- When your kid is really good and polite.
- When your kid is really bad.
- When your kid repeats things you didn’t know they have absorbed.
- When your kid has absorbed the art of guilt, just in case the guilt you felt automatically was not sufficient enough.
Cases in point:
Prima recently participated in a play at her school. There were five, count ‘em, f-i-v-e performances. There was a month and a half of rehearsals, a week of 7 a.m. rehearsals and a week of evening rehearsals from 6 to 9 p.m. She’s seven and usually goes to bed tuckered out at 7:30.
By show No. 5, our darling Prima was exhausted, and, just for extra parent bonus points, Secondo had three-apple-juice-boxes-plus-a-box of-Sour-Patch-Kids-induced diarrhea, which is why we hustled everyone out after the last performance, (before the cast party could start).
Cast Party? What cast party? No idea.
But a friend of hers spilled the beans on us.
Said Friend: Prima, after you left the play, there was a party and everyone started signing their shirts. All the cast did and I got everyone’s signature.
Prima: Really? Oh.
(Ten minutes later after Said Friend had been dropped off. )
Prima: Mom, after we left, guess what? People started signing shirts…
Prima: But I didn’t get mine signed.
Me: I’m sorry. We had to leave because your sister had explosive diarrhea.
Secondo: Hey! I just had di-AH-rEEE-HA?
Prima: I guess that I’ll just have to sign my own.
I was flabbergasted. Age does not a guilt mistress limit. I laughed out loud in spite of myself.
Case No. 2
Secondo is at the age she wants to dress herself. Skirts have been conquered. She’s mastered shorts, socks and almost shoes. But dresses and shirts are remain troublesome.
I can understand her challenge. There are three similarly sized holes – right in a row. With two arms and a head to navigate through, basically blind, it can be a puzzle beyond the abilities of a 3 year old.
If I could help her, I would. But she flat out refuses any aid from me.
“Leave me AH-lone!” she screams at me as I reach for an arm hole.
“Fine,” I relent, standing, glancing at my watch. Seven minutes until preschool starts. I thank my lucky stars we live three minutes away.
I go to load the dishwasher before we bolt out the door.
I overhear sobs, slowly abating to sniffles.
She marches out, dress on, torso forced out in front of her, arms pumping away at her sides. In a sizzling Secondo state, she huffs over to the kitchen table and sits down.
“You did it!” I smile, encouragingly.
“Yeah, except I look like a nut job!”
Ummm, OK. I didn’t realize she actually overheard me the 10,000 times I have used that term for what I interpreted as an appropriately over-the-kids-head descriptor.