Top Six Ways to Finish an Argument - #1: The Flip-off

by Stacey Graham

No one would call me uncreative.

As the mother of five daughters under 17, settling disputes has taken on epic proportions in my household since no one is allowed to touch another family member in anger. That means plenty of dirty looks, but no sly kicks under the dinner table. United Nations - take note.

#1: The Flip-Off

No, not that kind of flipping. Having a giant trampoline is for more than just being a festive way to break a collarbone. I'll send in the combatants and the family judges the best forward flip. Points are given for style and arm flailing.

#2: The Dance-Off

Similar to the Flip-Off except with less "wheeeeeee-ing," the Dance-Off has its own killer shut down move: The CheeseSlicer. Developed by my then three-year-old daughter to keep up with her older sisters, her signature move shut down the competition.  It consists of kicking out one leg while swooshing both arms down, while yelling out "CHEEEEEEESESLICE-AH!" It's a showstopper.

#3: Enforced Negotiation

Crude but surprisingly effective, the girls sitting on each other and threatening to pass gas in their ear usually clear things up, not to mention the room.

#4: Pantsing

I have to admit, this one wasn't my idea. Come to think of it, Enforced Negotiation wasn't my idea either but I go with the flow. Pantsing occurs most often on the bus or in school hallways. Yes, I get a lot of calls from the office.

#5: Glitter
Another technique developed by the girls, this time by the oldest who must have been sneaking out to raves when I wasn't looking. Its subtle charm is seen as glitter is thrown into your opponent's face -- then you run. Then I get them the vacuum in order to clean up their disagreement.

#6: Death-Hug

As cozy as it sounds, the Death-Hug may or may not consist of choking the breath out of the one you're having a disagreement about lipgloss with. I prefer to think of it more of a gesture of intense affection and a little less than smothering.

Stacey Graham runs An Army of Ermas with an iron fist. An iron fist usually filled with chocolate. Don't judge. Please visit her blog, betwixt & between, and see what mischief she's up to on Twitter. She has two fabulous books coming out next spring, The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide and the Zombie Tarot because she's cool like dat. She promises to stop referring to herself in the third person and slipping in "cool like dat" for future columns.


  1. Bwahahahaha. Love it. I'm using some of these next time I fight with Prince Charming.

  2. I'm going to try a couple of these in court. I particularly like forced negotiation and glitter.

  3. Hilarious!! I can't begin to imagine the laughter in your home.

  4. It's a clown car of comedy. Until the hair conditioner runs out. Then it's every woman for herself.

  5. Oh man, that's hilarious! We only have the one, but I was one of four, so I know all about sibling disputes! Though, I was the oldest by 4 years, so it mostly between the others who are all closer in age.

  6. There's just no comeback for glitter, is there? I think not. Will have to try that one ;)


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