Me: Beaumont. The ball is right beside your foot.
Beau: I know that.
Me: Then why aren’t you picking it up?
Beau: Why aren’t you coming to get it while I munch on some grass?
Me: Because you’re not supposed to eat grass?
Beau: And you’re not supposed to criticize, condemn and complain.
Me: I’m not criticizing you. I’m just saying you shouldn’t be eating grass.
Beau: Hmmm…. and now you’re ‘shoulding’ on me?
Me: Can we please just continue our walk?
Beau: Do you promise to stop criticizing and shoulding on me?
Me: Beau. I’m not!
Beau: Then why are you being so defensive?
Me: I’m not being defensive. I’m just stating a fact.
Beau: And if I were to tell you the fact is… it FEELS like you’re criticizing me. What would you say to that?
Me: I’d say build a bridge and get over it.
Beau: Louise. Louise. Louise. what did you recently say about that phrase?
Me: Ummm…. (sheepishly) That it wasn’t helpful. That if someone is in distress, telling them to ‘get over it’ doesn’t feel very kind nor is it constructive.
Beau: Which begs the question… why are you saying it to me now?
Me: Because I want to keep walking?
Beau: So, you only live by your own words if it’s convenient to you?
Me: (sighing) It’s just a figure of speech Beau. It doesn’t mean anything.
Beau: My oh my. You hoomans are soooo…. confusing. If it doesn’t mean anything, why say it?
Me: (sighing big time) Because I really, really want to keep walking.
Beau: Then why don’t you just say that?
Me: (more big sighs) Dearest Beau…/
Beau: Let me interrupt you right there. Without the eye rolling and sarcasm please.
Me: (stifling my urge to sigh) Can we keep walking please?
Beau: Will you please come get the ball.
Beau: (smiling innocently) Yes Louise?
Me: (sighing for real) Will you stop eating grass?
Beau: (smiling sweetly) Will you ever stop having to eat your words?
Sigh. And so it goes. I cannot win a conversation with Beaumont and he keeps doing what ever he wants.
What a dawg!
Beau: I am quite special aren’t I.
Me: Yes Beau. You are.
Beau: So now that we’ve got that straight, what would have been a better response than telling me to build a bridge?
Me: Demonstrate my concern for your eating grass?
Beau: Which sounds like…
Me: (sigh) Beaumont. I notice you’re eating grass. Is something bothering you?
Beau: Nope. I’m good.
Me: (I can ‘see’ the trap but can’t avoid stepping into it) Then why are you eating grass?
Beau: Because I want to.
End of conversation.
my friend ‘Annie from New Jersey’ who taught me that phrase would get a kick out of Beau’s response – but sometimes bridges aren’t to built, or blown up, but rather used to connect to distant points. Points of place, points of view or points on the top of people’s heads!