Separate But Equal

We have these two place mats in our house — one is Spider-man and one is Mater. Our boys fight over them with the fervor and vigor of a pair of UFC heavyweights.

We have these two bath towels for the boys in our house — one is shark and the other is a pirate. Our boys fight over them with the fervor and vigor of a Republican opposing Obamacare or a Democrat opposing tax cuts for the wealthy.

And this happens every Christmas morning — one boy gets a toy that the other one thinks is cooler than anything Santa brought them. Then, they fight over that toy with the fervor and vigor of a boy jealous of his brother. That is some serious fighting.

It’s gotten so bad that my wife & I, tired of constantly mediating needless disputes between a 5 and 3-year-old have decided on a drastic course of action. We’re appealing to those people working towards settling the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program for help. We figure if Secretary of State John Kerry and his team can solve that persistent, divisive and potentially deadly issue, they can take aim at this one, too. It has all the elements — territorial disputes, sneak attacks and two fierce combatants who show no signs of relenting.

And I could see it one day turning deadly.

If we can’t engage a top-notch or high-level mediator, I’m leaning towards the “separate but equal” theory. It goes like this — if we buy a toy or something cool for one child we will buy the exact same thing for the other. Separate toys but absolutely equal, in every way. Sure, it lacks creativity and spontaneity and it will turn our kids into automatons but it sure will make things much easier on us.

There really is no solution, though, except time. And maturity. Each of our children act like, well, children when they don’t get their way or get what they want. We try to do the “every other” theory, meaning one day the oldest gets the Spider-man placemat and the next day his brother does. But that gets tricky because the usually brain dead mom and dad can scarcely remember to pay the household bills, let alone keep track of who used which placemat or towel the day before.

What about sharing, you say? Ha! They understand sharing about as well as I understand Mandarin.

So, separate but equal it is. It may be the easy way out. But it will keep my wife and I sane.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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