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This is Why Parents Often Look Dazed

I took the boys to get their haircuts Saturday morning. We let them bring their Nintendo DS games with them so they have something to do while sitting still in the chair and while waiting for their turn in the chair. This time, Calfgrit8 was the first to take the chair, and Calfgrit12 sat on the waiting couch with me.

Within a minute of the stylist starting on CG8, CG12 got up and walked over to his brother. Now, to get there, he had to navigate through two other stylists and customers and the various cords dangling about at the chair stations. He spoke something to his brother, then made his way back to our couch. I didn’t realize what he was getting up for until he was already getting in the way. And it was too late to stop him after he was sitting back down with me.

Maybe a minute later, he got up again to go to his brother. I was distracted with reading at that moment, so, again, I couldn’t stop him before he was walking through the crowd. He again spoke to his brother, said, “OK,” then came back to sit on the couch. That “OK” made me think the conversation was finished.

But another minute later, he got up yet again. This time I stopped him. “Don’t keep going through everyone. Leave CG8 alone to get his haircut.”

He showed me his DS, and said, “But we’re playing together. I need to tell him what we’re going to do next.”

“Well then stop playing together,” I suggested. “You can’t keep walking up there. CG8 needs to stay still for his haircut, and you shouldn’t walk through everyone’s business.”

He gave me some explanation why they had to talk to get their game straight. I sighed, then gave him permission to go up one more time, to finalize things. But I also gave him directions to walk around the stations so as not to get in anyone’s way.

He went around as I told him to, talked to his brother, and then started back to our couch right through the work stations. I was about to scold him for walking back through the stations, but when he was only halfway back, he turned around and went back to his brother.

I slapped my palm to my face. Oh for the love of . . . !

When he came back, I did scold him for walking back through the crowd. His defense was, “But you told me to go that way to go to CG8.” He sat down next to me again.

A minute later, he got up again. But this time I immediately stopped him. “No!” I said. “No more going through everyone’s way.”

“But I’ll walk around,” he said.

“Still no,” I said. “Just sit here.”

He again explained why he needed to talk to his brother because they were playing online together.

I sighed. “Then stop playing together.”

“But if I stop, CG8 will wonder why I’m not helping him.”

“Then quit the game.”

“If I quit it will cut off his game too.”

“Just . . . geez . . . don’t . . . oh my God!” I was at my wit’s end with this. “Just sit here. Do not get up.”

A few seconds passed and CG12 shouted to his brother, “Sorry, CG8, Dad won’t let me play!”

“Don’t shout in here,” I said, barely below yelling at him. I was flummoxed. What in the world?

CG12 sat there and eventually got back into the game — without having to communicate with his brother.

A few more minutes, and it was time to swap turns in the stylist’s chair. CG8 came and sat with me, and CG12 went and sat in the chair.

To catch the problem before it came up, I immediately informed CG8 that he wasn’t to get up and go to his brother. I was still aggravated by having to stop his brother.

He bristled at me. “You don’t have to be so hard on me. Why are you being mean?”

Sigh. I apologized for my tone. But I repeated my instruction to not get up from the couch.

“OK,” he agreed.

A few moments later . . . “CG12! Let’s change games!” he shouted across the room.

My head a’sloded and I collapsed to the floor a quiver pile of insanity.


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