So I ask the question: how does one neutralize the animosity between two trolls, when there is no school and little distraction during a looooooooong stretch of godforsaken holiday that is rendering their mother half-bald, and fully-insane?
This is a perennial problem only exacerbated by said holiday, natch, but there you go… still needs working out.
Had a chat yesterday with the smaller troll. On occasion she has been known to demonstrate a far wider understanding and deeper level of maturity than her four-years-senior brother — but since other occasions have also seen her throw The Tantrum To End Them All, there is no guarantee here. I approached the subject with my customary wit and charm, resisting the urge to scream “just listen and understand what I’m saying, goddammit!”, knowing that such an approach would be of little help in either the short or long run.
“Darling, come here and give me a hug.”
An eye-roll of Cecil B. de Mille-like proportions, a begrudging hug, and a wary look.
“Why, what have I done now?”
Oh, the cynicism of the young.
I reassured her that all was well, but stressed that I wanted her to think about her relationship with her brother. Her knee-jerk response was predictable enough to rival the clocks at Greenwich.
“It’s his fault, he always starts it!”
Finally, the long-suffering trollpappa and I came up with an incentive that seems to be working. We acquiesced to the constant clamour of “Can we get a dog? Please please please we want a dog can we have a dog we’ll look after it and take it for walks and feed it and everything we promise please can we have a dog please please please” with a promise to seriously consider getting a dog if the trolls can act like human beings to each other for 2 months.
Would you credit it, the thing is working. We have a daily chart, where they are each awarded a “V” (tick/checkmark), or an “X” — or a “Vex” (combination of the two) accoridng to their efforts in speaking to their sibling like a human being and reducing the stress level around here. I would not have credited either of them with the pateince or ability to be so civil — but they both have it, and apparently in spades.
The words “holy fuck” spring to mind. (Then I remember the curse fine tin in my kitchen drawer — to which is added five shiny new pennies each time anyone in the house curses by said person, myself included of coursem because I am, you will be astonished to hear, quite profane in a bordering-on-tourettic kind of way — and amend said phrase-spring to “Holy Moly!”) Is this too good to be true, I ask myself.
Update next week, promise.