My kids have been fighting like cats and dogs lately. And, oddly enough, this is not exactly normal for them. Even though they’re 12 and 9 and you’d probably expect them to fight like cats and dogs, they generally get along pretty well. They have their moments, of course, but for the most part, they’re pretty civil to each other.

But, lately, they walk in the door after school bickering. And they go to sleep at night bickering. And they bicker most of the hours in between. So, earlier this afternoon, Damon was ranting about something and Avery told him to “shut up.” So I yelled at her for telling her brother to “shut up.” Because that’s one thing that drives me (and Nick) crazy.

Fast forward to dinner… the kids and I are just finishing up, and Damon’s actually walking out of the kitchen into the living room when he tells his sister to “shut up” for some reason. Honestly, I wasn’t really paying attention and didn’t realize what he’d said, but Avery protested, “See?? Why don’t you yell at him when he tells ME to shut up???” So, I scream to Damon (who’s in the living room by now), “Damon, don’t tell your sister to shut up.”

And Damon immediately screams, “AVERY, SHUT UP!!!”

I was kind of taken aback by this. Usually he doesn’t deliberately disobey me so… blatantly. So I yell, “DAMON!?!?!” And he says, innocently, “What??”

I said, “I JUST told you NOT to tell your sister to shut up!”

He says, “Oh. I thought you said to tell her to shut up!”

To which I replied, “Really????” And then the kids and I all cracked up laughing. What else is there to do but laugh at that? He really thought I told him to tell Avery to shut up. Yeah, because that’s something I do often!!

Kids. They’re amusing… even when they’re infuriating.

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