I am so tired of negotiating with children. Ultimately, it feels like a negotiation with myself where I whiddle down my expectations to the bare minimum and angrily give in to them. I should be stronger, I know. But I’m just so tired. Lately it seems there is a battle over everything from getting dressed to having a bath to what movie they can agree to watch together.
This time, the battle was over finishing a smoothie.
I’m not a believer of making a child finish everything on their plate; but I am a pusher of fluids since neither of my children seeks fluid until the point of dehydration.
This morning Natalie had half finished her smoothie when she stealthily slid away from the breakfast table.
Me: “Natalie, get back to the table. You need to drink your smoothie.”
Natalie: “I did.”
Me: “You need to finish it.”
Me: “Uhm, because it will make you smart… and strong… and healthy.” (I have no idea what truly motivates a six year old. Perhaps I should have lied and given into some sort of immature and incorrect reason, but I don’t need to because…)
Aaron: “It will give you boobs like Mom’s.”
Natalie looked down at her own chest and a horrified expression passed over her face. She looked between Aaron and me for some sort of reassurances that we were kidding and that her fate was somehow better than this.
I was moderately offended. She made my boobs like this. Her and her brother share this responsibility. Before having kids my boobs were quite lovely. A nice B-cup, firm; some might even say perky. There were no stretch marks. There was no “tennis ball in a tube sock”. So, yeah, the fact that she found it horrifying that she might someday have boobs like mine was a bit much to take at 7:30 am.
Aaron: “Don’t you want boobs like Mom’s?”
Natalie: “NO!” she shouted.
Aaron: “Why not?”
Natalie: “Someone might see them!”
And with that, she stomped off from the table. “I’m not drinking that smoothie!” she said as she ran up the stairs, her hand clutching her flat chest.
Me (to Aaron): “Well, that was a nice start to the day. Thanks for that.”
Aaron: “I finished my smoothie…”
Me: “Stay away from me.”