Sunday, May 20, 2012


They say that the best way to solve a weed problem is to get them by their roots. Really dig down deep, and pull them up where they start. And then do some "preventative maintenance" and install a good weed barrier.

Rinse. Repeat.

It’s a cinch when it’s rained the night before- mostly. They generally come up pretty easy- except for those insidious broad leafed ones that spread like wildfire, and whose roots are like an aspen grove. And it’s even more of a pain when your front yard is rock, and the weeds grow in between. But you still try to get em. And those that come up instantly are very very satisfying.

But those with the deep roots are a pain, and no matter how hard you pull, dig and will them out of the ground, they just stay stuck. And sometimes it’s hot. And sometimes you’re just tired. And sometimes there's a really good Lifetime movie beckoning.

So you take the easy way out and lop them off. As close to the roots as possible and enough so they are hidden by the neighbors. But you know full well that they will come back with a vengeance.
It's good for now. And those weeds won't kill you. You also know that it's going to be harder when they come back again.  You've calculated the risks and know the consequences.

It's the same with kids.

Sometimes those lessons that you try to instill are as easy as wet soil and a good yank. Brush your teeth, put your shoes in your closet, choose your own clothes, three books and bed, be kind to others. And you know full well when you're being played... no, those puppy dog eyes won't get you an extra dessert... no, that whine is not your ticket to an extra cartoon... yes, I know that dance is hilarious, but you still can't play with the I Phone… and ouch, that pinch in protest is still not getting you out of taking a bath.

But sometimes it’s just harder to get at the roots. That obvious conning to get more free time. That sneaking of the extra several M&M’s. That raging tantrum accompanied with flying objects and “you’re not my mommy anymore.” That sobbing devastation at the refusal to read yet another book.

You know that not tackling the behavior right now will result in it being more difficult the next time.

But still you cave.

You give the extra time, knowing you’ll be late. You pretend you didn’t see the candy lifting. You crack open one (or two) more books. And you reward the sobbing with cuddles and hugs.

You promise (again) to be stronger next time. To conscientiously install that protective barrier and finally stop the spread… on another day.

Besides, it’s hot, and I'm tired, and there's a really good Lifetime movie on.

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