It happened a little earlier than expected, but your mother and I finally started a series of fights about how to best raise a living thing in our care. It shouldn’t have been surprising given that puppy-rearing and child-rearing aren’t that different in theory – both involve too much patience, a lot of frustration, and opinions.
Your mother and I think and communicate differently. In moments of calm and peace, like while I’m writing this, I will shower our relationship and those differences with adulation – “Opposites attract,” “We help each other understand a different perspective,” “It’s healthy to approach things in different ways”….
But when that moment of pure frustration strikes, and it’s usually just around the corner when it comes to potty-training, everything plus the kitchen sink goes out the window. The thoughts that take over:
- “Why does he not listen to me?”
- “Why does she think that’ll work?”
- “He’s contradicting himself.”
- “She’s not making any sense.”
- “He’s being mean.”
- “She’s so sensitive.”
- “He’s not listening to me.”
- “She can’t let go of what I said in the past and focus on what I’m saying right now.”
- etc., etc., etc.
The thoughts and feelings tied to these types of fights are very similar to the thoughts and feelings of our fights general. On the plus side, I’ve found that these rearing-opinion-related fights are shorter-lived because I come around a lot quicker (your mother may disagree) when it comes to ceding my point or trying to comfort her.
Why, you ask? Because I will look over to Kili and remind myself that your mother and I are both aiming for the same goal, that we’re both trying to do our best for her. When I keep that thought in my head, everything else – the pride, the logic, the competitive nature to win an argument – all just melts away. The only problem is that I have a hard time cultivating that particular thought in on an ongoing basis. So when it’s time for Fight Club, it takes some time for that thought process to kick in.
I hope you’re able to do your part for the family – be low maintenance, easygoing, and not fussy – it would go a long way in preserving my sanity and disputes with your mother. Fingers crossed.