"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."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So Tell Me How You Feel, Mom. Really.

I hit the ground running, wearing the shirt. That thing is magic, I tell you. Nary a peep. I took it off around 2:00, and Princess shoved the Cuddle Bear too hard over a container in the water table. The water table for toddlers. She did actually take her time-out, but not exactly gracefully. Then I put the shirt back on.

She was relatively well-regulated all day. So when the opportunity came, I took a risk.

I was putting together dinner (giant antipasto hero sandwich) while listening to an exhausted foster parent on the phone. This combination was more than Princess could resist, so she poked me twice while I was on the phone and said, "Mom!!!" three times while I was negotiating a fight between Peanut and the Cuddle Bear. When I was finally able to give her my attention, she asked,

"Can I cook with you?



"Princess. Do you remember the last time I said yes to you? You slapped Buddy across the face because you wanted his stepstool. You screamed at me and called me stupid. You told me you hate me. You kicked me and slapped me and hit me and slammed your head into mine and bit me and threw toys at my head. You threw your toy shelf across the room. You shook your bed. You kicked your door and your wall. You threw toys down the stairs. I did NOT feel good, Princess. When I say yes to you and you treat me like THAT? It does not make me want to say yes again. So no. I love you very much, but I do not want to feel that way again."

Harsh? Maybe a little. But maybe not. I never know before it's said. I didn't use and angry voice. I didn't make character judgments. I wasn't loud. I didn't point my finger. I named what she did and told her how it felt. I think, in moderation, she needs to know.

She didn't scrunch her face into a scowl or fold her arms or stomp away. She did, however, walk straight into the kitchen and elicit a howl from Peanut. I called her back.

"Princess, it's ok to feel angry or upset. It is not ok to find Peanut to make her feel angry or upset with you."

And Princess started to cry. Not the usual, UUUUUUUGH UUUUUUGH UUUUUUGH uncry, but a snuffling with actual tears sort of deal.

So who knows. A little expression of mommy hurt feelings might not have hurt.


  1. That's fascinating. May try it.

  2. Yep, I'm a FIRM believer in showing them how it feels. I mean, Genea doesn't learn by me telling her. She isn't learning by reading about it, or watching other people. She has to experience things to understand and then I break it down to the nth degree for her. It seems to help her get it more than anything else.