Calling cousin Nathan

Two weeks ago, on what would have been my brother Billy's 48th birthday, I told Palmer that he needed to talk to Nathan, Billy's son. I called over there and spoke to Nathan's mom for a while. Palmer started getting impatient, wanting my attention, and I think a bit hungry also. Anyhow, unlike the long conversations Nathan and Palmer have had on the phone on several occasions, this conversation was a disaster. Palmer refused to say anything, started off the conversation with a big whine, "How long is this going to take anyhow??" My response was not ideal: I threatened him with a timeout if he did not talk to his cousin.

So this weekend, on Saturday, it was the two year anniversary of my brother's death. I of course made it a point to call his widow (Nathan's mom), and we arranged to have Palmer and Nathan chat the next morning.

I do not know if all children are like this, but my Palmer has a very good memory. And it was immediately clear to me that his memory of our spat from two weeks ago was still fresh in his mind. In fact it seemed as if no time had elapsed at all. Because as soon as I mentioned calling Nathan, Palmer's mood changed to whiny and complaining. He was setting up for another show down, I was sure.

Thankfully, the battery on the phone died, and the phone call was therefore postponed.

I am wondering what I need to snap us out of this pattern. It worked well when they spoke on the phone while I was driving, so maybe I will try that again. At any rate, I will not hand him the phone in the kitchen with a statement along the lines of "you need to speak to your cousin."


William said…
You're sweet to have them chat with each other. To test whether Palmer is a "contrarian" try this..."Honey, I've got Nathan on the phone, but I don't think you should talk with him now"
Ko-Leen said…
my kids will not talk to anyone on the phone. even Kasperusually only holds a conversation long enough to find out when they can meet up.
I think they might get this from me :(

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