"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Not-So-Therapeutic Afternoon


You remember.

Normal after-school routine. Snack. Time to unwind. Chores and homework. I told Princess her laundry was ready to go in the dryer. Then I dropped what I knew would be the bomb.

"Oh, and Princess. When I was taking out your laundry I noticed some of Peanut's underwear in with yours. I know you didn't ask to use it, and I know you didn't pay Peanut for it, so I'll let you go ahead and pay her double. You know, to kind of apologize for trying to sneak it so you could use it without paying for it."

S***, meet fan. Because OF COURSE she didn't take it and OF COURSE she didn't use it and OF COURSE she had absolutely no idea whatsoever how it could have gotten mixed in with her laundry, never mind that her laundry is completely and totally separated from everyone else's.*

I ended up telling her that she had three choices about her voice and words:
1. Speak with a respectful voice and kind words while putting her laundry in the dryer. I am
right here.
2. Speak with a disrespectful voice and mean words in the laundry room with the door closed.
3. Don't speak.

Would you believe she actually chose to sit in the laundry room doing nothing with the door closed for the whole entire evening, except for the moment I opened it to hand her a cheese sandwich and broccoli and receive more scowling and six-year-old-style verbal abuse? Yes she did. Oh yes. Well, ok, she didn't do "nothing." She got a packet of stickers out of my craft box and stuck them all over the mini-fridge, threw MY laundry all over the laundry room, and ripped up some paper and threw it on the floor. So not nothing.

Do you know how it feels to know that your daughter would rather sit in a laundry room behind a closed door for THREE HOURS rather that speak civilly to you and do one thing that contributes to her own well-being? Not good, people! Not. Good.

I HATE it when I trap myself that way. It was the exact opposite of what I should have done. If she wasn't going to do the job anyway, I might as well have had her sitting on a chair by me in the kitchen. She at least would have been able to see my pleasant face smiling at her while she insulted me (RAD kids don't read social cues well, so there's no way she would have noticed the strain behind the smile, the extra lines developing at the corners of my mouth, the knot growing between my shoulders, or the gray hairs sprouting instantaneously from the top of my head). It was all wrong, and I let it happen.

I got so close to completely losing it and going out behind the cedar bush to cry that I began to sing. I am the queen of Badly Made-Up Songs. Little-known fact. I sang a lovely little ditty about how great a mom I am. The best mommy every created, in fact. And the prettiest. And the smartest. The mommy who can't be fooled by six-year-old tricks. The mommy whom no one can make not love her. The mommy who no one can get to leave. I got so loud, in fact, that my husband who loves me more than life itself asked me to stop because my singing was hurting his stomach. It was that good. Anyway, it worked because "You Can't Ever Do Anything So Bad That You Can Make Me Stop Loving You So There" happens to be one of Peanut's favorite topics (one that has been covered in principal's offices and church basements, in fact), and Being Loud happens to be one of Peanut's favorite things to do, so she came down stairs and sang backup. Other people joining in on Mommy's crazies is NOT one of Princess's favorite things, however, so she stopped the verbal onslaught.

So anyway. I have slept. I have regrouped. I have ideaed. I have informed Princess that this evening will be different. Busy for her, yes. Filled with not her favorite ways to spend time, yes. Mommy has had her break with therapeutic parenting and is now formally back on the wagon. May God have mercy on your soul.

*This is that "sarcasm" we talked about that Josh thinks I need to make more obvious.


  1. can't believe this is the calm, cooperative, patient little girl I know!

  2. (Dad has the sarcasm thing, too. It doesn't come out well over typing.)

  3. Don't you wish there was a sarcasm font? It'd be much easier.

  4. Seriously, I think a 3 hour break CAN BE just what everyone needs. I think you handled it just fine.

  5. Can you send me a copy of that song? I think I need to learn it. Especially the part about the best mommy that ever lived!

  6. Oh, I don't think you want it, Anne! Actually, you could probably do a better job musically with it; just elaborate a lot on how pretty you are and how much better you are than any other mommy, and you'll have something pretty close to the paragon of creativity and modesty I rolled out.