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Parenting Imperfect

November 10, 2012

Despite all the fighting, sometimes the kids get along

(Continued)

The kids’ newest battleground is the car radio, which is a nice change, frankly, from all of the nonsense about whether the backseat armrest should be up or down. They don’t argue over the station — apparently, 103.9 is the only station to listen to and the protest when I change to NPR is mighty — but about who gets to sing along.

The Diva is of the opinion that no one should sing, especially her brother, because he “ruins it.” The Boy believes he should be allowed to sing because a) it annoys the crap out of his sister and b) he likes to sing. 

Lately, he also likes to listen to the radio in his room while he’s falling asleep. Usually, it’s pop songs, because Katy Perry is so soothing, I guess. Every now and again, however, he’ll come down and ask me to put Prairie Home Companion on, even though we’ve explained countless times that the radio doesn’t function like a DVR. 

My opinion on who gets to sing in the car is irrelevant. (But between you and me, kids singing along makes me smile, like we might have done something right as parents.)

There is no negotiating with either party, it turns out. I’ve suggested alternating songs, which would make both parties equally unhappy and was a non-starter. 

I’ve suggested Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as singing days with Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as quiet enjoyment days with Sunday subject to a coin toss. That was crazy talk.

I’ve gone through phases when I’ve decided to let the market sort it out, which leads to Congressional levels of shrieking and slapping. I’ve turned the radio off, which had the same results.

The issue, of course, isn’t the radio qua radio; the issue is that I can’t do much about what’s going on in the backseat when I’m driving. I could pull over, I guess, and refuse to move until they stopped acting like poo-flinging monkeys but our daily drives are so short that stopping for five minutes to referee would effectively double our time spent in the car. Which is silly.

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Parenting Imperfect

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