Melissa Wiley has had some readers commenting on stupid kid arguments. Her kids had been fighting over the dryer lint! But other people's kids have fought over things even more inane than that...like the two kids fighting over imaginary goggles. I can't possibly top that.
But the thread did recall a most amusing argument that occurred over two years ago between Billy (then age 4) and Katie (then age 3). We were on a road trip which meant that my tolerance for such bickering would normally be very low. We had stopped at a gas station so Fritz could use the toilet. Katie started talking about one of the buildings nearby and referred to it, incorrectly, as a "house." Billy told her it was a "store." Back and forth they went: "HOUSE!" "STORE!" "HOUSE!" "STORE!" When Bill and Fritz returned to the car, he opened his mouth to silence it, but I stopped him - motioning that he should just listen.
Billy brought Fritz up to speed on the "discussion," and so he began to assist Billy with convincing Katie it was really a store and not a house. They used logic, pointing out that people didn't live there, it was a building wherein things were sold. They tried a forceful argument - shouting as loudly as they could. Thank goodness they were little and tightly buckled in or things might have come to blows.
Katie, even though she was only three, was not ignorant. She had realized early on that it really was a store. But she was apparently too proud to admit her mistake to her older brothers. She stuck with "house". After a bit more, she realized she had both brothers in quite a snit, and kept arguing just for the fun of it. I know this to be true, because eventually the discussion went something like this:
"Katie, it's a STORE...say, STORE."
"Come on, Katie, say ST-OOORRRRE."
"No, Katie, STORE."
"Try harder, Katie, STORE."
My husband spoke up from the driver's seat. "What can't you say, Katie?"
I don't know who laughed louder: Bill and I or the boys who couldn't believe that Dad could trick her so easily. They tried to do the same thing, but she went back to her "st-house" routine. "Do it again, Dad," they cried, and he might have done it. But since they now realized it was not an educational oversight that had her convinced a store was a house but rather that their little sister had managed to get them all worked up for her own amusement, the talk in the car quickly turned to other things like how much farther, what time is it, and what snacks do we have.
My initial instincts had been to squelch the debate from the beginning. After two or three rounds of "HOUSE!-STORE!" I was preparing my lungs for a loud, "CUT IT OUT!" I'm glad I was able to restrain myself (and Bill), because two years later the scene remains at the top of our funny road trip conversations.
I also understand now how my mom seemed to be "car-deaf" when we were kids. Smart moms go out and get one of those magic, invisible, sound-wave repulsers and install it between the front seats and the rear of the vehicle!