Back in the days of black and white TV, (those prehistoric times somewhere after Adam and Eve but before dinosaurs) you did not talk back to your mamma and daddy. Most of us were afraid of the corporal punishment that only a mad mother can deliver.
Let’s fast forward to the present. What is up with children talking back? What happened to my sweet toddler, who saw me as someone who could do nothing wrong? Where is she? I have looked under the sofa, searched the garage, and now I am considering put up Lost and Found Posters.
The child that resides in my house is not the one that I gave birth to! I am convinced she was kidnapped and replaced by a robot that is combative, angry at times and sweet only occasionally. The child robot that lives in my house has to get that last word in even if you are just saying, “I love you.”
I am a patient girl—especially when it comes to children. If you ask my spouse about patience, he would have a different story. But, enough about him and his wild allegations of my impatience! So what was I saying? Oh yes! I am a patient girl. When my child talks back, for the most part, I let it roll off my back. She is six and she is trying to find her boundaries.
It is summer vacation. We are twelve days into summer vacation and the talking back is now starting to work a sista’s nerves. Why does she have to get in the last word? What will she accomplish by talking back? I don’t get it. Most of the time, it does not work in her favor.
Like most moms, when your child works that last nerve (You know: The one that you keep in reserve for when your husband is home on the weekend and he is playing 100 moron questions and the wife will answer game?) you call a friend and get some advice. That does not always work out because she is having the same problem. Sometimes, you even feel bad complaining—especially when she explains about the cat business on the carpet, the dog business in the kitchen, and the diaper duty. You find yourself calling your home from your cell phone just to get off the phone. That is just nastiness that she shared.
So you shake that off, get a shower, brush your teeth. Since your child just work that last nerve, you do it… WAIT for it… The first threat: The one that you have been waiting to use to get you out of a weak moment’s promise. Well, actually, you are reneging on a promise—compliments of the conversation that you just had with your friend.
STOP TALKING BACK! YOU ARE BEING DISRESPECTFUL, SO WE ARE NOT GETTING THE CAT!
Okay for a brief moment—But, you cannot share this!—you are grateful that your child robot is talking back. You just found a way to avoid that cat business for at least another six months.
The child robot decides to behave for 15 minutes so you have time to regroup or get a cocktail—if it is after 5 p.m.
A little advice! Never drink before 5 p.m. You might get a reputation for being a lush. It does not have to be 5 o’clock in your city. Just make sure that it is five o’clock somewhere. And make sure you have evidence to back it up. You need to buy one of those clocks that display several time zones. Men are visual creatures. They often pretend they cannot read, clean, or see put a toilet seat down on weekends.
So fifteen minutes have passed. My child robot has found the next thing in a long line of things that day to make sure that I have to correct. I just cleaned the house. The playroom is still clean but there are toys in the living room, kitchen, dining room, on the stairs, in the master bedroom and all three bathrooms. So I scream. Yes folks! I screamed. I have lost it.
[quote]Clean up those toys, now![/quote]
And what does the little robot do? She talks back:
“I am not your slave!”
Oh heck no! What did this little child robot say to me? “I am not your slave???”
I patiently—okay so that is my version! I was not patient at this point—begin to pick up the toys.
The little robot marches back into the living room and sits down. I hear the sound of the Winx’s in the background. I drop the toys on the floor. Alright, you are a mother. I will correct that. I threw the toys onto the floor. I stormed into the living room and turned off the TV.
“You are grounded until it snows in Hades,”
I said through gritted teeth. “Go to your room now.”
The robot looked at me like I was a crazy person.
“What are you looking at?” I asked
Here it is: Her opportunity for the last word. “Well, I guess I am grounded forever because we all know that it will never snow in Hades!”
She walks up the stairs and closes her the door to her room.
It is now 3:54 p.m. in England and I am having a glass of wine. Even in Germany right now, it is only 4:54 p.m.
So if this sounds anything like your Maniac Monday, the first person to share what you do when your child has to get in the last world will receive a Lolita Love My Wine Glass, Mommy’s Time Out!