Monday, September 1, 2008

Manipulation 101

Well, since the Republican Convention has been postponed, I suppose I'll have to resort to blogging about my family, more specifically, my daughter. Several funnies lately:

I caught Jane talking to herself the other day while she looked at vacation pictures of her cousins. And her commentary went something like this:
"I wish I looked like her. Blue eyes, brown hair, wearing lots of nice things, pretty shoes...Oh Annie, Sweet Little Annie."

I was sitting next to her, reading a book, and before long she began to address me, saying "See this. Look at that. There's the blah blah." And I kept nodding my head and saying mmmmhmmm, but continued to read my book. She finally put the album down and turned to me and said, "Are you trying to tell me that you have eyes in your cheek?"
I said, "What do you mean by that?"
She said, "You keep telling me you see this but you haven't even looked yet, unless you have secret eyes in the side of your face."
I began laughing a rather hearty laugh.
And she gave me a no-nonsense look and said, "Don't laugh so hard you get tears coming out like you're crying."

And finally, a more serious confession of what a bad mother I am:
We had some friends over this weekend, and they had a little girl Jane's age, with whom Jane fought almost all weekend. Every time I turned around they were fighting over a dress, a jumprope, a bike, the good swing, and the other girl was a bit older, and slightly more dominant, and not backing down on anything. Her mother was also taking her side on most things and saying, "Janie, Susie Q really wants to wear that dress so can you share?" And Janie then started whispering her desires to this Susie Q so that the Mom wouldn't overhear the conflict. For example I overheard, "Susie Q, it's my turn on the swing. Give me the swing. You have to give me the swing because it's mine," all in a hushed voice. After watching my daughter lose her battles all weekend, I called her over to me and whispered a life lesson in Jane's ear that it was high time she learned. A good Catholic mom might have taken this opportunity to teach the value of suffering in silence, or how to give generously without counting the cost. I could have taught her about detachment, or turning the other cheek. But instead, Bad Mommy whispered in her ear, "If you pretend you want to ride bikes, Susie Q will come over to get the two wheeler, then the good swing will be empty and you can take it." Jane looked at me doubtfully at first, as though this well-tried plan might backfire, then said loudly, "I think I'll ride bikes." Sure enough, Susie Q jumped off the good swing and ran fast to overtake Jane before she reached the two-wheeler. Jane then turned around to run back to the vacated swing, and claimed it, just when Susie Q realized she'd been had. By the time Susie Q reached the swingset again, Jane was soaring triumphantly through the air, and I was proud. A very proud mother indeed.


Elizabeth said...

now i am crying from alughing. good life lesson, i taught that to Sebastian and isabel when roarke was 2, works like a charm! what good mamas we are!

'becca said...

is that where my kids learned to be such tricksters??? ;)
me too - guilty.

Emily said...

Janie really is a mini-me you. You are truly reaping what you sowed back in the 70s and 80s. I can't wait until she starts in on your clothes.

John said...

Reminds me of a time when you manipulated your little brother into believing that it would be "fun" to hide pieces of his treasured pack of gum around the room for you to find...and then, of course, consume.