Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Judo Of The Mind

To my son Tommy,

"I want to go back upstairs and get in bed!" you whined this morning as I tried to get you up and moving.  Really, how could I argue with that logic!  To be sure, it was not going to happen, but the sentiment was shared by you, me, and I bet even your mom.  I tried to explain how much fun you would have today with Pop-pop and Bwama.  I tried to reason with you that we all had to do things we don't like because of responsibilities.  I tried to plead with you for some cooperation.  But honestly your in depth argument of "Why?" just kept thwarting me because in essence I agreed with you that going upstairs and back to bed would be quite enjoyable.  This, however, was slowing down the morning routine to a crawl and your mother and I both had obligations and schedules to keep.  Luckily I am a black belt in what my father termed as "Judo of the Mind".  So I had to take your momentum that kept leading you to the steps and reverse the motion.  "I want to go back upstairs!" you whined again.  Sternly I said, "Tommy!  Get upstairs and go to bed!".  I had told you to do exactly what you were begging to do, but said it in a tone that made it seem like it was a punishment.  When you asked why, I explained it was because you weren't listening and to get upstairs right now.  Your tune changed as you now looked at going upstairs as a punishment.  You still whined and complained but you were now getting dressed and moving forward with the day.  By the time we got out to the truck, you and I were best of buds yet again.  Sometimes a father has to resort to underhanded tactics to accomplish just the basics of daily life.  Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind Brer Rabbit and Tom Sawyer were having quite the laugh near the briar patch next to the freshly painted fence.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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