Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Conversations at my house right now are a bit like some new-fangled method of torture/resistance training. They go a little something like this....

JACK: Mommy, make sure you tell them I want a 6-piece nuggets Happy Meal, not a 4-piece.
ME: I will, Jack.
JACK: Mommy, what happens if they give me 8?


ME: Come on', guys, we're going to be late for school.
JACK: What happens if we are not late?

Or...the most common to be use in just about all situations where a parental demand is made, such as:

ME: Be careful not to get that Sharpie on the dining room table?
JACK: What happens if I do it by accident?


ME: Don't hit Emma on the head with that.
JACK: What happens if I do it by accident?


JACK: (sitting in the driver's seat of my car) Mommy, what does "D" mean?
ME: It means "Drive" and it you move the stick to "D" the car drives. Don't ever touch that stick.
JACK: What happens if I do it by accident?

You get the picture.

I've heard about these things, but until now have not really borne witness to the true "developmental phase" as advertised in the books. We've had the occasional annoying or weird phase, but they are not as complex or persistent. This one is like his brain turns off and the compulsion to ask the question wins out.

The frustrating thing is that there is no way to answer these questions because they just lead to more questions. Most of which begin with "what happens if". It is truly a vicious cycle. When I speak, I get this wrenching panic because I never know what will happen next. It's starting to wear me down. (And, I didn't have much further to go in the wearing down department really.)

The other thing is that I'm starting to become afraid that I'm not helping him develop whatever skill he is trying to develop because I'm so annoyed by it. What is I say the wrong thing and cripple his critical thinking skills forever? There goes college. There goes the high-paying job that will keep me in my retirement.

So now I'm wrecked with anxiety about the guilt of potential parental failure. Why does parenting have to be so damn complicated?


Anna said...

I don't know how to answer that.


Get a free hit counter here.