Holy handful, batboy!

Oh, boy, do we have a handful and a half living in our house.

Thankfully, the past few weeks have been quite enjoyable. Sure, we’ve had age-appropriate struggles and nonsense and frustrations, but totally in proportion to what normal children dish out. Nothing like the batshit insane we often endure (barely) here at Chez Nap (see for instance the popular posts that involve my child being a bit off-the-charts in general), or that they have handled for many more moons over at Bad Mommy Moments.

This weekend, when gently instructing Peanut on the reasons we do not jump on the furniture in our house, he told me, “Don’t worry about me, Mommy. Just worry about yourself.” I usually give a gentle but firm lecture about respect and ways that we talk to other people before leaving the room to laugh my ass off, but I didn’t make it. I burst out giggling, and then called Spouse over for a conference. I had heard those words before. Directly out of my alleged partner’s mouth. So that Peanut announcement, though saucy, was not entirely his fault.

Today, though, while we were climbing at best of the neighborhood’s awesome rock parks, he told me, “Look, Mom, I’m almost four and that’s older than you, so just climb your rock and let me do my day.”

Um….so torn…want you to grow up. Dig the independence. Absolutely groove on you pushing back. But dude? That rock is several stories high, and covered in moss and rain. Also? I’d leave you here in a heartbeat after a comment like that if I hadn’t already invested quite a bit of care and hypervigilance and patience and reason and what was left of my sanity over the past few years. If you didn’t have so damned much Mama Equity in you, you’d be on your own.

So instead I played along. “Well, yes, almost-four is older than almost-forty, so you’d better go to college and get a job and find an affordable house and get a mortgage and pay your way, because otherwise, I’m gonna be the boss for a few more years.”

His answer? Predictably: “Just worry about yourself, Mom. Don’t worry about me.” Would that such a thing were possible, dude. Before we left for the rock park, I was thinking “four down, twenty to go.” But we all know I won’t stop worrying (or butting in) after another 20 years. Sweat equity, patience capital, and sanity stakeholding and all.

17 thoughts on “Holy handful, batboy!

  1. Terrific post! Love it when they get old enough to verbally spar…Love the mama equity line…cause you know how much has been invested, and the least of it is money…Hope you had a good Monday!

  2. You are such a better mom than me. I have actually said, “Aren’t you in college yet?” Fortunately, my kid didn’t understand that. Isn’t it great that kids don’t remember things before they’re four?

  3. Of, Fie, I’ve said “the universe doesn’t revolve around you, and any time you’d like to get your own apartment, you’re welcome” so chalk today up to some long-awaited sunshine.
    Maria, it was thoroughyl tolerable, which is more than I say most days.
    Squadrato, it just came to me. Too many years in marketing and branding.

  4. Kitch and Jane, it was perfectly awesome. With a sigh, as though I’m clearly out of my gourd and he’s the one with an adult perspective. Come on, Mom. Get a clue and just let me do my day.

    I freaking love that kid.

  5. Awesome. Just awesome. And isn’t it true that almost four is often wiser than almost forty? My kids seem better equipped for survival in the world on a regular basis.

    My son often says sweetly, “Mommy, just calm down”. Which is what his dad says to him, and which is exactly what I need said to me!!!

  6. I love that kid! Probably because he isn’t mine and I don’t have to deal with his sass. I have a look, “Oh, really, you want to go down that path, mister; let’s tango.” It works well most of the time. And I’m really good at using it to hide the laughter.
    But like I said, I love that kid. When can I babysit?

  7. I think I may have fallen in love with your kid as much as my own (ok, not really, but still)… those quotes are priceless. My daughter comes out with one of these adorable lines right before I want to kill her. she has no idea how many times she’s saved her life. Great post!

  8. Before he goes to college and gets a job at age 4 going on 40, maybe small steps like taking out the trash, pulling weeds, buying stocks on e*trade, etc would be good things for worry in his days.

  9. bloginsong, I love that the infuriating stuff also offers a lesson that, damnit, is usually right on. Curse those children for their insight!
    fae, I have never mastered the look. Please, instead of babysitting (which you’re welcome to do any time) teach me the look, oh master.
    becca, Peanut is the third generation to hear “it’s a good thing you’re cute.” Many, many, many wiseass kids in my family for many moons have found a way to escape wrath by being adorable. Blerg!
    jc, I’m gonna add stocks…he’d love it. He does an awful lot of household chores (not well, but still) because I do plan on kicking him out before most teens know how to do laundry or a souffle.
    Merrilyn, of course you’re right. But I will get to worry surrounded by quiet. ;-)

  10. I love how you do that. Seriously. You validate his thoughts and dreams and reasoning, but remain in charge. That is a gift, Naptime. It’s so hard to do. Thank you for the reminder of how important (and not impossible) it is to parent like that.

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