So Lila is 3 years and 8 months old. Hello sassy.
ALL THE TIME SASSY.
I am clearly no longer the COOLEST PERSON IN THE WORLD but instead I am, and I quote, “super mean.”
The “super mean” comment came a couple of weeks ago when I was preparing for Vivienne’s birthday brunch (what was I thinking having a birthday “brunch” at 11:00 a.m. for 26 people?) – I was being not so great and Lila came out and told me. Several times.
Her: “Why are you being so super mean?”
Her: “I mean, really. You are being super mean.”
Her: “You know you are still super mean.”
Me: Well you’re annoying, Lila. (Ok, I didn’t say it. But I thought it.)
She used to think I was so super great…
My cousins are in town and the other night my cousin’s daughters were at our house (4 and 18 months) and Lila kept getting their names confused. Even though she had met them several times in her lifetime, they’re not in our everyday periphery so the confusion was warranted.
After she called “Linden” her sister’s name, (Hadley) for the third time I said… again… “Lila, this is Linden. That is Hadley. Please call Linden by her name.”
Lila: “I can call her whatever I want.”
[eyes popping out of my head]
Yeah, you guys. She can apparently call you out when you’re being super-mean and call you WHATEVER SHE WANTS TO CALL YOU, too.
I handled the situation and then walked out of the room tilting my head to the side and repeating aloud, “What.is.happening.here?”
I’ll tell you what’s hapening. Lila’s growing up.
I picked her up from school the other day and she didn’t even look at me. She just said, “Lollypop ringer.”
Now, this is code for a ring pop. (Leftover stuff from Vivi’s party.) She wanted one.
So she literally said with NO eye contact, no hello, no nothing: “Lollypop ringer.”
I don’t go into a restaurant and look straight ahead and say, “TATER TOTS.” (Omg, tater tots sound so good. The don’t sell them here and the truth of the matter is if they DID sell them here, I’d burst into a restaurant with my arms wide open yelling, “TATER TOTS! TATER TOTS!”)
So you know what that meant? No lollypop ringer for Lila. Nope. Not if she’s going to act like a jerk.
Lila’s been exerting her independence from the time the she wakes up until she goes to bed:
- I want yogurt today.
- I can do it myself.
- I want to wear this.
- I will brush my teeth without help.
- I don’t want to do that.
This is all fine and dandy — but we’ve got some parameters here, bucko.
#1. You will always be polite. When you want to do something you will say, “May I please” or “Can I please…” I’m allergic to, “I want another donut*, Mommy.” Blech. (*Our children eat nothing but donuts and lollypop ringers.)
#2. We will allow for more freedom. She clearly wants autonomy and the ability to make some decisions on her own. So, if she wants to skip wearing a coat even though it’s Cabo 60 degrees and windy and ocean breezy and we’re going to be eating an outdoor restaurant, that’s fine. She’ll just be cold and she’ll learn. (And I’ll take a sweater and leave it in the car. Because I’m a Mom.)
#3. There are non-negotiables, though. You will call people by their given names. You will not tell me no. You will not talk back to us. You will not WHINE incessantly. You will greet people.
I want to raise a child who is happy and content and who knows that she’s enough. I don’t want to crush her spirit and I want to respect her independence — but oh, Sweet Lila, she can always, always, always count on there being boundaries and rules. That’s life, chickadee.
So when she says VERY sternly, “I am not going to be your friend anymore.”
I will say what I always say: “I’m your Mommy. We can be friends when you’re a grown up. And guess what? I love you.”
She’ll come around…
…in another 20 years.