In other news, I finally have someone in my life who "calls me on all of my shit", so to speak. This, for most people, is really a good thing. In theory, it can help one be more honest with one's self and prompt one to launch any number of self improvement efforts. Unfortunately, in my case, the person is my seven and a half year old son. I realize that I don't really have any right to complain about this. After all, it is most likely my lack of proper parenting that has helped create this little upstart. But, since it is my blog and you aren't being forced to read it, I am going to complain. And even whine.
Why-oh-why, must my son argue with me about almost everything? And, why-oh-why must his bratty little sass-backs be spot-on logical? Admittedly, even with his logic, he isn't "right". After all, the only "right" answer to a kid's "why can't I do that?" or "why not?" is BECAUSE I SAID SO. But, even though I do know this, his logic often trips me up enough to prompt me to argue with him. Invariably, an unproductive back and forth ensues, at the end of which I am exhausted and haven't accomplished my goal. Or, who the hell knows? Maybe I have. Because by then, I can't even remember what it is I wanted him to do or not do. I am too distracted thinking about what a lame parent I am for letting him manipulate me in this fashion.
I have come to realize that my kid is quite motivated to marshal his considerable brain powers in order to make his case, get his way, get a new toy or just plain torture his mother and make her feel incredibly defeated and incompetent. I have also come to realize that what makes this especially hard to take (besides my lamentable inability to put my foot down and keep it there), is the contrast between my kid's reasoning power (big) and his emotional maturity (let's just say, not as big, okay?).
My mother says - please read this in your version of a mother's voice - " Oh, Joni! It's just a stage. They all go through stages. He'll grow out of it. They all do."
I don't know exactly who "They" are in her mind. But she sure must not be including me in "They", because it wasn't a stage for me, not a short lived one, anyway. I argued about EVERYTHING with my mother until I was in my late 20s. I was awful. I was, I hate to say it, just like Jack. And, my Mother is very kind not to point that out to me. If I were in her shoes, I'd have all I can do not to say, "What comes around goes around, baby."
The best that I can hope for is that this defiance is indeed a stage and that I step up to the task of showing him who is boss. (Funny, but his dad doesn't seem to have the same issue...my daughter suggested I trot out the "I'm going to tell your father" threat more.) But, all the evidence points to this kind of disposition being hardwired, passed down, as in from mother to son.
As I tell my son, Life is not Fair.