Got a Sensitive Spot? Poke, Poke

Oh, it started innocently enough. Charlotte was pining for a lemon bar leftover from the ones I made (out of a box . . . shhhhhh) for fellowship hour this morning.

"No," I told her. "You have had so much sugar today." It was true. From the CapriSun in Sunday School to the Halloween cookies the girls gorged on during fellowship hour post-church (my fault--I did bring them, after all) to sugary crap they consumed at a birthday party this afternoon.

"But I waaaaaant it," Charlotte whined.

"Charlotte, I would be a bad mom if I gave you a lemon bar right now." Okay, it wasn't my most carefully stated comeback, but it had been a long day and the girls were on my nerves.

She narrowed her eyes. "You're already a bad mom."

Oh, snap.

Chris entirely missed this exchange, focused as he was on hollowing out a roasted butternut squash into the food processer. Even though he was right there.

I raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

Charlotte faltered a smidge, I'll give her that. "You're already a bad mom because you won't let me take out more stuff onto the deck." (She was playing Boutique, setting up a--you guessed it-- boutique outside on a table we still haven't brought in from Oktoberfest.)

I looked over a Chris. He was REALLY focused on that squash.

"Did you hear what your daughter just said?" I asked, mainly because I didn't know quite what to do and wanted him to swoop in and take care of shame and punishment for me.

"Huh? No. What?"

I relayed the conversation. Chris did exactly what I wanted. He told Charlotte she can't talk like that and got her to mutter "sorry."

I was bothered. I mean, I tousled my girl's hair and tried to motherly gesture the message that no, I wasn't going to passively aggressively hold this exchange against her.

But. I. Was. Bothered.

She didn't mean it, I know. Charlotte had unknowingly traipsed into my most insecure of insecure spots and said the first thing she thought of because she wanted a freaking lemon bar. I get all that. But I'll tell you, it feels damning to hear your child's voice say, "You're already a bad mom."

The adolescent years are going to be so! much! fun!

Then there was the part of me that started using LOGIC and the monologue in my head went something like this: "Only an ill-raised child would say something like that. I am a bad mom. Out of the mouths of babes, as they say."

I just had to pause in writing this blog post to snap at both of my ill-raised children to get back in bed, STAT. "Unless the house is on fire, do not come out of your room!" I bellowed. While writing a post about mothering.

"Or if I need to pee?" Lorelei asked, reasonably.

"Yes," I answered, knowing I just set myself up for a fake bathroom trip.

"Okay, Mama. And if the house is on fire, I call 9-1-1. Okay, Mama?"

Anyway. I have now lost my train of thought.

It was strange, oh so deliberately separating out what was said and what was felt, from what was intended and what was true. We all have those sensitive spots. And crap, I hope I didn't just reveal one of my big ones to my first-born child.

Let's just take a moment to be grateful that it wasn't Lorelei who unearthed this knowledge. That girl would USE it.


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