If you are going to deal with children in general, and the preschool set in particular, a thick skin is an absolute necessity. They will say things that are downright hateful, with a blithe unawareness that they have just taken a verbal ax and cleaved your heart in twain.
The good news is, they almost never actually mean it. At least, not in the way you’ve just taken it.
So, when Boo Bug announced last night that she “hated” her new sweater and “never wanted to wear it again, ever-ever-ever!”, I told myself calmly (as I curled up into a fetal ball on the well-trafficked floor of Preschool Room C and stuck my thumb in my mouth) that she was just a wee little lass of four years.
And that she was not in any way dissing me.
And that four year olds are notorious for wanting something just ever-so-much one minute, and then immediately turning around and saying, “No, not that one!”
For a fleeting moment, I wanted to smack her one. After all that the nagging she did and the begging and the so forth and the so on… “I hate it”? “I never want to wear that thing ever again”?
Collecting myself, I asked her why she didn’t like her sweater.
“Because,” she said calmly. “I wanted the stars on top. Like Danger Mouse’s.”
Ah. I see. Allow me to translate: I felt very loved and important while you were working on MY sweater, but now you’re working on my sister’s and I feel as though I have become a second-class citizen around here.
And also… I am four years old. I want the Dora Playhouse while the commercial is playing, want it bad enough that I will throw myself to the floor, positively prostrate for the lack of it, and then ten minutes later I will insist that I have never even heard of the Dora Playhouse and instead I want this other thing which is now being shown on television.
Plus also…I was mad because you made me carry the sweater when I didn’t want to and my friend’s mommy came earlier than you did and plus also I didn’t want the stupid picture my other friend made but you made me take it anyway and it really pisses me off that you carry Captain Adventure out to the van while I have to walk because I think maybe you love him more and there WERE NO COOKIES in the tray tonight which is really awful because I like cookies. A lot.
So, as I work my way into the yoke of Danger Mouse’s sweater…
…I comfort myself with the following facts:
Boo Bug does, too! like her sweater. She was just generally angry, and is going through a little phase right now where she feels that maybe she isn’t as firmly entrenched in the parental affections as she wants to be.
Danger Mouse likes her sweater, although it has been revealed that she only chose it because she had reasoned that she would get everything on the page, to include the knapsack and hat and! Most important! The baby-doll in matching sweater and wee little knapsack.
Eldest…has forgotten she was even getting a sweater. Which is good, because I sneakily changed the colors she chose, which would have caused any eyeball unfortunate enough to look upon them to bleed.
And my rotten husband is old enough to be told to shut up when he starts whining that I didn’t let him pick his colorway. And to understand that if I’m turning purple, gritting my teeth and balling my hands into fists, this is probably a really good time to find something else to be doing, somewhere else.
Happy weekend, y’all. Hopefully, I’ll have some guilty woolly sin to share with you courtesy of Yolo Mill on Monday…
H. L. Mencken
22 hours ago