“I want my mommeeeee!”
Lately, this statement has been heard routinely in the hallways and bedrooms of my house. It is usually accompanied by sobbing wails of sadness, violent acts of anger and intense pleas for justice.
And with this lament comes the inevitable. At a little over two years old, Pea has officially renounced her father as a demon man, capable of such horrible cruelties as tickle attacks, unconditional love, and here’s the kicker, standing firm and denying her the things she wants.
Ok, I am exaggerating. Pea feels this way approximately 2% of the time. Usually at bedtime. The rest of the time we are the best of buds, but for that 2% of the time, she can’t stand to be with me.
Not to worry, fair readers, I know exactly what’s going on and I am not phased in the least.
What is going on, you ask? In the words of Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance Rock, let’s break it down.
I’ve spoken to this in past posts, but I have proven myself far more intolerant of Pea’s shenanigans than my wife has. To my wife, Pea is still a curious little adventurer. She feels that Pea should be allowed to roam free – closely monitored of course – to explore her surroundings and learn the ways of life on her own.
I, on the other hand, have seemingly entered into the role of museum keeper. It is, in my eyes, incredibly important that Pea not touch the things she ought not touch and not do the things she ought not do. After all, “The appearance of law must be upheld, especially when it’s being broken.” (Boss Tweed, Gangs of New York, great film)
Now, in fairness, this isn’t reality at all. My wife and I are equally vigilant when it comes to keeping Pea from doing ‘bad’ things. I don’t want you thinking that my wife lets Pea swan dive off the mantle onto a couch covered in thumb tacks, because she doesn’t.
Rather, it appears Pea has come to view me as the more unforgiving of her two parents. And as we all know, perception is reality.
I’m not going to lie. Having Pea insist so adamently for my wife instead of me hurts. A lot. But I know this is a phase that will pass.
Instead of getting upset, I am choosing to use this as an opportunity to reinforce with Pea that what I say goes… that it is very important that she listen to my advice, and that she recognize that I mean what I say and that I will not waiver.
I know that there will come a time when Pea will only want me, thinking she will have a better chance to push the envelope with me than with my wife. At that time, my wife will have the same opportunity I have now to reinforce the importance of listening.
And when that time comes, and my wife confirms with Pea that her mommy and daddy are in charge, the next 13-17 years will be a piece of cake.