So. I have this friend. Her name is Tee (Trisha). I may have mentioned her once or twice before. I like her. For various reasons. And our friendship has been through many tests. Not bad tests though, good tests. And we always seem to remain friends through it all.
A big test of friendship I always find, is travelling together. We have travelled a couple of times with a larger group of girls before, not everyone necessarily being close with one another. Just the two of us spent a week in Oxford and London. Four of us have spent time in Vegas. Tee and I have done little trips to Calgary. And all of these were successful tests, with the outcome being our friendship remained in tact. But we hadn’t done the hardest type of travel together…until last weekend. We traveled with our kids….du du duuuuuuhhhhh. AND WE ARE STILL FRIENDS!!
Yup, we loaded up her three kidlets with my one kidlet, and headed off to Fort McMurray to visit our dear friend Sarah. There were some tears, but nothing we couldn’t handle. And some loud singing and playing, but once we got to the city, we bought a case of beer and we were fine!!
Our very successful trip made me reflect back on why we did so well. First of all, I think it really helps that Tee and I are such close friends, which allows us to be brutally honest with each other. Secondly, I feel we parent similarly. I know Nick and I have asked Tee and her hubby for a lot of parenting advice, especially when Arrine was younger. And we both like to get the kids to bed and then have a beer. Or seven. And I love seeing how she handles situations so I can learn from her.
There is also a level of comfort between us. I don’t want to say that I have ever “disciplined” her kids. But I have “stepped in”. Now, I haven’t spoken to Tee about this yet, but this is a good way to open the dialogue. She has three kids. And can’t see them all at once sometimes. So if she is with another kidlet and I am with one who is going to slam their fingers in a screen door that opens fast, I am going to intervene and ask them to stop opening and closing the door without help. Or if I have heard Tee ask them to brush their teeth and they keep getting distracted with play, because that happens, I am going to ask them to join me and Arrine while we brush our teeth. I like to view it that we are open and honest enough with one another, that this is acceptable…I’ll guess I’ll wait to see what Tee says.
And maybe I am ok with this approach, because I would want her to do the same for me. If Arrine needed some guidance to get back on track, and Tee saw it but I didn’t, I would want her to step in. And I think she would.
I’m not about to give one of her children a time out, but I guess I treat them how I treat Arrine – without the “discipline”. And consider that a good thing…but maybe this is crossing the friend/kid line?