1. “Can I play with Legos for reading time?” Jay’s voice had hesitancy and hope in it at the same time. He knew I would say no. Reading time is for reading. But that wasn’t the kicker. A few nights before, he’d had a tantrum about not having enough reading time. Hubby had let him stay downstairs past bedtime to finish watching a movie. In my mind, lights still go out at the usual time. Having the privilege of staying up later to watch TV means you sacrifice the equivalent amount of reading time. It would have been expecting too much to remind him as a 6.5 year old about that tantrum, and I was too tired to explain the irony of his question. I left it at “no” (with maybe an eye roll.
2. “I want to be the kind of mom that dad is.” That gem came from Mae. Whew boy! That was her way of saying that she wants to be a fun mom, which I am notoriously and unashamedly not. I thought to myself, “Well, you’d better marry a cooking, cleaning, homework-checking, bill-paying, hair-doing, appointment-making woman.” I’m fully aware that there are some men who take on the same or similar degree of household management for which mothers are known. However, they were not my first thought. She’s 10. She has lots of time to become enlightened. I wish her the best of luck!
3. “It’s not my fault I wasn’t paying attention.” Ok then. I’m still processing that one.
4. “I have a question I want to ask the Internet.” When I was 10, I was annoyed that I lived in a home that didn’t have a complete encyclopedia set. We had a partial set of Brittanica knock-offs that my mother started by trading in Greenback stamps at the grocery store. The store discontinued the offer before my mother completed the set. Using a “real” encyclopedia meant a car trip to the library or an aunt’s house. Mae’s statement was a sharp reminder of how much the world has changed.
One of the wonders of children is their ability to make you see things in a different way. My kids continue to challenge me to think, rethink and unthink. It’s good for me.