If I gave you one word to describe the above picture, what would it be?
Mine is calculating.
Rachel’s got her blankey, accomplice to most crimes, in hand and is clearly contemplating her next move. Lately Rachel has been working on playing us—doing what she wants while making us think that she’s doing what we want her to do. It’s tricky business.
Sometimes we let her think that she’s fooling us simply because it’s funny. Other times she probably is fooling us. Other times, still, we lay down the law. It’s a tricky business.
I don’t have much patience for whining and crying. It’s fine if it’s a genuine thing, but if it’s just screaming for no reason I just…ugh.
“Mommy, help me find my blanket,”
“It’s right there beside you.”
“Right. There. Beside. You.”
“Where?! I need it! Give it to me! Help me find it!”
“Rachel, you’re almost touching it. It’s right there.”
“But I need it! I need it! I need it! Ineedit! Ineedit! I NEED IT!”
“Okay, then. Pick it up.”
“But I can’t find it!”
“It’s two inches away from you. Just reach out and pick it up.”
“But I want YOU do it! Give it to me! I can’t do it! Waaaaa!”
“I’m busy. I don’t have any hands right now. Why don’t you do it?”
“Nooooo! You has hands! You has TWO hands!”
“But I’m using them right now.”
“But. I. Want. You. Do. It!”
And from that point on anything she says is incomprehensible due to the amount of scream she puts behind it. So when Rachel gets really worked up like that I tell her she has two choices: stop or go somewhere else to scream. The end.
This past week we had more tears than usual simply because Mommy was being pulled in more directions than usual for longer than usual. Not having Daddy home was hard on our family dynamics, which meant that estrogen took over completely and we were all a little more emotional than usual, which meant that Rachel cried more and I was more impatient than I should have been.
Rachel would come up to me crying about nothing and everything and I’d give her the ultimatum: stop or go somewhere I can’t hear you. Usually she’d run off to her room screaming because she has a really hard time stopping once she gets going.
She found a way to battle this, though. Instead of leaving when I gave her the ultimatum, she started saying this:
“Waaaaaaaa-ha-ha-ha! I’m not crying! I’m just laughing! See?”
Then she’d continue on crying and carrying on, occasionally remembering to throw in a couple of guffaws for my sake. Truthfully, it wasn’t a bad idea on her part because it’s kind of cute (and everyone knows that really annoying things are less annoying when they are kind of cute) and it also helps her to stop crying.
That way I don’t have to get to the point where I say,
“You’re driving me crazy! Either take yourself somewhere else or I will take you somewhere else for you, which means timeout!”
I think I say that too often. Which is probably why she went through a stage of saying “You’re making me crazy!!!” whenever things weren’t quite going her way.
I hate it when kids take what you say and then use it on you. Yesterday she said, “So help me, Mommy! If you don’t do this…”
I nipped her little attitude in the bud, saying, “So help me, Rachel, you do not say ‘so help me’ to your mother.”
Talk about a double standard. Anyway…
Tonight Rachel was still up at around 11:30 PM playing some sort of game with her doll (in which her doll must have been pretending to be a duck or something because there was a whole lot of “fwacking” going on and I heard baby doll hit her noggin more than once on the headboard). She had already exhausted every other excuse to stay up and out of bed so was now just up, which is fine except for when her game started getting a little too noisy.
“Fwack, fwack, fwack! *BANG* Fwack, fwack!”
“Rachel,” I said in the deepest, toughest, most serious and manly voice I could muster (I learned that trick from my mother—children just don’t take you seriously when you have a voice like Minnie Mouse), “Go to sleep.”
There were a few minutes of silence, and then…
“I am sleeping!”
“No, really, I’m just sleeping.”
“I’m not playing. Just sleeping.”
I was not fooled but told her that was okay. So long as she was only sleeping, it was okay.
“Yes. I’m only sleeping,” she assured me.
So calculating, this one. I don’t know if she really thinks we’re that naive or what, but at least she goes about making mischief (and covering up her tracks) in a most adorable fashion.