Monday, December 29, 2008

Growing Pains

There are some moments that catch you so off-guard as a parent that you don't know whether to laugh, cry, or wail. One of these moments happened last week, and I simply must blog about it for all posterity before I forget.

Abigail called me a name. And to my knowledge, it is the first time she has called anyone a name out of anger. Oh, it was a doozie, too. I know you are all dying to know what name could possibly have come out of her sweet little mouth, so I'll paint the picture for you. It almost ranks up there with Ralphie helping his dad change a tire in the Christmas Story, dropping the stuff in the snow, and saying "Oh, Fuuuuuuuudge." Yeah, that bad.

Last week, the night before Christmas Eve, we got iced in at our friend Sadee's house in Bloomington, IN. We had tried our hardest to make it home, but every road eventually got closed from slide-off wrecks, and we crashed there for the night. The night before this, Abigail was given a little token plastic ring from a "big" girl, Alicia, who is almost 13. I know....big stuff. This little ring looked like a big plastic jewel, and the top flipped open to reveal sparkly red lip gloss underneath.

I mean, she may as well have given her the keys to Cinderella's castle. A ring AND lip gloss? It's any girl's heaven.

Abigail proceeded to apply red, sparkly lip gloss at least 25 times that day, and usually would slowly drag her glossy finger diagnally down her chin afterwards, leaving a nice little trail of sparkles on her face. Finally, at Sadee's, it was time to get Abigail ready for bed, and I told her no more lip gloss. She immediately "hides" her hand on the opposite side of her face, trying to dig her little finger into the lip gloss and thinking I am either blind to notice or a pure dummy.

I told her no again, and she slid off my lap, down to the floor, and was still trying to "slyly" get her finger all lubed up for her mouth. Paul was watching the whole thing and says, "You've told her no enough times. Time to take it away."

So I bent over her on the floor, and grabbed the ring out of her hand. I told her that she didn't do what Mommy told her, it is time to put the lip gloss away, and that she can have it back in the morning.

Amazingly, she didn't give up without a fight. She started thrashing her body all around and crying and yada, yada, yada. I put the lip gloss ring in my suitcase and came back into the living room.

Abigail looked up at me with such a look of sorrow and disgust and said,

I simply did not know whether to laugh or cry. Well, I did laugh. I laughed while trying to cover it up, but I laughed. Paul laughed. Aaron laughed. We all tried to act like it wasn't funny, but it was. The rest of the conversation went like this:
Me: Did you just call me a Doo?
Abigail: Yes.
Me: What is a Doo?
Abigail: It's a bad thing.
Me: Well, that really hurt my feelings. You should never, ever call anyone a Doo.

And I truly hope she never does. It was so funny to hear her say a word that she thought would really hurt my feelings, but then when I took a minute to think about it, it kind of did hurt my feelings. Not the word, but the thought behind it. She was mad at me, and she wanted to say something that would hurt my feelings. I wasn't ready for her to figure that out....that words hurt. I know of all the words she could have called me, I am not too worried about Doo, but my heart is a little sad that my baby knows how to call names.
Even if that name is Doo.


nlamom said...

Ok, I'm sorry, but that was funny. And I have had those moments, when they say things like that, and you have to cover your laughter. Liane is just sticking her tongue out at this point, and finding out that punishment goes along with it. Just wait, until they tell you they hate you, and then have to eat those words later. So far in our experience it only comes out when they must give up something they really love, and they feel like you are torturing them. Needless to say, I have had a glimpse of the teenage years this week, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

Beth said...

Hee hee. How funny. This sounds like Annabelle. She loves to make up words and nothing suits that better than when she is mad and feels like expressing it. It usually goes something like this:

Me: "Annabelle, pick up your toys."
Anna: Ding GEE!
Me: "Annabelle, stop it. Please pick up your toys."
Me: "Gobblety goo goo CHEE!"
Anna: (laughs) Okayyyyyyyy.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! :)

Kylene said...

I have to admit.. I had to laugh!! Let's all hope that's the worst of the name calling!!!

Amy said...

Oh, yeah, Amber. I totally remember when I was little telling my mom that I hated her....why do kids say such mean things? I do NOT look forward to that day.

Wendy said...

I love it when my kids say they hate me - I tell them that just means I'm being a good mom! (it doesn't happen a lot - but it does happen!)

nickmal said...

Many interesting lessons are learned through seeking to understand and relate to toddlers!!
Since they're highly self-absorbed, it's difficult seeing things from any perspective but their own.

The other day I had a 3yr old dental patient that seemed to enjoy his prophy, but decided he wanted no part of the fluoride treatment. His mother was insistant through bribes as well as threats...all to no avail. I explained to her that it's perfectly normal at his age to expect the unexpected. Toddlers are always testing and manipulating others to see what they can get away with.

My suggestion for her was to keep the experience positive. Praise him for the good behavior.
...words of affirmation

Toddlers have an amazing way of attracting and generating negative attention, unconsciously sensing that negative attention is better than none at all. Don't fall for this ploy. Keep your focus on the positive.

Abigail will have more teachable moments...displaying poor impulse control. She simply wants what pleases her at the moment, with no thought for the consequences.
She's just acting her age. When she feels understood and accepted you're likely to see compliance:)