Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Stubbornest Boy

Once upon a time there were two brothers. Most of the time they got along famously. They played, they built, they schemed. But one night they didn't get along so well.

On this particular night, their mom was not feeling very well. She made dinner anyway, but after she put it on the table, she retired to her room for some Peace and Quiet. Since their mother was absent, the two brothers who usually got along famously figured there was no need for any manners, and they promptly began to call each other names.

When word got to the mom by way of the two brothers' little sister of the insults the two brothers who usually got along famously were hurling at each other, she called them into her room.

After a short lecture on The Importance of Speaking Highly of One Another, the mother instructed the two brothers to say something they loved about the other.

There was silence. So the mother, in all of her wisdom, rephrased the instruction making it very clear to the two brothers that they were to say one thing they liked about the other brother.

Still there was silence. The mother let the silence pass for a few moments before resuming her viewing of the nightly news. After a few moments, she stopped the news and once again prodded both brothers to consider stating one likable attibute of the other one. It was then the older brother, anxious to resume his play, stated that he liked the younger brother because sometimes he plays Legos with him.

"And what about you?" prompted the mother of the younger brother.

There was still silence. So the mom sent the older brother off to play, for he had been obedient and fulfilled the mother's request.

The younger brother remained silent.

The mom, weary and ill, sat back and resumed her observance of the day's events, occasionally stopping to ask the younger brother if he was ready yet.

He remained silent.

A couple of times, the mother called the older brother into her room and said to the younger brother, "Have you anything to say yet?"

The younger brother remained silent.

The mother even threw out a few threats, possibilities of missing out on the next day's bowling outing with the homeschool group, threats of that nature.

The boy remained silent.

At one point, feeling quite creative dangling at wit's end, the mother opened a Word document and typed in a fun font:

Dear [older brother],

I like you because

"There," she said to the younger brother. "All you have to do is type in one word, we'll print it out, and you can give it to your older brother." In all of her wisdom the mother knew that sometimes it is easier to offer written words rather than verbal ones.

The boy did not move. He just sat on her bed and remained silent.

The mother left to clean up the kitchen after The Dinner That Had Started This Whole Thing, instructing the younger brother to come get her in the kitchen if he was ready to tell the older brother what he liked about him.

She cleaned the kitchen and returned to her room.

Where the boy still sat silently.

By this time, one hour had passed.

So the mother watched Jeopardy, every so often asking the boy if he was ready to talk. The boy's older sister came in and promised him a lofty position in an imaginary game if he would just talk to his older brother.

The boy remained silent.

Finally, with visions of the boy spending the rest of his life in her bed with nary a word, the mother said, "You have two choices. You may tell your older brother with whom you usually get along famously one thing you like about him, or you can sleep alone in the playroom tonight."

The boy remained silent.

Until the mother announced, "OK, everyone, it's time to get your pajamas on and get ready for bed."

At which point the boy mumbled to his older brother, "I like you because you're funny."


tsinclair said...

wow...that is stubborn. Sounds like something one of mine might try, though I would have to pray for the patience you showed. :-)

Lauren said...

You know, it doesn't really matter how stubborn they are, as long as you are more stubborn!

Bunch of Barrons said...

Hilarious post...:) I, too, have a stubborn boy living in my house. He once held a mouthful of food *that he didnt want to swallow* in his mouth for 2 hours. Disgusting. :)

dclouser said...

Mom said I was stubborn like this, and so was Sarah, so it must be in the Pierce family line! Jacob is such a sweetie that you have to allow him one small vice, right?

CrossView said...

Not stubborn - just tenacious! ;o)

I've heard tell that I was a bit like that. Way back when, of course. I'm just sure I've outgrown it by now. But PLEASE do not ask anyone who knows me in real life. MmmK?

Teacher Mommy said...

Oy. That sounds like how I was. "But I DON'T love her and I'm NOT sorry!!!"

How I survived my childhood I'll never know.

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Wow! Impressive tenacity, that one! It sounds like a rather weary-ing (not really sure that's a word) evening for you. We had a miserable after-dinner episode here, as well. Something must be going around. Hope you feel better!

Arby said...

Well written.

Anonymous said...

I need to know what The Mother did/said after the boy mumbled his sentence. Did she let out a huge sigh? Did she laugh? Did she hug him? Did she ask him what on earth took him so long to come up with that?

What did she do??

Kathleen said...

Why, the mother giggled--despite the fact she was ill--and, with a straight face, said, "Now that wasn't so hard, was it?" and she sent the younger boy to bed. And then giggled some more when, two minutes later, she observed the two brothers getting along famously once again.

Kathleen said...

I feel I should mention that Cynthia@RunningWithLetters and I have privately made a deal: I'll accept her "weary-ing", and she will accept my "stubbornest".