Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Caution: Spontaneous Backtalking May Occur Upon Insult

Know what's good for the ol' ego? Spending an entire day with your five-year-old—chatting with her, playing games, painting pictures together, having a picnic—all those "super mom" types of activities that are rare to fit in with all the other crap you have to do. And the whole time? All she can do is ask where her dad is and when he's getting home.

Yeah…that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

At one point, she even looked at me and said, "Mom, I like Daddy better than you".


So I was all, "But we're having a fun day! We went to the library, had a picnic and now we're painting pictures on the back porch. The weather is beautiful and we're just hanging out. It's like a girl's day!" and she was all "I know, but I just want him more than I want you right now."

Double ouch.

And I know we're not supposed to take things our kids say personally and all that good stuff, but I have to admit, it was kind of a kick in the gut. Even though I know that she totally likes me better.

The worst part? You can't throw it back on her. There's no good comeback with a five-year-old, you know? She thinks "stupid" is a bad word, for Pete's sake. (Which it totally is if you're reading this and you're five—and by the way, good job with those reading skills. Oh, and please ignore anything I say that involves drinking, smoking, cursing or….wait a second—why are you reading this blog again?)

Here are some things I *could* have said, were I not a mature, loving and forgiving parent.

1.  "Oh yeah? Well, I like the dog better than you."
2.  "Really? You like Daddy better? Hmmm…that's funny, because the other day he told me he likes your brother better than you."
3.  "Yeah? Well….shut up." (Sidebar: When you can't think of a good comeback, "shut up" is generally sufficient. And no, I would never tell my kid to shut up. What do you think I am, a Nazi?)

Unfortunately, kids knowing they have the power to slice through a parent's heart with a single word is not something they figure out until their teens or 20s. At which point, they promptly attempt to guilt their parents into buying or giving them something. It's just what you do when you're that age. So I know that she really didn't mean it in a mean or hurtful way, but still…not so easy to swallow that one.

Of course, this morning when I got to work, I got a text on my cell from my husband (who was in charge of getting her to school this morning) that said, "OMG! All I'm hearing is "I want mom!"


She totally likes me better.

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