Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An Exchange of Notes
In which I learn that my daughter is more of a tour de force than I previously thought.

This afternoon, I am pounding away on my laptop, hoping to finish up some work before we must leave for my afternoon job. My daughter is listlessly rolling around on the bed, bored and not heeding repeated admonitions to stop the various activities she is engaging in to get my attention. I snap after she decides to unfasten my computer bag shoulder strap and use it as a lasso to catch our elderly cat. The cat beats a hasty retreat and I rebuke my child very sharply. Silence. Then, she gives me her intimidated/hurt/little-bit-defiant look and marches out of the room. Seconds later I hear her bedroom door slam shut. One ticked off five-year-old.

No problem now I can finish up work without the background interference. I resume working, but I feel bad. Did I have to be that sharp with her? I decide to smooth those ruffled feathers with a note pushed under her door. So I do, then I tap on the door, call out “special delivery!” and go back to work. This will make her happy again.

Exhibit A:
 My guilt alleviated and her good graces regained.

Except it doesn't quite work out this way. Some time later (hmm, longer than I thought it would take), she yells out “special delivery” herself and again I hear her door slam. This time, she’s left me a note outside her door.

Exhibit B:
Translation: “I don’t love you until you apologize”

What?! I am speechless at how she has skillfully turned this around. One crisp sentence with a clear message: You are in trouble with me, Mommy!  (And who knew she could string sentences together on paper like this?!)  She is right, an apology is in order.

Exhibit C:
 Mommy surrenders.

My second note is snatched from underneath the door. There is much sighing and sounding out of words (and a little help from the other side of the door). Then more sighing and sounding out of words as she crafts her response. Finally, the note is slid under the door and now I snatch it up (and do my own sighing and deciphering of words...).

Exhibit D:
Translation: “I love you my dad more than my mom  but mom I still love you mommy.”

Still nursing wounded feelings with a final, calculated zinger to mom's heart, but beginning to soften her stance...
What did I learn today? My frustrated rebukes go deeper than I thought. I am so lucky to have this smart, sensitive little girl to hold me accountable. :)

No comments: