"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, January 22, 2011

What Love Is

Princess asked for her homework, and my eye began to twitch. I got out the easiest paper: a Weekly Reader with some obvious questions to answer on the back. It was about nutrition, and she was to read the question and write "Plate A" or "Plate B" in the blank space. My first cue that this was not going to go well was when Princess asked me how to spell "broccoli."

Use your best third-grade spelling.

She "finished" and I checked over her answers. In response to "which plate has two vegetables and one grain," she replied, "the plate that has two vegetables and one grain is the plate that has two vegetables and one grain."

At least it was a complete sentence.

"Princess, I'm wondering if you read the directions. Each answer should be only two words, "plate A" if it's plate A, or "plate B" if it's plate B."

She took the paper back and wrote "A" or "B" in each space, not necessarily corresponding to the correct plate.

Now you don't have enough words, Princess.
Can you help me?*

(Loooooooong pause).

Princess, if I help you, it's going to be by putting your homework away so your brain can rest and get strong enough to write the word "plate."
But I can't do it. You're supposed to help me.


This was, naturally, followed by polite suggestions to either speak respectfully downstairs or fuss loudly in one's room, then the Sending to the Room with No Choices, followed by the No One Cares About Me soliloquy..

Princess was brought down for dinner, finished, and asked for a treat. I said yes.

Buddy blew his stack. "What? She had a big fit? Why does she get a treat?"
Josh said, "I thought we weren't letting her have treats when she rages."

I know. We weren't. But I get so sick of never being able to give her anything good, and she'll sabotage everything if given half the chance. So if she eats her dinner, she gets a treat. I want to give her something good.

A little while later while I was doing dishes, Josh came up to Princess and put his arm around her and said,

"I want to give you stuff, too. But I want you to notice something. It's Mommy who makes sure you get good things. It's Mommy who cries all night because you're screaming and she can't take you to the ballet. It's Mommy who changes things so you can have something nice. It's Mommy".

I don't know that she heard him. Or that she cared. He was standing between her and the pantry. But I heard him. And I cared. No matter how anyone else feels about me, that man loves me.

* I can't find a font to express the type of whiney this was. It sounded something like a 2-year-old with pony tails dressed in pink frills and ruffles licking a swirly pink lollipop in the sunshine surrounded by unicorns, bunnies, and rainbows and covered in white glitter.


  1. You're doing so well with her. Hang in there.

  2. That is the sweetest...just the sweetest...no other words.

  3. I hit the same wall a lot. I want to reward my daughter when she CHANGES course. My husband gets upset because he sees only the previous poor behavior, but it is the CHANGE of course I hope I'm rewarding....


  4. Now that's a love story. You made me cry.