You Are Always Right.

Every time I open my mouth, Dylan jumps down my throat.

For example I might say, “Dylan, you are walking out the door without shoes. You need shoes.”

“No I DON’T need shoes,” he will growl. “No one’s going to throw me out of the store for being barefoot.” Then he will stomp on.

This example didn’t actually happen, but you get the idea. If I speak to Dylan, we get into an argument.

So I decided to try a new way of communicating. I would no longer speak, except to say one thing: “You’re right, Dylan. You are always right.”

Dylan is not always right. In fact, Dylan is wrong quite often.

I try to admit when I am wrong. Sometimes it requires a phone call, an internet search, and/or a trip to the library to prove that I am wrong – but truly, I am often wrong. And I will say, “Wow, I was wrong about that.”

But Dylan refuses to admit that he is ever wrong. Therefore, arguments abound. If anyone disagrees with someone who is always right, there is no winning the argument – no matter what. Dylan is very smart, and can make even the tiniest tidbit into a day-long debate to prove this correctness.

But I can’t just sit around saying, “You’re always right.” I also have to make known my expectations for Dylan’s day.

So when I have something to say to Dylan, I write it down. He has been getting a note every morning with a list of expectations and responsibilities. When he has chores to do, they are on the list. If I want to tell him something I’ve been thinking about, it goes in the note. And every morning, since I wake up thinking about what I need to tell Dylan, I just write it all down – once – and I’m done for the day.

Then, when we are spending time together, the only thing I say is, “You’re right, Dylan. You’re always right.”

This morning, Dylan came downstairs to go to the fair – the outdoor county fair – in the hundred-degree heat. He came downstairs at 9:30, having not yet eaten breakfast, to walk out the door “at” 9:30. He is wearing black, which absorbs heat more than any other color. He is wearing warm socks and high-top sneakers. He is going to roast and sweat like one of the pigs in the county fair pens.

But I am not saying a single word. Nor will I mention it in tomorrow’s note. Because until further notice, Dylan is always right.

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