Yin and Yang at the table. Or better: why I’m the bad cop in the mornings. Today it’s mom’s turn again!
Every family has its morning rituals. And woe if the delicate gears of this mechanism are somehow disturbedby something or someone. Even the best relationships can be put to the test. I’ll just say: "good cop, bad cop"
"In the morning, my husband seems like my third son," Ben and Elsa’s mother tells me at the playground. And her neck gets red spots. Interesting.
"Should I tell you about a typical morning at our house when dad works at home?" she asks me. "He's so relaxed! He gathers the children calmly around the breakfast table, has them sit on his lap and reads them a book. A book each. The children are delighted and always want more. "Dad, will you play Lotti Karotti with us?" And do you know what he answers?". "Yes," I say, "I can imagine. He accepts."
"Ah, the famous good cop, bad cop routine" interjects Liv's mother as she picks up toys from around her feet. "I know it, too. In those moments, you can only lose. You’re evil personified with a brush in your hand. And the children run to daddy ". Welcome, Liv’s mother, to our world.
And it’s just like that: I, too, in the morning, am often evil personified with an eye on the time, comb, socks, sweater, shoes, backpack and toothbrush in hand. I am a ticking bomb, one that not only has to take the children to day care or kindergarten on time, but also get to work before noon. It’s a struggle against windmills. Lotti Karotti is stronger than I am.
But there is also a way to turn the situation around. I call my husband: "Since you're sitting with them, why don’t you get them ready and take them to day care, OK? Here you go; here are the clothes I’ve prepared. Don't forget to comb their hair and brush their teeth. You need to give Maxi nose drops too. And on the way back, please stop by Lidl and buy something for lunch. I'm going to work". From the kitchen, I hear a stressed tone "OK, kids, one last time and then we get ready."
My husband stands in front of me with a reproachful look: "I have to work, too" and disappears into his study.
"And you know what? I admire my husband. For his lightness of being, for his boundless patience, for his stoic tranquillity when it comes to what others do or don’t do or think about him. If only I could be even remotely like him... But the bad cop and the good cop are a bit like Ying and Yang, or black and white ;-)