The Argue Jar

With my full time job and my hubby’s new biz starting, my patience has been strained. Add in a needy pit bull rescue, other family obligations, the kids’ school work, after school classes, and a sputter tic that my darling son has decided sounds best when displayed ten times/minute, I have little room for additional irritations.

On the positive side:

* I am learning to say no

* I have greatly reduced my drinking and upped my exercise

* I have learned to set boundaries

* I have given myself permission to love others but not allow their negativity to affect me

* I have learned the importance of defending my personal space

* I am realizing that I don’t have to explain ANYTHING to ANYONE anymore – not my statements, my kids, my own personal needs

But perhaps the best thing I’ve created for peace despite an insane schedule?

The Argue Jar

Basically, it works like this:

Me: Stink, I need you to take out the trash now

Stink: I was hoping to do it after I finished reading Pokemon and the Case of the Runaway Chicken

Me: Add a dollar to the argue jar

Stink: But I’m at a really good part!

Me: Add another dollar

(Two minutes later)

Me: Pip, it’s time to get ready for dinner

Pip: But I want to bike!

Me: Add a dollar to the argue jar

Pip: (getting the dollar but shuffling her feet) That’s totally unfair!

Me: Add in a quarter for a bad attitude

Last week, I made $11.75

argue jar


With it, I bought this:


Because I often have to turn over my entire paycheck to cover boring essentials like food, shelter and clothing, this really made my day! It relaxed me enough to be able to thank the other people in my life who pitch in to make our little household run. This includes:

My hubby. Thanks, sweetie, for your wonderful dinners!


Thanks, kiddos, for genuinely liking each other after all this time. I’m bracing myself for those tween years when you’ll realize sharing a room is about as uncool as having your mom  hug you in front of class, but for now, I’ll take it!


And thank you, crazy Brooklyn, for reminding me that although you still want to eat other dogs when we walk you, you are a complete and total love bug with us. You are teaching me how to be tough and patient as we socialize you. And for that, of course, take our favorite chair. Let us wrap you in pillows. All 85 pounds of you deserve every last bit of comfort.


Some people have meditation. Some people have exercise. I have the argue jar. And I’m quite grateful.

Until next time, hug that ticker today! And remember, a kid who tics but has personality beats a non-ticking boring kid any day of the week. Focus on the gifts!



8 thoughts on “The Argue Jar”

  1. Finally, a get-rich-quick scheme that I know will work in my house! Thank you, Andrea. And isn’t it freeing not to need to explain everything to everyone always…

  2. Great idea! Except my kids have no money because they blow it as quickly as they receive it! Maybe I’ll give them an allowance just to be able to quickly take it from them 🙂

  3. Read your post while having my 2nd glass of wine (too late). Loved it !
    The argue jar idea…will be using it when my kids actually will have $$.
    My son’s (91/2) tics to a minimum (I don’t know why?) but enjoying the peacefulness.

    1. Sabine – Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all get together for a glass of wine and celebrate our kids? Glad the tics are better! What a relief!

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