One afternoon, the boys tackled each other repeatedly as they sprinted over furniture in the living room. My husband and I sounded like broken records as we called out. "Stop tackling your brother!"
"Hey! Quit jumping on the couch!"
"You guys are going to get hurt!"
All our practical "suggestions" went in one ear and out the other. The boys continued to race around the house as if they had been given espressos and a brand new puppy. Suddenly, we heard a crash. Then, a little voice began to cry. Son #1 sheepishly peered around the corner as Son #2 jumped up and down sobbing hysterically. My husband and I listened sympathetically to their sad and dramatic story. We nodded our heads and furrowed our brows. When our sons were finished telling their story, we lectured them on the importance of obeying your parents. (See requests above.) The boys hung their heads as we asked them the final question. "Are you going to obey next time we tell you to stop the monkey business?"
"Yes." Son #1 replied quietly.
"Yeth." Son #2 echoed.
"Good! Now stop running around the house." We stated firmly.
The boys walked to the living room and began to quietly play with their cars. Soon, they were investigating the jogging stroller parked in the entry way of the house. Son #2 climbed into the seat. Son #1 buckled the harness gently. Then, Son #1 began to push his younger brother around the living room. One thing led to another and soon the boys were flipping through channels looking for cartoons. Lingering tears trickled down Son #2's right cheek. All of a sudden, a cartoon with colorful, singing fish in an underwater world appeared on the screen. Son #2 laughed aloud as his tears disappeared. Son #1 poked his head into the stroller and quipped observantly. "I guess diving shows make babies happy when they get hurt."