"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."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction

I was reading a book, a fiction book, about almost nothing to do with parenting, solely because I liked it, when I ran across a line where one character had another character finish her sentence.
And I thought, hmmmm, and I stored it away in the dark recesses of my brain for later use.

I've been noticing lately that, although Princess really doesn't initiate conversation with me all that much, she is guaranteed to feel a desperate need for mother-daughter connection if I'm talking to someone else, particularly a girlfriend. Today after church I was catching up with a woman I haven't gotten to talk to in a while when I felt the familiar taptaptap on my arm.

"Yes, Princess?"
"Can I have some juice?"

Our church has juice and donuts in the gathering area, and every. single. week our children have a donut and a glass of juice. They do not ask, they just go get it. They are allowed to and they know it. I lean down.

"Princess, you asked me a question you know the answer to so you could interrupt. Go sit down by your brother and sisters."

And I resumed my conversation. Later I sat down across from her, cris-cross-applesauce knees touching, and I tried it out.

Me: "You asked me for juice while I was talking because...."
Princess: "I wanted the answer."
Me: "You knew the answer and you interrupted to ask me anyway because..."
Princess: "What?"
M: (Patient Smile)
P: "I wanted juice."
M: "You knew you could have juice and you interrupted to ask me anyway because..."
P: "Aaaarhugh! Because I wanted you and her to stop talking and look at me instead."


M: "Well good news, Princess, because now is the time for you to have all my attention!"
P: "But the juice is gone now!"
M: "It is."
P: "Can I have a drink?"
M: "You want to use my attention to ask for drinks."
P: "But I don't have any more questions!"
M: "You don't have any more questions, but you do have all my attention for a little while."

Big toothy grin. From me, of course. This is where Princess tried to get away from me, so I pulled my seven-year-old in my lap while she flailed around in the church gathering area. I kept going after eye-contact, so she covered my eyes. I kept smiling. She couldn't resist, of course, so every few seconds she would lift a finger to see if I was still looking at her (I was), and I'd shout "peek-a-boo!" She grouched at first, but soon she started giggling. We played for a while, then walked out to the car. Fully regulated.

So much for the parenting books.


  1. You constantly amaze me with your brilliance!

  2. Good idea! Will have to try that... with my younger kids. Tried something similar with my 16 yr old the other day and he pouted and stormed away (can't pull 220lbs of unhappiness into my lap unfortunately).

    Mary in TX