Oddly enough, one day shy of my year mark at returning to full-time employment, I find myself at home with a sick munchkin on a work/school day. She wasn't exactly sick today, but last night at bed time, she was still rocking a fever. So, let's stay home tomorrow with daddy! True to form, she was not the least bit of ill today, but I was still recovering from the Saturday night through Sunday mornings frequent trips to the bathroom to give my utmost moral support as she was "sick in the toilet." (That powerless feeling to take it away is horrible. "My tummy hurts bad and I don't want it!"
Today, the little one had this habit...let me backtrack first. She asks questions now; and she's smart so she likes rational answers that she can process. Saying, "because I say so" or "because it just does" elicits more questions. It's Alice's rabbit hole, once you're in it can get quite overwhelming and baffling at times. Today, she asked her typical numerous questions, but her response in return was repetitively argumentative. "What time is it daddy?" "two-thirty" "No it's not!" "It's windy, is it a storm?" "I don't think so, there's no dark clouds in the sky." "Yes it is!" After this train of conversation through much of the day, I finally scolded her on it. The result was slightly beyond the typical tears and frustration. She ran to our bed, crawled under the covers and proceeded to wail. I gave her some space, then finally went to talk to her about it. I informed her that her responses and behavior (more details than I'm writing here) could be viewed as argumentative and rude. Rude. Oh my. That did it, and we proceeded back down the path of tears. Finally, after my shirt was appropriately drenched by the tears of my wonderful child. I suggested we go outside to the deck. She colored. I read. We laughed when the dumptruck "pooted" (jake-braked). All was right as rain.
Later on, while I was gone to the HfH board meeting, my wife asked her about our day together. "Daddy took care of me and was real sweet to me." Wow. That's how she summed up her day, while I was worrying about how upset I made her. My wife then explained to me how she was upset that she was being rude to me; and no matter how her behavior is, being rude is not what she wants. That's why she was upset, I was saying she was being rude to me.
Sometimes it's hard to be a good parent. You want your child(ren) to know that their perception of their actions can be and often is different that others' perceptions. More importantly I was reminded how close our bond is as a result of my three-year hiatus from employment. She cares how I view her and her words. She doesn't want me to be upset with her. That reminds me that my wife's sacrifices so I could stay at home, and my sacrifices were well worth it. Now, if we can just convince her that her classmates and teacher at school missed her, but didn't cry because she was absent. Not sure where this trace of narcissism came from....