Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm just not 100% sure

Tonight I asked Sweetness to help me with putting dinner on the table. I didn't give her an actual task to do, and apparently that gave her the wise idea to disappear before the actual chore-dispensing occurred. This ploy might have actually worked if she reappeared for dinner. But no. I got dinner on the table and started calling in the kids. The Big Guy sat down. Spunky Girl sat down. No Sweetness. I called outside for her. I called downstairs for her. I yelled up the stairs for her. Then I screamed up the stairs for her, using my hands like a megaphone around my mouth (classy, I know). Still no Sweetness.

So I started dinner without her. 5 minutes later, I'm fuming. I'm certain she heard me and is refusing to come to dinner. I start considering what her consequence will be. Should it be a minute of chores for every minute that she was late to dinner? More than that? 3 minutes for each minute she was late to represent the three of us that ate without her? Should she have to eat every bite of dinner (in our household, that makes the kids cry. I don't know why. I swear I'm not that bad of a cook.) Then I start to worry...what if she's not just too busy ignoring me to come to dinner...what if she's hurt somehow? What if she slipped in the bathroom and hit her head? What if she was actually playing in the backyard and was snatched? So I go looking for her again. I check outside and then I heard it...a little sound like someone is upstairs in my bathroom. I head up there and find my daughter listening to my ipod, watching herself dance and sing in the mirror.

"I'm so sorry" she cries "I didn't hear you call me". Yeah right. You scoot out when you are supposed to be helping put dinner on the table. You ignore my calls to find you. You sneak into my bathroom and turn on my ipod (which you are supposed to ask for first). And I am supposed to believe that it couldn't be your fault because you had a mysterious fit of deafness?

But somehow, I can't seem to punish her. What if she is telling the truth? What if her ear canals suddenly did close up and she didn't hear my screeching for her? I know it wasn't because she had the ipod up too loud because 1) I don't use earbuds, only speakers and 2)she had it quiet enough so I couldn't hear she had it on. So I really know that she could hear me, that she did hear me and just chose to act like she couldn't. And it really isn't the first time that I'm fairly certain that she chose to ignore me and said "but I really couldn't hear you".

And I think her behavior suggests that she heard me. She is acting all upset that I'm mad at her, but she's not acting mad. There is no indignant "you don't believe me" emotion, just a please-i'll-never-do-it-again-please-don't-punish-me kind of guilty response. And yet...I'm not 100% sure.

I'm 90% sure.

maybe 95%.

Shall I do a test? If there was another adult in the house, I'd go upstairs and turn the ipod on and have them yell up the stairs. I'm certain that I'd hear. Of course, sometimes hubby claims that he can't hear me...but I don't believe him either. And so I'm not sure...

but I think it is things like this that make my friends say I'm a parenting weanie.

P.S. I took pictures of all three kids with their fingers in their ears so Sweetness wouldn't figure out that I'm blogging about her. Is it me, or does she look the most like she's enjoying the experience?

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