I bond with my children by holding them hostage
I took a little time to myself. If you missed me, I’m sorry.
I was busy snuggling my minions under a purple Korean mink blanket while we watched Netflix. Which was well deserved because I basically ripped their lives apart and reassigned them rooms without consulting them first.
A room can be a part of a person identity, no matter how big or how small. This is the one part of the world that is of their own making. It seems like such a small space to covet. To have someone rip it away from them, even someone they love, can bring on a range of emotions. Neko was angry because he had claimed the largest room in the house a year ago, and now he was moving to a room that was smaller. During the move he wouldn’t talk to me. I kept telling him it would all work out, but he wouldn’t let himself trust me. Finally, I pointed out to him that if he wasn’t going to spend time in his room then it should be given to someone who will use it. Wait. What am I saying? I’m pretty sure the only reason he was holding back his desire to Force Choke me was because his dad was there.
To make it all work, Neko’s room was the first to be disassembled. The loss hit him the hardest. He had just rearranged the room for his new Playstation4, now he had to figure it all out again. His siblings not so much. The girls were excited about moving back into the same room again. Their pirate ships took a couple tight turns before they were safely docked.
Pleased by acquiring this spacious port they soon faced a dilemma of their own. They had traded 2 closets for one… and they were not used to anyone else being in the room when they dressed. They panicked until I explained they could both look at the wall while getting dressed. “How will we know when we are done?” Talk it out ladies, use your words.
The frustration and worries came over moving Lil Man, who had the messiest room. Unknowingly he would benefit the most from moving into a smaller room. In the meantime, we discovered hidden candy wrappers and underwear with enormous brown stains. Did that mean he had an accident and covered it up? We were filled with apprehension and disgust as we tore through the rest of his pile to find proof of his deeds. Thankfully it turned out to be melted chocolate. Whew
There came a point when everyone was tired. The hour was late but I would not let them go. If we stopped now, where would everyone sleep? It’s hard to keep everyone stay on task when they cannot seem to see the same vision as you. It was time for a break, but a break is worth nothing unless you all agree when to reconvene. So I made a second “dinner” at 11pm. Our rest achieved and our spirits renewed we tackled the remaining steps.
The move was entirely a team effort. Every person needed to stay busy. They each needed to do something to help with the transition. If they complained and said it was too hard… if they forgot and became distracted with a book or a played with a rediscovered toy… if they forgot to do their part, everyone in the next room tearing apart furniture and prepping their belongings would be stuck.
When it was all said and done, everyone smiled. They could not see it working out, and now here was the proof it had. The rooms were each of a different size so there was no way to fairly assign the same space to each. Despite that, each room now fits the current occupant for their needs. Including Neko. In the end he lost 6 square feet, but he still managed to redesign the space to his liking.
Now I must admit. Moving everyone in this manner has been a part of my plan for some time. I simply was biding my time when I knew it had a better chance of coming together. I wanted to make room for either a family friend to live with us or I wanted a game room. Certain things fell apart and I waited until I knew that moving the rooms around was best for everyone. The weekend before Thanksgiving was perfect timing. I may not be allowed to decorate for Weihnachten until after we have had turkey… but there is nothing that says I can’t get ready for it! Come on crew! We need space for a tree!
The moment presented itself and the game room idea won by a majority vote. Guess who the one person against it all was? I mean can you blame him? He felt he had the most to lose by this arrangement. How was it fair that he had to give up his room to his sisters? Neko did come on board after his room came together and he realized that I wasn’t trying to ruin his life. Once he changed his perspective on the situation he decided his new room was perfect. Turns out he may get a better internet connection in his new room.
Now he complains there is no room for a dog to sleep in his room. He bemoans we could have saved the life of a rescue dog… oh if only we had not moved him! What is he talking about? There is no room anywhere in this house for a dog!
Besides being an evil mother for not allowing my kids to have a dog at this point in our lives, I am making it sound like a happy and fair arrangement. Look at how I let them vote on the idea… blah blah blah.
If you remember I started this off by saying how I ripped their lives apart. That’s because I had them tell me what they expected or hoped to gain from the move… but I did not tell them what would have to happen to achieve that goal. Why? Sometimes minions will balk at the idea of hard work. If someone thinks the experience will cause them to suffer in any way, their human nature will do everything to fight it. Even if it can pave the way for the things they want. It can create a short circuit and genuinely hurt feelings.
As the Good Idea Fairy, I am not a stranger to the idea that my loved ones will be against the idea… initially. In the end, it is my job to make a decision that is not only in the best interest of individual family members but also what is in the best interest of the family.
It’s hard to make a move of this level without everyone being properly motivated. You can’t push people to do something they really don’t want to do. At least not without hurting your relationship with them.
What you can do is help them find a reason to get excited about the change. For a better chance of success help them to find the level of participation they are willing to contribute at. Make sure to take the time to let them know that you appreciate each of them. Then repeat that ten times.
If we were not content to spend the day in the comforting arms of our purple blanket, what would be a better way to show appreciation?