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Behaving like Tom and Jerry

June 2, 2010 - Jennifer Brookens

"You always take his side!" my daughter complained after the most recent pushing/shoving match between her and her little brother. It wasn't what I was in the mood to hear, especially since I just got done listening to similar sentiments from a grown-up.

People clash, that's just a fact of life. And in a small community those things get amplified. The most recent incident I found myself in the middle of sadly reminds me more of a Tom and Jerry cartoon: person A has found the Achelles Heel of person B, and person A has made it their new hobby to poke that sore spot of person B with a stick whenever there's an opportunity. Just like the little mouse Jerry trying to either pull one over or just annoy the cat, Tom. Through a series of follies and, well... cat and mouse games, the cartoon ends with the cat in the dog house while the mouse snickers up his sleeve.

Normally, I try to avoid the personality-driven "he said/he did" conflicts. But when these anctics spill over into the public eye, it can no longer be ignored. Then I'm the bad guy whose taking sides...

"Well he started it when he moved his..."

"He's the one that stomped in and..."

This is the same set-up I hear with my kids. Who broke it, who made the mess... This is when Mama yells, "I DON'T CARE, JUST CLEAN IT UP! Person A, stop poking Person B with a stick. Person B, take some deep breaths and count to 10. And if' you're still mad, do it again."

Please, we're supposed to be the grown-ups setting a good example. Don't make me come back over there...


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