Many say we Irish are a nation who like to fight.
I of course would disagree.
The following story I think shows clearly,
that if my husband is anything to go by,
we are a people who have some very alternative ways,
of approaching the difficulty of successful conflict resolution.
My husband is never confrontational,
and the more annoyed he is, the quieter he speaks.
Yet he more often than not wins an argument.
A great example of his alternative approach,
was my sons ninth birthday party.
We went to a local sports club to rock climb,
swim and then have the party.
There were approximately twelve boys invited,
and a handful of girls.
I was in the girls changing room,
and my husband was put in charge of the boys.
Unbeknownst to us,
two of the boys had declared war on each other.
They could not be in the same room.
Looking back and knowing the years of hassle,
bullying and trauma ahead for one of the boys,
I don’t think they should have been left in the same county!
Anyway as they were getting changed,
one of the boys flipped his towel and hurt the other.
The second boy was furious,
and in no time at all there were boys in headlocks,
arms flying, legs kicking,
and a whole host of choice english words being roared at each other.
We could hear the noise outside,
and could only imagine what was occurring.
My husband was only half dressed,
and not willing to let go his towel,
in order to deal with the situation,
as it would leave him “exposed” if you get my drift!
Anyway a naked man grabbing two half dressed nine year olds,
in a swimming pool changing room would be difficult to explain.
So what could he do?
What would you do?
He stood back and at the top of his voice for all to hear,
he began to sing.
Yes that is not a typo,
He began to sing!
His song of choice you may wish to know,
was Amhran Na bhFiann,
which is the Irish National Anthem!
And guess what, it worked.
Seemingly the two boys were so shocked,
they let go of each other and whilst still singing,
my husband managed to separate them,
and hold onto his towel.
The rest of the day went smoothly,
and my son did not suffer any aftereffects,
as a result of his fathers actions.
We have often laughed at the memory,
but I think any of you reading will have to agree,
my husband has a very alternative approach to conflict resolution.