LMNOB is the QUEEN of back talk – so much so that I want to yank “BUT” right out of her vocabulary – but then I’d have to change her screen name. That is, after all, what the B stands for.

I hate her back talking, but also take comfort in a couple of things (usually very far in the deep recesses of my mind while experiencing such bedeviling behavior of hers, but eventually these things come to the surface:)

– It’s normal for kids to test the limits – If she wasn’t trying this with me, it would probably mean she was terrified of me and I’d been the equivalent of Mommy Dearest. I should also note that it’s normal for parents to correct this testing of boundaries by firmly reminding their children just what is/is not acceptable. And I do – though not always in the most appropriate way. I’m human too, folks. Shocking, eh?

– She’s got a very fine reasoning capacity, with her swift and sharp wit often serving her well, much to my chagrin….I can only hope that she is a good steward of her cunning mind, developing a successful, creative, and famillialy removed outlet for it instead of becoming analogous with Shakespeare’s Kate (particularly the Liz Taylor rendition of her- eeks!) to a future son-in-law. Sometimes, I think that Charlie Brown feels this way about me…that lil apple? Pretty close to the mother tree. Yup. gulp!
– She does this with me exclusively – well, sometimes Charlie Brown, but mostly with me. And as grit-my-teeth-frustrating as that is in the heat of the moment, it means that she’s comfortable enough with me to try, and yet has been taught the value of respect enough in our home that she is obedient for other adults. So, it is clicking….somewhere in there.

Punkinhead, on the other hand, he’s a little button pusher with respect to phrases lately. The handful of now-deemed-expletives in our house include:

Yeah wight…

Shut up….

Never!

Stupid…

You’we Wude!

Weave me awone!

And how could I forget, the most reviled phrase?
I don’t WIKE you, Mama! But ya’ll know my answer to that one.

These words have all come courtesy of a new boy at daycare, and every time I hear them, I get all ruffled up, and hearing the judgment of other women re: my working out of the home, like what Chris mentioned – only worse, b/c the other ladies aren’t even there! – begin to wonder, “Am I doing the right thing by my children?”

But, almost as instantly as the other women come into my head, the voice of reason screams, “Giiiiiiiirl, oh no you DON’T! Are you KIDDING me??? You ARE a Mommy Dearest when you’re home with them more than 4 days straight!”

Which is why…………..

I continue to work outside the home, so that my children can have a Mommy who is balanced, sane, and relatively pleasant to be around. It’s not so much that I am self-seeking, preferring my comfort over the kids’ security, than it is that I simply wasn’t taught how to be a good mother by my own. And, I’m trying to do everything in my power to see to it that they get a better Mommy out of the deal….that means I work; at least some, out of the house.

And….
I prefer to see these irksome, loathsome, abused and misused words as the buzz words every Mommy clings to these days: “teachable moments.”
Besides, when you look at the heart of the matter – the words being parroted by Punkinhead are coming from the influence of another child, not from us! Which is good, because for some reason, I think hypocrisy is awfully hard to explain to a 3 y/o.

The only thing with that though, is the fact that when we talk to him about which words are good/bad and why, he fixates on the “thou shalt not say _____” message, and turns into the neighborhood Vocabulary Gestapo. Mama, _________ say dat bad woord you don’t wike! Which leads me to teaching him about personal responsibility, and how nobody likes a tattler.

Parenting….this stuff just never ends.

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