One day, when my children were little, they wanted to do something they were not allowed to do and I informed them of this.
ìBut why can't we? Why? Why? Why?î
OK, now husbands please pay attention to this next bit, because the answer I gave is so far from the correct answer it is not even on the same continent.
With my young children questioning why a certain rule is in place, I responded, ìLook, I don't make the rules around here, alright. Your mom does.î
Warning! Warning! You have just foolishly stepped into the how-to-make-your-wife-madder-than-a-fat-guy-at-a-salad-bar zone.
Upon hearing my answer ñ which was said before I really thought about it - the Missus turned an interesting shade of red. The vein in her forehead was not only pulsing, it was taking on Incredible Hulk-like proportions.
For a brief moment I was mesmerized by what was happening, but that fascination quickly turned to a sense of 'I think I just screwed up.'
I was right, I did screw up.
I knew I had made a mistake of epic proportions and quickly filed the information under the don't-ever-do-that-again category ñ with a big read sticker on it, flashing lights and siren should those words ever attempt to escape from my vocal chords again.
I have been known to be a little on the sarcastic, smart ass side of life and this is one of those times it did not bode well for me.
It was an attempt at humour, but it was an attempt that failed, resulting in a closed-door 'discussion' with my better half.
The Missus was not impressed that I would make her the bad guy, er, gal, and blame her for being such a stick in the mud and creating all those rules that were repressing our little ones.
She failed to see the humour for some reason. Needless to say, the Missus was not too thrilled with the man she chose to be her lawfully wedded spouse until death do us part.
And if looks could kill, the parting would have happened and the young 'uns would likely have a new daddy right now because the original daddy didn't know when to shut the hell up.
You see, kids will believe pretty much everything you tell them ñ when they are young anyway ñ so the Missus did not want the sproggs blaming her for all the silly rules in our home, like brush your teeth before going to bed, no chocolate before breakfast or no setting things on fire.
It is very important for a parental unit to be united when it comes to setting rules and enforcing those rules and apparently I broke that iron-clad bond when I blamed mom for all those rules I was talking about.
ìParenting is a partnership. We are in this together. We must be united, and if you say that again you will find out how comfortable it is to sleep in the shed in January,î was sort of how my wife explained the situation.
Of course, now that my children have reached their teen years it does not matter what I tell them because they know everything there has ever been, or ever will be worth knowing.
When the children are young, parents must be united on matters of discipline so the children grow into fine adults. When they are teens, parents my be united as a survival tactic more than anything else.
United we stand, divided we end up debating our teens about why they cannot leave their room in a state that most civilized nations would declare a disaster zone.
And the Missus was absolutely right in building a united front when they were younger, because that united front will get tested when the kids are older.