We’re going through quite a challenging time with the geekdaughter at the moment. There’s the waking up and crying in the middle of the night, which could either be for a probably valid reason (“my knee hurts”) or for a reason that makes me really exasperated (“I don’t want to be alone!”). And then there’s the arguing back. She has really started pushing the limits and answering back, and it’s getting very waring. Well, apart from the times when it’s funny…
Her latest “trick” is to just stand and shout “NO!” at me when I’m saying something she doesn’t like. Which has great comedy potential, as the following exchange shows:
Me: Time for bed!
Me: Come on, bedtime
Me: Do you want to go to bed?
Me: Do you want to clean your teeth?
Me: Do you want to put your pyjamas on?
Me: Do you want to eat some ice cream?
Her: No! Errrr…. Oh, hang on! Yes!
Me: Too late!
It did diffuse the situation and made us both laugh, so that was good.
Another thing she’s started is to insist to me that she is the grown up, and she is in charge. I usually alternate between simply telling her that she isn’t, or if I want to put a more positive spin on it I tell her she’s got a few years to wait before that happens! I have so far managed to refrain from the old chestnut “when you live in my house, you live by my rules!”, but I must confess I’ve been very close a few times!
Last time, though, I again tried something different:
Her: I’m in charge, because I’m the grown up
Me: OK, so does that mean you’re going to do this pile of washing up for me then?
Her: No, because I’m not a very good grown up!
Humour. Definitely the best way to diffuse the arguments!