One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, August 31, 2006

U.N. in Miniature

Yesterday marked the departure of our last foreign student, and the end of our international experiment - for the time being at least. Majda, seen below, taught us a lot about Islam (mainly of the Sunni variety), tattoos, Arabian culture, being placed on the NSA wire-tap list, and Oman. I'll be posting on some of it later. One topic, Joe will be happy to know, will be on the Djinn (genies). She and I had a very interesting conversation about them.

All these students - from China, Japan, and Oman - have caused Annie and I to reflect upon how we run our household, and it has had some unforeseen consequences. The main change is that, given the multi-national nature of our home over the past while, we have instinctively adopted many United Nations procedures. Here are a couple of examples.

1) When our children are hungry, we no longer simply feed them. No, instead, Annie and I form a committee and negotiate the details. This usually leads to a lot of crying, but the nice thing is that if we stay in committee long enough, the girls will eventually make their own way to the pantry and start searching for food themselves. Problem solved.

2) This next example is trickier and deals with the disciplining of our children. For instance, say Genna is caught grappling Julia and making her cry. Previously, we would have disentangled the two and dealt with it. Not anymore! Now, Annie, Kate, and I will gather in the kitchen for the purposes of drafting a resolution against Genna. It can be hard to do over Genna's growling and Julia's wails as the attack continues, but we plow forward. Unfortunately, Kate often sides with Genna, and forces us to lessen the force of the resolution.

Once the resolution is complete, I present it to Genna, along with a deadline to have her stop her attack. Usually, Genna either eats the paper on which the resolution is eaten or she completely ignores the deadline and continues digging her fingers into Julia's eyes. When this happens, we write an even stronger resolution.

This makes for an interesting dynamic in our home.
But this is a small price to pay for the kickbacks I get (each of my children offer me candy and loose change they find, in return for me turning a blind eye to their antics).


Russ said...

I applaud your efforts to make your home a mini UN. I was thinking of getting a large dog that likes to consume small children. I have heard from the previous owner that it won't stay on a leash. I hope you do not have any problems with that. Believe me when I say that we have no hostile intentions with it. Also BJ and Harrison have opted to act as peacekeepers for any acts of aggression in your home. Oh and one last thing, we when bring food to your home to feed your straving children. I hope that I have do not have to come armed....I would really hate to see a mini Somalia played out.

Jabbertrack said...

that's some funny stuff right thur

can I play Team America and just show up with cages and soldiers and solve it my way?

Raging Wombat said...

Russ, thanks, but we'll pass on the Somalia re-enactment.

Mike - You can play Team America. Go ahead. Try it.