Dec 19, 2009

On Strictness

I read this question about how strict you are as a parent and if you give in all the time or not and I will confess that I have no consistency when enforcing rules.

Sometimes all the whining and kicking reinforces my resolve to make Bratty McBraterson sit in the designated make shift jail cell complete with invisible bars, until she can speak like a human again and sometimes her feelings get really hurt and the genuine quiet sobbing melts my warden-like heart into puddles of come over here and let me wrap you up in my arms and hug you until we both feel better. Then there's the third and laziest option in which I haven't had enough sleep or am just worn down by the insaness of housing a kindergartner and can only find the energy to wave my hand in her direction and utter a faint "chill out" while pretending I don't know that she is emptying the bathtub one dolphin spit at a time onto the floor.

I think the desired result is a very confusing dance in which it's hard to tell when I'm serious and when I'm not. I'd like to think I'm aiding in the rearing of a little lawyer who will argue her case every time, exploring any loophole or chink in the defense to finagle her plan into fruition, a child who's spirit is strong and who isn't afraid to challenge authority. I don't know about the future but what is happening in the present is this; when I'm really at my limit I have to get the serious mommy voice out and sometimes throw in a swear word. Thus the following conversation:

Ella: Mom, you could open this present I made for you today if you want to.

Me: No, I'll wait until Christmas.

Ella: I'm sure the other moms opened theirs already.

Me: That may be, but I am no "other mom," I am an extra special mom and I can be patient.

Ella: Please?

Me: Nope, I'll wait until Christmas

Ella: Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase! You will love it.

Me: If we open presents before Christmas Santa will be upset that we didn't wait

Ella: Please?

Me: No

Ella: Please?

Me: No!

Ella: PleeEEeeEEeeeEEEAAAaaaase?

Me: Do you wanna piss Santa off?

Ella: ok. (walks away)

I know I'm setting myself up for the worst teenage years in the history of teenagers, but I prefer to live in denial and tell myself that we'll be best pals and tell each other everything all open and honest and lovingly for our whole lives including when she's 16 and wants to go to Mexico for the weekend with her two wild best friends and why can't I just trust her to do that?!

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