I wish I could set my brain to simply ignore - as in, not hear, not respond to, not let my blood boil about - certain things my family say or do.
Matthew: Mummmmyyyyyyy? Can I have some candy? (Insert whiny, petulant tone pitched so high the dog moans and runs upstairs)
Me: Not now, Bug. It's too early. After lunch.
Matthew: It's not too early.
Me: Yes, it is.
Matthew: Mummmmmmmy, it's not FAIR!!! (Insert scowling face, thrust out lip and crossed arms here)
On a related note:
Does anyone else out there have a child who whines while adding an emphatic "UH" to the last syllable?
Matthew: LuuuuukkkkkkUH! Stop doooooooooooinnnng thaattUH! Mummy! He's looking at me all weeeeeeeeeeeeerrriiidUH."
Matthew: (Insert snotty, Lord help us, SUPER snotty tone here): I'm not gonna play with you anymore, Luke. I don't want to because because you're only fourUH..."
Me: (Not ignoring, the way I likely should, but damn it, Luke worships Matthew. It's fine if Matthew doesn't play with him all the time, but there's no need to be mean about it): Matthew, if I spoke to you that way, how would you feel?
Matthew: I don't careUH! (and then, turning to me, sticks out his tongue!)
*Brief pause for my brain to explode *
Me: (Furiously pointing to the stairs): Time Out. NOW!
Matthew: WhhhhaatttUH? I didn't do annnyyyythingUH!
Me: Do that again and I will smack that sass right off your face!
(Yes, I am the same mother who sends the Reds to Time Out for hitting each other. I recognize the hypocrisy here, just don't know what to DO about it.)
Matthew: (Stomping toward stairs, his voice rising, filling with tears): It's not faaairrrUH!
I got nothin', people. This petulant "uh"ing is new for Matthew and for us. It grates on my every nerve and I'm pretty sure my ears are bleeding. Is this normal? Do ALL children do this, or just mine?
If so, the question is not whether the children will survive childhood. The question is, will I?
*Bangs own head against deskUH*
And you? How do handle it when your kids ooze sass and attitude?
Sometimes, blog posts seem to write themselves. Sometimes, in the very middle of a pretty ordinary day, extraordinary moments happen:
The Reds and I bought poppies today. As I was pinning them on, Luke asked what they're for. I told him that it's a way to show soldiers how much we appreciate the hard work they do, keeping people safe.
Matthew: And they fight in wars, right?
Me: Yes, unfortunately, they do.
Luke: I'm gonna fight in a war one day, Mummy. I'm gonna be the first one there!
Me: I sure hope not, Lukey. I don't want anyone to fight in a war, but especially not you. Matthew: Don't worry, Mummy! If Luke goes, I'll go too and then you won't have to worry.
An elderly woman approached on unsteady feet, leaning heavily on her cane. She peered down at the boys, stroked Luke's cheek, Matthew's hair.
"Sweet boys. Let us pray your mother never sees a day when she must send two fine lads like you to war."
She lifted her gaze to me and offered a sad smile.
"Three of my sons fought in the war," she explained. I nodded, sensing there was more.
"Only one returned to me."
"I'm so sorry," I gasped, hoping it was enough, knowing that it couldn't possibly be.
She gestured to the Reds, now proudly showing one another their poppies, mucking about.
"Your sons. May God keep them with you always."
"Amen," said a deep, weary voice behind us.
It was a soldier, beret smartly titled on his head, poppy over his uniformed heart.
She touched his arm, the poppy and offered a watery smile and a whisper: "Thank you, son."
The soldier, clearly touched, lifted his chin and smiled back.