Thursday, November 17, 2011

Someone Needs a Lawyer: The Infamous Bedtime and Homework Battle

You would think that bedtime would be the most peaceful time in my house, but in actually it is not.  Bedtime means that it's time to negotiate, and to find a way to make mom grant even five extra minutes. All manner of excuses have been employed, but last night Destruction tried a first that was so original, I simply had to share it with you.

Destruction was watching a movie (note: I have been specifically banned from telling you the title, and Sparky has made the same promise, on pain of death I might add), and I had to pause the movie to set up the PVR for the night, as the unhusband was out.  This of course meant taking away a few brief minutes of his official television time.  He reasoned that since I had used his time, that I owed him an extra five minutes.  When I rejected his suggestion, he decided to employ a new approach.

While this whole conversation was going on, he was aware that I was chatting with Sparky via skype.  Since Sparky is a lawyer, Destruction decided to interrupt my conversation to hire Sparky to argue his case.  Yes, my little man tried to bring in the big guns.  Apparently, the rules of precedent were supposedly on his side. I know that at the age of 10, fairness is a huge obsession with kids, but it is absolutely nerve wracking and quite frankly, a pain in the ass.

Apparently, in all of his experience arguing family law, Sparky has never been approached to argue in favor of an increased bedtime.  Considering that this is an issue the plagues most children, I must say that I was surprised.  Of course, being a lawyer, Sparky immediately started thinking about billable hours and the fact that Destruction would be paying in Canadian currency, rather than  his beloved British pound.  At the fee that he would be forced to charge, due to the current exchange rate, it quickly became evident that Destruction, despite the desperateness of his need, would not be able to afford Sparky's services.  You would think that due to the sheer need expressed by Destruction, that Sparky would have considered pro bono work, but apparently, this case did not meet his parameters. I suppose I should be thankful that Destruction didn't suggest taking me to The People's Court, because he wouldn't need a lawyer there.

I quite happily informed Destruction, that due to his lack of proper currency, that his request had been summarily denied. "But it's what's fair," Destruction whined.  I see this as a good life's lesson.  What's fair doesn't always happen, and just because your case is just, does not mean that you will get the services of a good lawyer.  Welcome to life my son.

In the end, because I was distracted, he did get his extra five minutes, however this wasn't the last of the bedtime drama. The one task I assigned him for the night, was to wash the crock pot, and so when I told him that it was time for bed, he creeped too quietly up the stairs.  He managed to hide away for about ten minutes, before I realized that the crock pot was still soaking in the kitchen sink. Fairness applies only to extending bedtimes, but it apparently does not apply to finishing chores.  This of course led Sparky to congratulate him on his sneakiness.  He wasn't moved enough by Destruction to argue his bedtime case, but appreciated him enough to congratulate him on his attempt to get out of doing his chores.

Most nights I chat with Sparky via skype, and he is well aware of my bedtime and homework battles.  He has heard the ear splitting screech and the desperate drive to convince me that writing four words is simply slave labour, and beyond contemplation.  He has heard that the cat apparently hid the homework books, and all of my desperate cursing under my breath. You would think that this would inspire even the smallest bit of sympathy, but no, the cruel heartless man laughs at my pain.  I don't even have a way to get even, as he is quick to point out that the atlantic ocean protects him. 

After some thought, I think he should work pro bono for me, and argue with the children about the wrongness of making their mother age prematurely.  Yes, that would be fair and justice.  I don't know who came up with the lie that children keep you young, but I challenge them to face one bedtime/homework battle with my kids, and see if they still feel like playing hopscotch, and saying the latest slang -- rather then inventing curse words, and invoking God for strength.