The house of THIS or THAT

I don’t remember what parenting book it was that I read early on, but it made a huge impact on how residents of the Nirvana relate to each other.

The book stressed how important it was for children to have choices. These choices needed to be concrete and age-appropriately narrowed down.

I interpreted that to be a simple question of either/or

Ryan, would you like to do your math or phonics homework first?
eid, would you like to stay with your dad or come with me?
Rhett, would you like the blue or yellow cup?

Simple enough.
My choice of their choices.

I started noticing that the boys were doing the same thing back to me.
Simple enough.
Their choice of thier choices.

They use the technique in completely different ways.

Ryan is a master of the Multi-level Reward-based Either/or:

Mom, would you rather I do my math homework and then play the Wii or do my math homework and then play my DS?

The Extreme Sweeping Statement Either/Either is Reid’s favorite:

Mommy, would you rather I never go with you or stay here forever?

What brought this to my attention this morning was Rhett’s Non-sequitur Either/or at my bed this morning at 6:15 am with blue power ranger suit in hand:

Mommy I am starving! Would you feed me NOW or put on this costume on me?

I am a little worried that he isn’t aiming HIGH enough.
Breakfast around here is a given.
Donning a power ranger suit has high probability.

Every once in awhile he could try for an Either/And


  1. giardigno65 says:

    choices are important but is very hard !

  2. Do I want to post a comment or just lurk?

  3. Eudae-Mamia says:

    Must be Wheaties – that kiddo is buff!

  4. WeaselMomma says:

    My response to the kids disturbing what precious little sleep I get is. “You can either get out and leave me alone now or I will tell (insert random classmates name here) that you have a crush on them”. They usually leave and go start brewing a pot of coffee for me.

  5. Manic Mommy says:

    We are huge fans of the either/or: Would you like to take a bath or a shower? Do you want to put on the baseball pajamas or the Spongebob?

    I love that your boys have invented alternative scenarios.

  6. Four year old to me: “No! I won’t stop screaming! I am choosing to have a tantrum!” Gah.

  7. Deborah at Coco Bonbons says:

    Great post! I agree that choices for kids work great, and also helps prepare them to make choices as they continue through life.

  8. hahaha. That’s great.
    Why do our children have to get smarter? I long for the days when my word was law! Now, with a ten year old and a 7 year old, my word is bupkiss.

  9. i love when they dress up.

  10. Jenni Jiggety says:

    I live in the house of “This, This, This, AND This”…and that’s just me.

  11. I love that they are mimicing you. Hilarious stuff!

  12. Jennifer H says:

    I bet cereal tastes better in the Power Ranger suit, too.

  13. the planet of janet says:

    should i say something witty or just be lame, as usual?

  14. Threeundertwo says:

    Your way seems to work better than mine. I usually end up saying something like “would you like to do your homework now or would you like me to throw you out the window?”

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