Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Art of Sitting

I actually forgot to take a picture today. My favorite picture from yesterday, recycled.

I've seen the Duggars interviewed several times on various news segments. I've watched in amazement as all 19 children sit perfectly still during an interview. Not once have I seen Duggar siblings scuffle during a Today show interview. Nor, have I seen Duggar toddlers darting around the set during a Fox News taping. I've sat mesmerized on the screen, jaw on the floor, wondering if the Duggars struck the genetic lottery and happened to get 19 perfectly calm children or was there some sort of training involved. Ms. Duggar provided my answer. She admitted during a television interview that she trains her kids to sit. The Duggar kids practice sitting. Genius.

It's funny, you'd thinking sitting (or standing) would be an ingrained skill. But, in my experience, for young males this is a skill that has to be developed and taught. I'd love for my boys to stand with me in the post office line without turning bubble wrap tubes into weapons and reenacting a Star Wars duel. Or, stand in the church hall without wrestling on the floor in front of their Sunday school teachers. (Purely fictional scenarios, of course!) During those moments, I think: why can't you just stand and do absolutely nothing. Is it really that hard?

Today, after a particularly physical and energetic period (when standing against the wall would have been the preferred method of passing time), I remembered my vow to train boys to sit. When we arrived home, I instructed all four boys (well, really three) to stand against the wall quietly, without touching/harming/harassing a brother. I set the timer for five minutes and watched.

You would have thought I asked them to swim the Atlantic ocean with one hand tied behind their back. They begrudgingly placed their backsides against the wall and glared at me. The wiggled, they dangled their arms dangerously close to their siblings, but they stopped with the threat of resetting the timer hanging over their heads.

At the end of five minutes, they leaped out of their positions and dashed around the house. I could almost hear the collective cries of freedom.

I'm happy to know they're physically able to be still, at least for five minutes. But, I'm thinking we'll need more practice.

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