"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Monday, November 5, 2007

Annoying Meanie-Heads

I just had lunch with a friend here in town. We talked about a number of things, but almost all of it was related to our kids.

He has three boys. I have four girls.

Even though we are obviously living on very different planets, they still have some similar environmental conditions.

He said his boys like to fight. When he first said that, I pictured playful fighting and wrestling like puppies chewing on each other’s ears and swatting each other with those cute little paws. But I eventually figured out he was talking about “angry” fighting. (I was able to figure this out because he used subtle words like “punching,” “bruising,” and “lethal force.”)

My girls fight too. For the most part, it involves yelling and slamming doors and yelling…and yelling.

Ohmygoodness…the YELLING!

At our house, it seems that 98% of “incidents” begin with someone being “annoying.” That’s the word they’ve gravitated toward as the crime of the century.

Instead of saying…

“My sister is being a jerk”

“My sister is a meanie-head”

Or (heaven forbid)

“I hate my meanie-headed jerk-sister”

…they’ve been able to name exactly what the problem is.

“My sister is being annoying.”

And almost every time, I have to agree. And I explain to them that this is the nature of living under the same roof. Our spouses annoy us (at least my wife’s spouse does). Our roommates in college annoy us. Our children annoy us. Our parents annoy us. Anyone who is close enough for us to love and share this wonderful life with in the same general space is going to be close enough to annoy us at times.

So I just count on it. I EXPECT to be annoyed. I EXPECT to be bothered.

So now, when it happens, I think to myself, “So-And-So is annoying me. How unsurprisingly expected and predictable. [yawn] How unfortunate for him/her to be an annoying person. Poor, poor thing.” And then I move on generally unaffected.

For the record, this only works for me because I’m so stinkin’ laid-back that I barely have a pulse.

I know some of you still have to punch things, yell, kick a dog, or do sudoku.

I assume that people like that are annoyed by me.


carrie said...

as a mother of three boys and one lonely annoyed little girl, I can attest to all that. Except the violent physicality of the boys has now rubbed off on her and she can whip their annoying butts any day of the week.

It's a real blast playing referee, let me tell ya.

Life On The Planet said...

Same here with two boys and one girl. She's learned how to fight. She's learned how to win.