I routinely find myself on the losing end when a conversation includes my children. I’ll be trying to impart some teeny bit of parental wisdom and they’ll turn it on its head by applying their own warped child-logic. It’s maddening. Like when Mgazi asked me, “If you know the answer, why are you asking the question?” Or there was that time where I couldn’t talk her out of holding a kids-only wedding. And of course, that dreaded conversation in the car about why (oh why) did I slam her fingers in the car door?
If my children decide that they don’t agree with me, I simply will not win the argument. Because they sneak in this kiddie-verision of logic that I simply can’t outsmart. It’s become a real problem, constantly being outwitted by my children.
I described my challenge to my friend, Keely Flynn Schoeny who writes Lollygag Blog. She understood immediately.
It’s “brationale” she said.
She’s brilliant, that Keely. I had identified the problem, but she named it. Suddenly, I felt like it wasn’t so unbeatable after all. It only took a day or two before I got my chance to see.
I was picking the kids up from school. A classmate of Mgazi’s had celebrated her birthday and passed out goodie bags.
Mgazi: Mommy, Mommy! Look! I got a giant pencil!
She pulled it out of the bag and shoved it in my face. It was indeed giant.
Zaffy: That sure looks like a nice pencil.
Mgazi: Here, Zaffy. (She ruffled through the bag.) You can have the Strawberry Shortcake coloring book.
Zaffy: Strawberry Shortcake is for babies. (She shoved the coloring book back at her sister.) It’s not fair.
Me: What’s not fair?
Zaffy: Mgazi gets these presents and all she does is give me something that’s for babies. It’s not even what I want. It’s so not fair.
Oh my God!! It’s brationale! I can see it heading straight for me. I have to come out swinging.
Me: Zaffy, let me get this straight. Mgazi has been given a present. It’s hers. Not yours. And you think that you have a right to demand she turn over part of said present to you, her sister. Simply because you want it.
Me: Zaffron, is that what you are saying? Mgazi is supposed to give you her things just because you want them?
Me: Is that what you’re saying?
Zaffy: Well… no. Not anymore.
Zaffy: Mommy, what are you doing?
Me: Just a little dance, baby. Just a little dance.
Brationale!! We did it! It’s now a thing on the interwebz!
I am eternally grateful to you, Keely! I feel a power over this now that it has a name. *smile*
Did you know that Mgazi means “level” as in level headed in Swahili?
So how can you ever win. HaHa
Oh wow! I’m in trouble!
Hahaha, good job! I hope you stay alert and not let them win again
I’m on it now!
Those are some smart little cookies you got there. But it looks like you stopped her in her tracks that time!! We mommies need to win one at least every now and then!!
Penny at Green Moms and Kids
Yeah. Now that a few days have gone by, I’m thinking it might have been a fluke! *smile*