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In a random and quick thinking attempt on my part to mediate an argument between Bryce & Quinn on who would get to play with a paperclip one of them found on my office floor, I casually (but in that firm dad voice that everyone in the household laughs at and ridicules respects) told them that one could play with it first, and when I said “switch” the other one would get to play with it.

After a couple of minutes I said “switch” and Quinn immediately gave the paperclip up to Bryce. A few minutes later, another “switch” and back it went to Quinn without any objections. Chuckling to myself at my ingenuity, I thought I had found a way to easily diffuse disagreements on who gets to play with whatever object is being argued about. And it worked! Every time I tried it!

Little did I know at the time how this would boomerang back in my face. The basic rule of law on the Fringe is that the things we like to do are privileges. Bedtime stories, watching Larry Boy videos, chocolate milk for snack, music at bedtime: all privileges. And when we don’t act within the guidelines of appropriate behavior, privileges are taken away. Well, it seems the rule of law can be altered and negated with a " switch ."

Bath time. Two kids in the tub. One splash, then another, then a tidal wave of laughter and water causing mom to get soaked despite several vein bulging screams clear and calm warnings that tonight's privileges of bedtime stories are about to be taken away. The behavior continues, the priveleges are removed. Fast forward past drying off, teeth brushing, greasing down (Quinn has very dry skin), powdering up (where does all that pee come from?) and getting into jammies. Quinn is taken off the changing table, runs to his spot on the couch, picks up a book and says “Switch ! Now I can have stories!”

Ahh, if only this would apply in big people’s lives: Switch! I don’t have to pay bills this month! Switch! No ticket for me, officer! Switch! Last year’s gas prices!