Here is a fool-proof parenting tip, Gentle Reader, which I have never come across in all my ramblings on the internet. Even if you don’t have kids, I encourage you to read it, as a/you may some day have some, and therefore be in the Dire Straits of parenting, and then you will need this tip, use it, and remember the wise and humble newcomer woman b/you may know people who have kids, in which case you should share this with them, and bask in their glow of gratitude and joy.
Anyway, here is the tip. Say it’s Sunday morning, and the kids are clamouring for your attention. Or just incessantly nagging and bickering at each other in that endless way kids have- the way that wants to make you smash your head against the wall. They are bored, and they want you to do something fun. They have been watching cartoons all morning since they got up at 6 am, and now its only 10:30, and the long Sunday looms ahead of you. It is rainy and cold. The house is littered with the ruins of the week past. What do you do?
You start barking orders, asking them to do chores. “Princess- come and pick up you clothes! Golden boy, your boots! The lego! The pencils!”
Like magic, as if Rumpelstilskin has visited your house and sang an enchanted tune, the kids will vanish before your eyes. The little quarrels and back-and-forths will die down. You can hear the sound of their happy playing, like model siblings in a magazine, from a far-off room. The chores will not be done, obviously, but there will be peace in the house, punctuated by the distant sound of happy laughter and chat.
Go ahead, try it. It’s not even noon yet. You’re welcome.