UPDATE: The Rule of Kind

Silly shvesters
Silly shvesters

A Kinder Kinder 

I thought now a good time to provide you all with some good, hard data anecdotal evidence on how we are doing as a family, with our one, single, solitary family rule: BE KIND. Some of you may recall this inspired post meant to get our little mishpocheh (family) out from under the tiny terroristic grip of Big and Little’s mood swings, urges and tantrums and back to the matriarchal quasi-control of the mamelehs (me and the Mrs.).

It was mid-August. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We were feeling the worst of the heat, reeling from the weariness of endless pool days and we had hit the ceiling on late night movies. The kinderlech (kids) and the Mrs. had become nocturnal. By the time I joyfully strolled up the Manor steps after a hard days work, it was batshit crazy with a capital BAT all hell had broken loose. We had grown accustomed to our tsuris (troubles). It was pure mishegas (insanity and chaos).

Dos leben iz vi kinderhemdel—kurts un bash. Life is like a child’s undershirt—short and soiled.

Shvesters and goodies
Shvesters and sugar

Be Kind. How f@cking hard is that to do? I knew we could do it. I believed. The first coupla’ weeks were exhausting and awful filled with tears, apologies and repetition of our golden rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind.

Siri, How long until something basic, simplistic, and all encompassing becomes a damned habit?

It’s a shondah (pity) how my Little and Big, such sweet little maidelahs (girls), put each other through fisticuffs, scuffles, scrapes and screeches. Glass shattering screams, pushes, slaps and hair pulling. (It’s almost as if they had watched old reruns of Dynasty from the ’80’s?) I cried me a river. So did the nextdoorikeh’s (neighbors).

Time went on, as it does. We stuck to our one rule. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Patience. We had such effing patience! We were so very, very virtuous with all of our patience. And then, it started. 

  • Listening ears, they listened
  • We heard ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ fairly consistently
  • ‘I’m sorry’ flowed from their tiny little mouths appropriately and sincerely
  • Random acts of kindness happened without begging, yelling, nudging, cajoling any parental prodding
  • When Little ate all of her marshmallows before the hot chocolate was ready, Big happily handed her a handful of hers
  • When Big cried about not wanting to take a shower, Little volunteered to take one with her
  • They shared
  • If one was in need, the other helped
  • When one hurts, the other says, Vu tut dir vai (where does it hurt)?
  • If we said clean your room, they did it together

It was working. Be Kind. Be Kind. Be Kind. Slowly and steadily our kinder (children) began to treat each other as if we were not behind the walls of the Manor, but as if we were in public and on their best behavior! They began to give one another the benefit of the doubt. My little bubbelah’s (term of endearment) were becoming menches (good, respected people) to one another. Loving shvesters (sisters), friends.

Shvesters plotting
Shvesters plotting

Now, I do not for one minute want you to think that we are all hotsy-totsy and blissful over here. We still have plenty of our moments. We will always have work to do and we still can be kinder, gentler, nicer and more empathetic. But so far, dos gefelt mir (this pleases me) very much! I’m kvelling (oozing with pride)!

Be Kind. Zeit gezunt (Be healthy)!

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The Rule of Kind

teeny, tiny terrorists disguised as dainty, delightful maidelehs (sweet little girls)
Do not be taken in by the glitter and glee. These are cute, covert, teeny, tiny terrorists disguised as dainty, delightful maidelehs (sweet little girls) that rob us of our sanity ❤

By midsummer, things were getting a bit unsteady around the Manor. When I’d get home from work, the Mrs., she would have ‘the look.’ You know the one. It’s mostly in the eyes, but her face, oy vey; it gets so ashen and screams of defeat. It’s as if her pupils’ turn into little waving white flags, I give! Uncle! Calgon, take me away!” (Note: if you are not living life as a baby boomer, Calgon was marketed to females only as the answer to life’s woes in the form of a bubble bath). It’s a strong tell for me that the Littles had spent yet another day as tiny behavioral terrorists, ignoring all forms of vocal messaging from the mother ship until things got bat-shit crazy. Tears have fallen from all six eyes, Gatsby hides under the bed, and then, only then, do apologies abound from two miniature mouths.

Life without the chaos routine of school and all it’s afternoon extracurricular activities was affecting us all. The Mrs. and me, we needed to lay down the law. While not outnumbered, and still holding a slight edge in altitude, we needed some household rules. Over dinner, a purely shpilkes (anxiety, ants in the pants kind of feeling) producing activity referred to in a past post, I broached the topic of developing martial law some guidelines to help us all through sanity our cohabitation. I needed ‘buy in’ fast, so I said to Little and Big, as I made those eyes to the Mrs., you know the ones that say please, please, please… just go with me on this, “You two get to set the rules on how we are going to get along. Mommy and Ema need your help.” I begged, “Think about it now and let’s discuss how this is going to work.” And the Littles, they spoke, excitedly:

  • Always listen to Mommy and Ema
  • Don’t interrupt when anyone is talking
  • Clean up after we play
  • Answer your questions and look at you in the eyes
  • Clean our room after our friends come over or we made a mess
  • Don’t hurt Gatsby, or pull his tail, or poke him or yank his ears or put our hands in his mouth
  • No kicking or hitting or spitting
  • Share more and don’t say ‘mine’
  • No screaming because we have neighbors
  • Don’t jump on the sofa
  • Say I’m sorry like we mean it
  • When Mommy and Ema say it’s bedtime, we have to get ready for bed

They do listen. They just don’t do. We both applauded their thoughtfulness and went about our evening foolishly thinking, we rocked this! And then two minutes later… not so much.

I sadly looked over all of our house rules, and then came up with an idea. At the next meal (Jews, we always have to eat while doing important things, or at least talk about where we will next eat, or what we just ate), I bring it up:

All of the rules we discussed are wonderful and I think there are too many to remember? Why don’t we start with just one rule?

  1. Be kind

And don’t you know, about two weeks in, we are living life so much better, with two simple words…

Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!
Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!

Now, mittendrinnen (in the middle of) this mishegas (craziness), my Mrs., she loses both her credit card and her bankcard. Now, was it not just two weeks ago when I shared with you the struggles of the missing wallet? Oy vey (sheesh). In a freakish, ominous ‘take 2’ moment, we found ourselves at the same movie theatre, to see the same movie, Pete’s Dragon. This time, the hooligans who found her goods were not as nice as the previous Good Samaritan. They bee-lined it to Best Buy and did some substantial ‘best-buying.’ Over $2000 worth… enough damage to give us our own detective!

We are now without a credit card or cash and are fighting fraud. Our frugalista status has reached a record new low. The Mrs., she is distraught in a new way. I remember it is not her fault.

There is a genetic marker on her very DNA strand, aligned with both her mother and her sister – a truly unfair predisposition to the mis-placement of important items. Latin name, ‘vitalgoneastrayitis.’ They suffer.

Me, I thankfully also remember our house rule, be kind.

A shtikel mazel iz vert merer vi a ton gold. A little bit of luck is better than a ton of gold.

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