Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Nice, But a Firm Grasp of the Subject Matter

An exchange between my 5-year-old and I tonight and she fought going to bed.

"When I'm a teenager, I'm going to knock all these down," she declared, pointing to all the picture frames on the wall outside her room, tracing lines in the glass with her finger to indicate the glass being broken.

"If you do that, I'll just use money from your bank account to replace them all," I suggested.

"If you do that, I'm going to take all your money," she quickly threw back.

"Um.. uh... you can't.  It's not here..." I stammered, wondering if she'd believe me and trying to think quickly about whether it was a good point for a lesson on how money's not real and how it's just numbers coming into and going out of our bank account. 

Apparently I paused for too long because without missing a beat she angrily said "I knowI'm going to do it online.  And I'm going to take all your money."   And just like that, I was on the losing end of the argument again.

"You can't do that," I responded, thinking passwords and the complexity of online banking and wondering how we'd separate her account off from ours (and when) to prevent us from getting at our money, thinking that maybe I'd missed the chance to calm the conversation down.

"I'm going to get your password and I'm going to make it mine.  I'm going to watch you every time you use the computer and I'm going to get your password.  And then I'm going to take all your money."

I've always said that I would make an excellent criminal if not for the whole moral compass pointing the other way owed to my strong believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I'm not willing to gamble my eternal future on what would otherwise be an interesting, dangerous and fun career.  While I'm pretty sure she'll come down on that side of things when her logic and moral compass catch up with her intelligence, if she goes the other way, I hope she'll put her ol' mom and dad in a nice downtown condo with great views of the Sound.

(Don't get mad, Adrea, the last part is pure humor.)


Ada said...

The whole thing is pretty darn funny. What do you suppose her hope of breaking all the pictures is about? I mean if I believe, as I do, that she's not malicious, but there is in fact some reason behind these things that isn't necessarily bad...

I'm just a difficult child standing up for the other difficult children of the world.

tvjames said...

Because they're there, right outside her room.

She knows that we like them and in the past, scrambling to avoid being carried to her room, she's knocked a few down with her flailing. She knows that upsets us and we worry about broken glass.

Trust me, she's being malicious, you can tell from her voice.

She is a girl of extremes.

Lori said...

The level of defiance and strong will in her is beyond the normal 5-year-old's. We have a friend who's a preschool teacher and who also has a very strong-willed child, and I think some of Rachel's actions have surprised even her. Rachel doesn't tend to act that way around other people, just me and James, but there have been a couple of times that other people have seen the extreme behavior.

It's so frustrating, because I used to assume that when I saw a child behave that way, it was because they had parents who were too permissive - or, sometimes, too authoritarian. I think James and I have struck a pretty good balance. We've hit on some tactics that work well with her, but it's going to be the long haul and being really consistent with her, and picking our battles.