Alice was a great, big stinker Thursday morning. Super-duper-mega-fright naughty (that’s an Alice-ism. You might have guessed that.). Anyway, after the waters had cooled, we talked about it. I told Alice she needs to work on handling her frustration more calmly. She is pretty intense, and it doesn’t take much to set off a full-blown fit, particularly if her scant, 37-pound form has even a drop of fatigue (does fatigue come in droplets? Hmm. Whatever).
Alas, I told her we need to work on not throwing fits. My first mistake: use of the first-person plural when the reality was first-person singular. Yes. I am one of those mothers. You might recognize this as a pathetic attempt to temper the impending correction/criticism by saying “we” rather than “you.” This is all code for “I totally asked for what came next.” Which was this:
Alice: Yes. We shouldn’t throw fits. You shouldn’t either.
The Mama: What are you talking about, Alice?
Alice: You were throwing a fit.
The Mama: Alice Munchkin Kidling,* my job is to ensure you become a contributing member of society. Sometimes I have to raise my voice, but that does not mean I am throwing a fit.
Alice: (silence) (Any rational human being would expect silence after telling a four-year old that my job as a parent is to ensure she becomes a responsible and independent adult using those exact words. Duh, Mama. Just… Duh.)
* I think this will be my new code for using her first, middle, and last names. Whaddaya think? If you have something better, let me know. The prize will be a credit the first time I use it (but only the first. Sorry. It would get too cumbersome) as well as my eternal gratitude. Swell, huh?