Over the past few years, the arguments in our marriage have greatly changed because it is difficult to have an argument when we have a built in referee in our house. All of the experts, and our own instincts say, "Don't fight in front of your child," and Brandon has made sure that we abide by that principle.
The reason why I mention this today is I saw a great example of that dynamic on Friday. Shad went out to start the car before we left for his family's Easter dinner. Someone left the key turned slightly in the ignition and ran the battery dead. Here is what happened next...
Shad walks into the living room where Brandon (a.k.a our referee) and I were.
Shad (smiling with gritted teeth): Stephanie, how in the world do you forget and leave the key in the ignition!
Steph (smiling even bigger): I did not drive the car today, and you were the last one to drive it last night.
Shad: ohhhhhhhhh! Why in the world would I have left the key in the ignition?
Steph(still smiling): I don't know, but you did.
Here's how the same scene would have gone if our referee had not been there.
Shad (not smiling): Stephanie! How in the world do you forget and leave the key in the ignition!!!
Steph (smiling sarcastically): I didn't drive the car today, and you were the last one to drive it last night....ah check...and ah mate!
Shad (not smiling): Why in the world would you make this up about me!
Steph (doing my happy dance): You left the key in the ignition! You left the key in the ignition! You left the key in the ignitions!
Fortunately, our little referee was in the room, and we kept it nice just for him. Why are we so careful around him? Because if we slip up, he will call us out for it. About a year ago, Shad and I got into an argument in the car...in front of Brandon. (I know Dr. Phil and Dr. Dobson would not be happy)
Later that day, I was cooking with B, when he started in on me. "Mommy, that wasn't very nice of you today. You were not nice to my daddy. Mommy, we do not argue." I couldn't believe it. God used this then three year old boy to make me fell like a dog. He even used my own, "We don't argue," line on me. I wanted to tell Brandon, "But B, daddy did not use the right tone with mommy, and I really think Daddy started it." However, all that matters to the three year old is that you argued. Little did I know B had had the same conversation with Shad. I told B he was right and that I needed to apologize to Shad, and then Shad and I apologized to each other in front of Brandon.
I'm so thankful that Brandon is so vocal about no arguing, because it really keeps us accountable. So now Shad and I mind our Ps and Qs because we don't want to be called out by our little referee.