Sunday, May 18, 2008

Best Mommy Moments: April, 2007

When I grow up, if the girl I decide to marry tries to change her name to Berry, I will change my name to something else because I do not want to have the same name as the girl I want to marry.

Are you being violent? Are you violent?

Eric: [to Danny] Okay, I am pretending to kill you!
Mommy: There will be NO killing!
Eric: ... Okay, I am pretending to destroy you!

Are you convincing me to play with you even though you have nothing on your bottom?

Eric! No, MA'AM!
--Danny, irritated at his brother. thing I knew, 'Baby Jesus' was floating upside down on the ceiling, erupting into a pillar of fire by night, and numerous other things.”
--Mommy, after foolishly allowing the kids to watch the “Jack-Jack Attack” bonus feature of The Incredibles. “Baby Jesus” was, in fact, the baby boy doll I bought for educational purposes some years ago.

No, you're spelling it wrong!!” [Aspie Meltdown]
--Eric, to his preschool teacher, dictating big words for his “journal.” (He was right, of course, and she was rueful.)

        On Sunday, Danny tried to tell me that we had to drive through and look at three neighborhoods. (Because he is three.) And we looked at one but then I was hungry and said we needed to go home. He fussed and started to scream at me. I told him to stop screaming, and reiterated that we were going home, because I said so, because I was in charge.
        "No, Mommy! I am in charge!"
        And I said, "Let's try an experiment." So I pulled into the Food Lion parking lot and put the car in park.
        "Okay, Danny," I said, "If you're in charge, you tell the car where to go."
        "No, Mommy, I want you to drive to look at neighborhoods! No, Mommy, I am in charge!"
        "Danny,” I suggested, “try saying, 'car, I want you to go forward and then turn right to get out of this parking lot.'"
So Danny hesitantly tried it. (He was also getting distracted enough that the screaming was waning.)
        Tyndale, bless his marvelous soul, did not respond. I surreptitiously patted him and reminded him which hands feed him (i.e., who had filled him up with gas two days earlier).
        Eric had been staring like we were both nuts. I turned him."Eric," I said, "You seem like an impartial observer. Would you say that the car obeyed Danny?"
        "Did it?" asked Eric.
        I sighed.
        "Did it go forward and then turn right?" I asked.
        "No," said Eric, blinking like I was totally crazy.
        "Let's try a new experiment," I said. Surreptitiously putting the car in drive, I ordered, “Tyndale! I want you to go forward and then turn right.” And he did! (Good car. Well-trained. Think I'll keep him.)
        "Well, Danny," I said, "We are all in the car. We can only go where the car drives us. And apparently, the car will only obey me. That means we go where I tell the car to go...and I am telling the car to go home now. So, apparently, I am in charge."
        "Oh," said Danny.

"Mommy, I kept the milk dry!"
--Danny, proud of himself for thinking to cover his cup of milk before going out in the rain.

...So then the hyperactive electron did another lap around the circuit, bouncing crazily off the walls...”
--Mommy, telling one of Jon and Gail's signature Bedtime Stories for Engineers.


Carrie said...

I've always loved the "I am in charge of the car" story. It seems to ingenious. At the same time, it kind of teaches a kid that there is a reason for everything and mommy needs to prove it before saying "because I said so" I'm not quite sure it's conducive to teaching proper respect. At the same point, however, showing a few examples of good reasoning might help the kid understand it more of the's an interesting child development dilemna. :-)

Gail said...

I am quite happy to perpetuate the "omnipotency myth" for as long as possible!

I agree it is absolutely fine to say "Because I said so" without arguing or explaining. But the occasional demonstration of raw power seems like an excellent idea, too. :)

Gail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.