How (not) To Argue with a 6-Year-Old
Don’t You Rebut Me!
Help! I’ve Fallen Down a Rabbit Hole and Can’t Get Up!
I’m sorry I was speeding, Officer. Here’s my license, registration, and a transcript of the conversation I’ve been having.
This is an actual conversation I had with Luke today in the car, augmented only with the thoughts and subtext happening in each of our heads. I ought to get a video camera in my car. “WTF on the Road.” It would be a bigger hit than that taxi quiz show. It’s like he knows I write a blog and need material.
Luke: (baiting me)What is arguing? How do you do it?
me: (not gonna take that bait) You can’t be serious.
Luke: (but look at my shiny bait!) Yes I am. I don’t know how to argue.
me:(tastes the bait. just a bit.) Honey, you are the leading expert on arguing. I’ve never known anyone who can argue more.
Luke:(yay! it’s go time!) That’s not true.
me: Trust me. It is.
Luke: No! I don’t argue a lot.
me: (urg! I took it. I took the fucking bait!) We’re arguing about this right now.
Luke:(and away we go! wheee!) Well it’s YOU arguing with me! So YOU argue more than anyone I know. So HA!
me:(I am an adult. I will not do this. ) OK. I suppose we do argue together quite a bit. Point taken.
Luke:(nice try. I see your ‘adult’ and raise you an obnoxious 6-year-old with nothing better to do.) No. Not together. Just you.
me:(DON’T ENGAGE. I REPEAT, DO NOT ENGAGE!) Uh-huh. Well, you seem to like to disagree with everything I say. Ever. (can’t help myself)
Luke: No I don’t.
me: (oh it’s ON!) Luke, if I said, ‘The sky is blue,’ you’d disagree and say “It’s not ALWAYS blue!”
Luke: (gotcha!) Well, it’s not always blue. It’s not blue right now over there, or there. See?
me: (OMG. he got me. I fell right back into that rabbit hole of his. damn he’s good!) Right. It’s not always blue. But that doesn’t mean that I’m wrong to say that the sky is blue. (rein it in. there is no good ending to sky color arguments. rein.it.in.) Anyway, the sky isn’t the point. It was just an example of how you can argue about anything. (teachable moment! watch out, kid, here comes some parenting.) Let’s think about the conversation we’re having right this second. Do you feel like you’re trying to disagree with me just so that you can be right and I can be wrong?
Luke:(don’t try to teach me, woman.) No. You’re wrong about the sky without me doing that.
me:(good game, son. good game.) OK. So what was it you wanted to know about arguing?
Luke:(good game, mom. can we do it again?) I don’t know how to do it.
Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall. My life is an exercise in crazy.