Sunday, March 7, 2010


I read this word recently. Not sure where, probably one of the many books or websites I've perused whenever we hit a road block with Paxton. Perhaps even on one of the many AP sites I've checked out when finding new things to try with Ambrose. Dunno. Dun care.

The fact is that this single, simple, incredible word struck me to the core.


I can't even remember the exact sentence but it had to do with the relationship between parent and child, and how often in our culture it becomes adversarial.

What does adversarial mean?

adversarial [ˌædvɜːˈsɛərɪəl]adj
1. pertaining to or characterized by antagonism and conflict

There's some more but that's enough for this blog post.

Antagonism. Conflict.



For some reason, up until that point, I could not come up with the exact term to describe my relationship with Paxton. And then, suddenly, there it was.


Well, crap.

It's not like we have an adversarial relationship all of the time. In fact, most of our time together is spent working together. Reading books, talking, telling stories, doing simple chores or playing.

And yet...

It's true. In many, many ways Paxton and I have an adversarial relationship.

There are many days where even the sound of him talking in the next room can start to raise my blood pressure of he's using a certain tone of voice. And I dread, dread, DREAD the possibility of him not taking a nap. And, oh! The drama of putting on shoes! Or making his bed! Or going to the potty and then having to wash his hands and OMG only two towels maximum you don't need 500 and turn off that water right now young man! Are you listening to me? Fine! No TV for you!!!

So, yeah.


And he, my dear little boy, is so much like me that it can get tricky. When he's in a stubborn mood (as both he and I often are) he WILL NOT back down. Neither will I. He will back talk and go limp and dig his heels in and yell and boss at me. And I'll give it right back at him until we're both in a spiral of anger and adversity.

Some days, when I have my brain screwed in right, I catch us heading into this Spiral Of Doom and stop it. I make a joke. I give a little. And I get a lot in return.

I've been trying to do that more lately.

Ever since reading that word.


They say you can't solve a problem until you admit you have one. For me, I needed a word, a definition. I needed to understand the problem fully. And the problem is that in many situations P and I have become adversaries.

And this must change.

And I'm working on it.

We are a TEAM, dammit! Team E for the win!!!

We can make the bed together, put on shoes together, and we can be a few minutes late here and there, and we can sometimes make up a second dinner if the first one isn't so great, and you know? Sometimes he can "earn" back all those things I took away in a fit of stubbornness, like books and tv and friends and unicorns and what have you.

I don't want to be adversaries with my kid. We aren't arch nemeses in a battle between good and evil, or clean and dirty, or on time and late. We're friends, teammates, colleagues. We're family. And we can do this together!

We WILL succeed! Because we're in this together, and together we can do anything :)


But in the meantime... mom and dad are getting a break :) Hooray Avatar! And Hooray Gambi for watching the kids this afternoon so we can go see Avatar! Hooooraaaay!

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