan to get away with murder, or worse, yelling "You Snookerdoo!" I put a strict half time consequence for her with an absolute time limit of consequences on the worst case scenario of thirty minutes. I can tell my oldest son is not entirely convinced, leaving the whole family agreement thing hanging in the wind. Usually when it comes down to this, I have him call the adult of his choice to ask the question, "Is my mom being fair when..." Works everytime. Adults tend to be rather rational and fair, or at least more rational than thirteen year old boys.
I'm not the first to wish children came with an instruction guide. I suppose it's by design in that the whole parenting thing keeps me on my knees in prayer.
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