Friday, February 19, 2016

The Standoff: Parent Vs. Preschooler

It was a typical scene in a typical old town. The old-timer cowboy vs. the rookie cowboy in a standoff.

The old timer twisted the heel of her boot into the dusty road, gripping her trusty weapon: a controlled temper. Her eyes stared straight ahead into the eyes of the rookie, as if to say, "Go ahead--make my day."

Now the rookie might be young (and very short) but he's got new tricks up his sleeves. While flashing his dagger eyes he whipped his arms across his chest and folded them tightly as if to say, "Oh, yeah? Try me." He held his razor gaze fiercely, the daggers piercing the weak spots of the old timer.

The old timer flinched, but only for a split-second. "Haven't seen that move before. You are wise beyond your years." She clenched her weapon tighter. He disobeyed me, so I have to follow through. Don't lose control. "If you want your light saber back, you need to say 'I'm sorry' and lie down on your bed." It was a simple request, but the rookie wasn't backing down.

He tossed out his next tactic: the tantrum. He fell to the ground, kicking and screaming and crying.

The standoff was heating up. Onlookers from nearby, leaning on the wooden railings of the tired town stores, shouted to the old timer: "He's losing it! What are you going to do?"

The old timer steadied her grip. "Don't worry. I've got this. I won't give in." She wielded her weapon of self control like a triumphant flag, and gritting her teeth, repeated, "All you have to do is say 'I'm sorry,' lie down on your bed, and the light saber is yours." Even with her grit, she said it so smoothly that it pierced the rookie to his core.

It was the ultimate battle of wills. Who would give in first? The standoff was reaching its peak. You could almost hear the other cowboys in town whistling in the background, the wind whipping the women's long skirts, the men spitting into the dirt.

The old timer remained cool as a cucumber while the rookie reverted back to the stare-and-glare, arm-fold stance. "You know what you have to do," the old timer said.

The rookie whispered faintly the words, "I'm sorry." He took a step back and sat on the edge of the bed and glared daringly at the old timer, as if to say, "There. I'm on my bed. Are you happy now?"

The old timer dropped her weapon of self control to the ground. He's not lying on the bed--he's just sitting on it! But before she lost her cool, she glanced at the clock. She took off her boots and rubbed her weary feet and thought of the long day with the rookie. Well, we can meet in the middle--THIS time, she thought. She took off her cowboy hat, put on her mother hat, and stepped into the room. The rookie lost his rigid stance and put on his child hat. The mother and the preschooler cuddled and read books together until he drifted to sleep.

As she tiptoed out of the room, she wondered where his strong will and determination came from. After all, he was just a rookie. Maybe he takes after his mother, she thought. She smiled and headed downstairs to meet the onlookers in her little old town and wielded her weapon for the next standoff.

Two more children to go, she sighed, clutching the weapon. "Go ahead, make my day."


  1. Good one. Sometimes we have to put that mother hat on. Good luck with your next battle.

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