"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."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alone Together

These days, Saturdays are work days, so we began the weekend sorting out the division of labor. Josh was to take Peanut and the Cuddle Bear to the home improvement store, and I got Buddy, who had a birthday party to attend, and Princess.

Me: "But...but.......but that means...."
Josh: "I know. But the only other choice is to leave you with Peanut, and you're almost out of patience with her already."

It was true. Peanut has a 14-year-old mouth on a 5-year-old head and had been wielding it in full form for hours. But I HAD to get some cleaning done on the rental and, believe it or not, I have never been home alone with Princess. So I told Princess to get some stuff to play with or work on and hang out at the rental with me.

I've had each of the other kids there with me alone. They beg for it. We hang out. They play. I work. We talk. It's nice.

Princess stood in front of the window staring at the street without speaking for one hour and fifteen minutes. Not. One. Word.

We came home so I could start lunch, and thoughts rattled around in my head. I was waiting for a chance to type out how horrible I feel because I don't know my daughter (who she really is) enough to be able to "hang out" together without hour-long painful silence. I felt a failure as a mother of a daughter. I'm failing her. I don't know her. How do I talk to her?

And then I realized. That wasn't it at all. There's some truth to all that, sure. But that wasn't at all what was going on.

She was watching for Josh and the little girls to come home. Because she had been spending the whole time she was with me worring that Peanut was having more fun with Daddy. She was ticked off that she was "stuck" at home. I am sure I'm right because as soon as Peanut was home, Princess shoved her off a bike. Then she shoved Peanut off a different bike. Then she kicked Peanut. Then she kicked the bike.

I am sure I'm right because when I handed Princess and Peanut identical factory-sealed pre-packed bags of the exact same 100-calorie snack mix, Princess somehow discerned that her bag contained significantly less 100-calorie snack mix than did Peanut's, and spent an hour throwing said 100-calorie snack mix and said factory-sealed bag around the rental yard.

I am sure I'm right because during the second hour of the 100-calorie snack mix tantrum, Josh and I had a "conversation" in front of the screaming kicking head-butting pinching Princess about how sad we were for her that she chose to spend so much time worrying about everyone else having more fun and more stuff that she didn't leave any time to have fun and enjoy stuff herself. About how it is sad, indeed. And there was a pause in the screaming.

And then there was crying.

So, I might be a failure in mother-daughter parenting. It might be true.
But not today.

1 comment:

  1. my kids act the same way when they are alone with one parent, the other might be up to something better and I want to do it too. It is a hard dynamic. Hang in there.