9.11.2006

Better living through Research and Graphs

I have a couple more posts, then I'm going to be going into semi-hiatus. I've found recently that the things I want to post most about aren't really appropriate material for this space. So until that changes, I will only be posting once in a while.

-------------------------------------------------------

DW and I had a discussion about the kids' schedules (well BigBrother's). "What are we doing about TBall?" We have these discussions in phases. There is a very specific pattern whenever we disagree about something with the kids.

1. DW: Let's do it my way.
2 Me: I disagree, let's do it my way.

(cut of 30 minutes of each repeating what our way is and how silly it is for anyone else to have any other opinion)

3. Decision Point: If DW gets her way, end. If not, go to step 1

If we go through it enough times, it turns into "We have to do something RIGHT NOW." Then generally, we do it the way she wants. I'm teasing DW of course. She's generally right about these things.

Our latest thing was TBall. I think TBall is great, and BigBrother would love it. However, he's in 3 days of preschool, as well as music class, and he tags along to his brother's music class as well. So without TBall, he has 5 days with organized activities. I just kind of think that a kid should be a kid. I don't think a 3.5 year old needs that many days with appointments.

We actually reached a compromise (which I consider a major achievement that should be worth a book deal). We could sign him up as long as he wanted to go. If he said before we go that he didn't want to, that would be it. He wouldn't have to go. No coercion.

Saturday was his first day. It was a little like preschool, in that he was interacting with people without us knowing what was going on. We could see him talking to his coaches, and carrying on conversations, his little arms waving around for emphasis. They took grounders, threw the ball back to the coach. At the end the kids got to hit.

They stuck him on the bench. They kept taking other kids before him. I was wondering why...and then realized that the last kid got to hit a home run (they're never actually getting anyone out). BB Home Runs: 1, Khyle: 0.

So it turned out ok.

"tongue in cheek mode = on"

I think the big reason I was able to get the compromise worked out is that I'm getting back a little more control of the household. You see I had an epiphany. I was daydreaming about the 7th grade. That's a whole different story, but I digress. I was in Social Studies. The teacher was awful. She was a lot more interested in wearing Izod and talking about Izod than teaching. She was lazy with the subject and lazy with discipline. I realized that the bad kids got away with murder, and the good kids (like me) got hammered for every little thing. Everyone took about the same amount of crap.

That's when I had the breakthrough. The 7th grade isn't so dissimilar from a marriage. A theory was percolating. The better I was, the more attentive, helpful, caring, etc - the more the small problems were amplified. However, if I screwed up more, it would effectively lower expectations, causing fewer complaints as the following graph proves:


DW wasn't too happy when I shared my theory. This is clearly a sign that all husband-kind should take this research to heart. Another thing I noticed was that kids are a great help in grief-avoidance. In the moment, DW can get upset at something. But if the kids interrupt her twice (for a kiss, milk, etc) before she can get worked up, and she completely lets it drop. It's some kind of miracle.

So my advice to you husbands out there. Watch your kids for a couple months. Find out when they are at their peak levels of cuteness and neediness (this is a key), and then lay out the bad news. I think you might be able to attain that sports car you've always wanted.

"tongue in cheek mode = off"



3 comments:

Kel said...

the new blogger beta allows you to give permissions to readers - ie: family only, DW only

that was my main reason for switching and I am gearing up to change over - plus I set up a family blog so the girls can write, but only nana, poppa, uncle etc will have access to read -

kel said...

of course the alternative is to start a new blog and hide behind a stuffed animal

kel said...

ok - and that theory of yours . . . well, I was just getting worked up to rant about it and something distracted me ;)