Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Standoff

The moment I entered the house last night I knew something was up. Grover didn’t leap on me. I found him on the couch hiding his face under his paws. I also knew something was up from the angry, angry howls emanating from the back of the house.

Diana casually entered the living room dressed in her robe. She began tidying up, apparently oblivious to the screeching. I asked Di if she put a rabid ferret into the tub with our son a la “The Big Lebowski.”

“We’re having a disagreement,” she said oh so casually.

Over the increasingly shrill screams from the bathroom, Diana explained. Apparently, the end of their bath routine is the ceremonial pulling of the plug. And last night, Elijah refused to pull the plug. And Diana refused to get him out of the tub until he pulled the plug.

Irresistible force meets immovable object.

Allow me to digress. Elijah gets his stubbornness 100% from his mother. I am a proud doormat. I prefer the French version of conflict resolution. You can have our country, but we get to keep all the wine we can hide.

So I did what I always do when people are fighting. I went upstairs and folded socks. Grover, also a doormat, followed me upstairs with his tail between his legs. I heard them downstairs.

“Aaarrgh! Mommy!”

“Pull the plug and I’ll come get you.”

“No!!!!! Up! Up! Mommy!”

And so on. Diana eventually came up and helped me fold clothes. I asked her if we were planning on leaving our son in the bath all night. Diana just smiled. I asked, and received permission, to act as intermediary.

I went downstairs and found Eli laying in a 3/4 empty tub. He saw me and started shouting, “Up! Up! Dada!”

I said, “Mommy wants you to pull the plug. Can you do that?”

“No! No! No!”

I slapped myself in the face, knowing this conflict was the only thing standing between me and a delicious glass of red wine.
I said, “How about this. We’ll unplug it together. Ok?”

Eli thought for a moment and said, “Ok.”

I put my hand on the plug and he half heartedly laid a finger on my hand. Good enough for government work.

I took him upstairs and mother and son lovingly reunited as if nothing happened. Diana asked me if Eli unplugged the plug.

“He sure did,” I said. And then went back to my place in front of the door.

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