The other day, when I asked my six-year-old to go brush her teeth, she told me to, talk to her fist!
Every day is a new opportunity for her to wield her impetuous powers... And wield she does. From the time she calls room service to complain about her meal (I SAID I wanted a bagel! Why did you bring me a waffle? Take this back and bring me a bagel.); until she picks her last book for the day (NO! I already told you, I get FOUR books–and that's my final offer!), it is an all out war between mother and daughter... But sometimes it's hard not to laugh.
It's funny when you see yourself through your child for the first time. You want to think that it's all just an act and she doesn't know what she's saying; but you're wrong, she knows exactly what she's saying and she knows that you know where she got it. There have been times over the past few of years that she's actually offered to put herself in time out for misbehaving, "Fine... Lisa! I'll just go and sit on my naughty spot and think about it!" She reminds me of a receptionist having a bad day; the way she repeatedly pushes my buttons with those tiny, contentious fingers. "You know what, Isla? FINE! You go sit on your naughty spot. Maybe by the time you're ready to listen, I'll be ready to let you out of your room!"
When the dust settles and she's ready to move on to the next level of rehabilitation; I'll walk in her room, sit down on the floor, take her hands in mine, and ask the same question that I always do, "Are you ready to talk?" She'll tell me how she didn't want to put her shoes away and how it was mean of me to tell her she had to. She'll also take this opportunity to point out all the times in the past that I didn't let her have her way; to which, I'll respond with a sigh.
Then it will be my turn to speak. I'll talk to her about being respectful and how it's not okay to throw your shoe at the dog just because you don't feel like taking her for a walk. And that's when I'll bring in the dog and leave the room, giving her a moment alone to apologize. Once we've all said our peace and are equally satisfied, she'll be given her release forms and offered a chance to start over, "Can we hug it out?" I'll ask, while wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'm sorry I was naughty, mommy..." she'll begin, "Can we go walk Sadie now?"
And walk, we do... Hand in hand down the road of life. Nobody said it was gonna be easy.