We Are Despicable Parents

Sophie doesn’t like being told ‘no.’ She detests losing at games. She hates it when we don’t pay exclusive attention to her. But most of all, she loathes it when she tasks us with selecting a bedtime book and we choose one that doesn’t meet her expectations. The list of perceived and real slights could go on forever, but I’ll save more examples for a future post.

Last night’s trauma stemmed from a bad book selection – “Slinky Malinki,” which she usually loves. When I told her that I could read whatever I wanted since she asked ME to choose the book, she burst into manipulative mommy-is-the-worst-call-social-services tears.

And believe you me, my dear little Sophie is nothing if not manipulative. To wit, her tearful response to my consternation:

“I just wish I was three again because you and Papa were nicer to me when I was three.”

Ouch. I wanted to respond that I wished the same, because when she was three she was nicer to us. But being the adult that I am, I kept my trap shut and just thought it in my overtired brain.

And then I caved. Traipsed back into her room and retrieved Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen,” which she enjoys because it shows the main character’s penis. And she thinks that’s hysterical, of course, because she’s six and that kind of thing is pretty funny when you’re six.


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