Quarantimes Week 13: Battle of Wills

June 10th, 2020

We have been battling wills with our five-year-olds.

Let’s just say that listening is not their strong suit. Over the weekend, Jon decided to try a new thing where any time a daughter ignored him, he asked her to sit down for 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes he’d ask her to reflect: “Do you know why you are in time out?”

For instance, Eliza is standing in front of the open fridge popping grapes into her mouth and staring into space. He asks her three times to close the door. She ignores him. So he asks her to sit down in the other room.

Five minutes later: “Do you know why you are in time out?”

Eliza responds, emphatically: “Because I like grapes.”

So that’s how that’s going. Tracing a line between actions and consequences is challenging. Time out doesn’t work. Reasonable language, sadly, does not work either. Threats and bribery work, but they backfire. Because they learn almost exclusively from us, I have noticed, they now attempt to bribe and threaten me right back: “I’ll get dressed if you give me a banana pop.” No bueno.

I’m also in a stalemate with them over what they wear to climb trees and slackline outside in the summer. In the last two weeks, Eliza has endured so many black fly black eyes and swollen ears I have lost count. Right now, there are two slowly subsiding spider bites on her back and inflamed rashes and scratches up and down both legs. I beg my daughters, daily, to wear leggings or at least shorts under their sundresses. But they insist upon regular underwear (and that’s a compromise — they would prefer none).

At some point, with five-year-olds, you have to pick your battles, even if it means they have bug bites in private places.

On the other hand, they are extreme toughies, these girls. When Eliza finished her venom therapy, I wanted to do something special for her, so I ordered her this sundress and asked my mom to embroider her name on it. My mom, ever the creative genius, did this. Sniff.



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What I’m reading:

Just finished the incredible book Sapiens and am now returning to Girl, Woman, Other to give it one more go. I really want to like this book. It won the Booker. But the disjointed writing style is hard for me.


When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again on the New York Times

Our masked future — precisely why I am not keen to send my kids back to school with masks on, although I realize I will probably have to.

What I’m listening to:

This mesmerizing singer LP is blowing my mind right now.

What I’m eating:

The first spinach from our garden!

The first spinach from our garden!

What I’m working on:

For Box: Secure Remote Work

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