Friday, April 25, 2008

Single-Minded Creatures

I want to make all the MeanMommies out there feel a little better about how exhausted they are from the constant struggle with their SmartOnes. You have to remember, you as MeanMommies have many jobs. You work, you take care of your kids, you may cook and clean the house, you have to run errands, you are a friend, a spouse, a daughter, maybe a sister... That's a lot of jobs for one person. Your darling little precious children? One job. One.

To Get What They Want.

That's it. That's the only job they have, the only thing they have to worry about. Day in and day out. No bills, no putting food on the table. No trying to remember Aunt Rita's birthday while making plane reservations and talking to your father on the phone.

And because they only have one job, they are spectacularly good at it. Single-minded in their pursuit of their goal, whether it be five more minutes before sleep, or a piece of candy in the store.

Remember that, when you're exhausted from the fight. Remember that, stay strong, don't give in, but give yourself a break.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

High-Level Love Manipulation

This post is for my friend T, whose little boy is my absolute favorite boy ever on this earth, and always will be. I first laid eyes on this wonder when he was 3 months old, and I knew then (as I whispered in his ear) that "We are going to be really good friends, you and I." He is a very, very smart boy, and knows it-- a living example of why I tell my parents that the smarter your child is, the less leeway they can get. Give a smart kid an inch, and he will negotiate the entire football field.

The other night T and I were going out, and I came over to her house. As we started to leave, this wondrous little boy started his usual, "Momma, don't leave." Not surprising at all. He, like all children, want just a little more- a little more time with their parents, a little more time before bed, a little more candy, a little... more. We continued to leave, but then-- and here's where it gets good-- he began to say, "I love you, Momma. Please, give me a hug. Just one more hug." She gave him another hug, but then disengaged and started to leave. He followed us down the stairs, saying, "Let me give you one more kiss, because I looooove you, Mommy." Mommy. He never calls her Mommy-- it's always Momma. I almost started to laugh. We kept on going, and then he tried to follow us out the side door-- he would have, had I not blocked him and put him back inside.

He called out, opening the door (and it's a good thing he doesn't have shoes on and it's snowy) and leaning out, "Goodbye, Mommy! I Love You!! I Love You Mommy!!! I Love you Ilee (his nickname for me)!!" When we wouldn't answer he got louder and more insistent, " I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!" Finally, we collapsed into the car, and I started laughing. "Wow!" I said. This is really high level love manipulation. Brilliant, really. It's easy to say no if they want to stay awake, or have you get them some water, or want you to buy them something. How do you say no when they want you to LOVE them!!! I told T that I was really impressed that he'd figured this out at his age. I also told her I was impressed that she didn't get sucked in. It's hard to do, and she did a great job. She told me he does this all the time. I'm not surprised.