This is Kitty
“Uh – looks like fireman Lego with a Darth Vader Lego cape and falling off headphones.”
That’s what you think. Oh how wrong you are.
Kitty (and Kitty is the combination of Lego man and the cat – the unit is called Kitty) caused much conflict in our household last week.
I was dutifully cleaning up the dishes when I started to hear screaming coming from the area my kids had disappeared to (they always make themselves scarce when there is work to be done but someday soon they will be trained on dinner dishes).
I went to investigate and as I got closer the screaming became more clear.
“You’re an idiot!”
“No you are!”
“Get out of my room – you’re always taking my stuff.”
“Kitty’s mine! Give it back!”
As I rounded the corner, my youngest hurtled by clutching something in his hand. I reached out to grab him.
“What’s going on?”
I then proceeded to get a stereo synopsis of the current situation. The kids were fighting over Kitty.
I yelled STOP and I asked to hold onto Kitty while we figured things out.
The yelling continued and so I yelled STOP again.
I called a time out and said “Ok – we need to all calm down and then in 10 minutes we can discuss what is going on here, but we all need to get to a point to where we can talk and not yell. I can’t help you two figure out anything while you are yelling.”
So my kids went to their respective corners (not easily done). When my eldest is ramped up emotionally he needs ten minutes by himself in his room – actually, he needs 24 hours, but we’re working on 10 minutes so he doesn’t lose an entire day. My youngest on the other hand gets 30 seconds of screaming his head off all the while stomping and slamming doors. 30 seconds. Let me tell you, that’s fun but it’s what we have to work with. It used to be 3 minutes but we are whittling it down.
So – the kids had their time outs and I used that time to strategize and breathe before I had to become momma mediator.
Clearly not enough time.
I went back and we started to discuss what to do. Both kids wanted to play with Kitty. Both kids were convinced Kitty was theirs. So first we explored that scenario.
“How do we prove who Kitty belongs to?” I asked.
They started arguing over the set that Kitty must have come from. A fireman set? Seemed reasonable to me. Then they started arguing over which kid had gotten the fireman set. They tried to get me to be the deciding vote but honestly, I could not remember. I did the analytical thing – well, you – oldest child, did not like firetrucks – you liked Sponge Bob so in theory, it is more likely from a set belonging to youngest child. This led to much protesting by older child who explained that various bits had come from various sets which he had creatively put together.
Hmm – still stuck. They then decided to drag out every Lego manual they had to figure out where each piece had come from. We did this for a while until my oldest remembered he had taken a lot of the manuals to his dad’s.
All during this time, I was trying to help them think of solutions alternative to the “this is mine and therefore not yours.” solution.
We explored all the bits Lego man was made of up – could we find others that would be equivalent? Apparently not and there was only one cat.
Could they take turns using Kitty?
So then I tried to get each to see the other person’s point of view. I asked my oldest to explain what Kitty meant to him.
He started to explain the inspiration behind the creation of Kitty – he explained how he picked each piece and why they are a unit (I’ve since forgotten, but at the time, I could tell that my oldest felt huge pride in his creation).
As my eldest explained, my youngest rolled his eyes and made huffing and puffing sounds. I asked him to stop and listen. He would get a turn too.
He did get his turn. He basically repeated what his older brother said. He had created it for very similar reasons. (As an aside. he loves his older brother and wants to be just like him).
I actually do believe my oldest created it but I also have a very non-self aware youngest who honestly believes he created it.
After hearing the reasons from each about why Kitty meant so much, I wanted both kids to be able to play with Kitty. But they were still entrenched in their positional stances. I had hoped that after hearing each other out on what Kitty meant to each of them, they would figure out a way to either recreate Kitty in duplicate form or agree to share Kitty or even say “ok, you can have Kitty – I can see Kitty means more to you…”), but no such luck. They were still stuck and I had run out of ideas of how to help them.
I had to pull out the momma judge card.
“Well, it looks like we are going to have to have a custody arrangement for Kitty. I am going to hold onto Kitty overnight while I think about who gets to play with Kitty for the first play shift.”
And I’ve had Kitty ever since. He has been living in my car and riding around with me. I’ve become quite attached.