Thursday, May 16, 2013

Snippets from Conversations with Popeye

I hesitate to share stories sometimes because I think it makes me look like I'm messing up the whole parenting thing.  I started this blog because I didn't live close to home and I knew that my mom and a few friends would like updates on our happenings.  Now a lot of people read this and all they see are these pieces of less-than-ideal interactions and parenting techniques (heh, techniques.  Sounds fancy.  Really, I just go with it and try to raise disciplined, productive, kind children without bullying and with yelling as little as possible).  Honestly, though, our house is pretty harmonious (when Chris lives in the same state and I'm not juggling a million things).  My kids are stellar.  These are the conversations I had with my 3-year-old yesterday, though.

P: Where's Dad?

Me: At work.

P: To get money?

Me:  Yep!

P:  Why? (Suspicious/accusatory tone) Did you use his last monies?

 P: Mom, you broke your promise.

Me: I did?  I'm sorry.  What promise?

P: The big one.

Me: The bi-

P: (Interrupting) It was really easy.

Me: Easy?  What wa-

P: (Interrupting.  Again) You have one more chance.

Me: One more chance for wh-

P: (Deadly serious, looking me right in the eyes) Or you're fired.

Me: .........


Me: Okay, Pops!  Time to sit at the table and eat lunch.

P: No!  I don't want that!  It's not my favorite!

Me: Come on.  You like this stuff.  Sit at the table, please.

P: No.  I'm not starving! (Continues playing on the floor with her cards)

Me: P, if you are not going to eat, then you can go to your room and start your nap now.

P: I'm going to pick up my mess first and you can't stop me!

It was clear to me at this point that she was very tired.  She really hasn't been this way for quite a while.  I didn't appreciate her behavior, but I was trying not to laugh.  I'm sure I screamed a lot of things at my mother, but I can guarantee that I never threatened her that I would pick up all of my mess.  Ever.

Me: (Noticing the mess is cleaned) Okay, P, are you ready for lunch now?

P: NO! I won't eat lunch with you!  You're a bad mom!

Me: I'm sorry you feel that way.  You can go to your room and take a nap.

P:  See!?  Now I'm in trouble and it is your fault, you bad mom!

Me: You are not in trouble, you just need a nap.  Can't you feel that you are sleepy?  You will be in trouble if you keep being disrespectful, though.  Now go to your room, please.

P: I'm not going to my room! You go to your room!

Me: That is it, P! (Briskly walking in her direction, losing patience)

Then Peyton slammed the door.  And locked it.  And fell asleep.

I wasn't mad by the exchange.  I knew she was very, very sleepy.  I was a little surprised because she really doesn't behave this way, especially not lately.  She has been downright pleasant.

Aside from being surprised, I was also scared.  If this is how she is at 3, adolescence is going to hit this home hard.  I can handle it, but I worry about my poor husband.  He doesn't know what it is like.  He has sisters, but they are several years older than he is so I don't think he really got the living-with-a-teenage-girl experience.  Poor, poor fellow.  I have several years to get a handle on these things.  It might take that long to get it under control, especially since Juju likes to copy Popeye's behavior.

You should know, after her nap Peyton came up to me and gave me a hug and said, "I'm sorry I was not nice.  I was having a hard time.  I still love you.  We should snuggle for a minute."

She was so mature about it.


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