I hear this every so often from Ainsley. In fact, I just heard it last night. Usually I wear it like a badge of honor. If my 6-year-old doesn't occasionally think I'm a big meanie, I'm not doing my job.
My mother-in-law has a framed poem in her house given to her by one of her boys called "The Meanest Mother" or somesuch and it talks about how the mother in question always made her kids eat their vegetables, tell her where they were going to be and who they were going to be with, be kind to others, go to bed on time, do chores, stay in school, etc. And then the last line goes like this:
You know what this world needs? More mean mothers.
Having worked with high school students for a dozen years now, I could not agree more.
Last night during bath time, when I refused to cave to the "just five more minutes to play before you wash my hair, please, please " request, I got my usual, "You're mean!"
So I gave my usual response: "Good! I want to be mean."
But then came a zinger.
"You've been really mean for 4 days now! Do you ever think maybe you should stop being so mean?"
The things I had to hold back from saying. Chief among them the sordid truth:
Yes, Ains, I've been mean for a few days! Mean as a snake! Wanna know why? Maybe it's the PMS! You'll understand that someday, sister! Maybe it's the holidays and the fact that I have to buy every single present for every single person on our list! Maybe it's because it took me an entire weekend to put up a Christmas tree because I couldn't get any of the old lights to work and then when I went to the store I bought the kind with the white wire instead of the green wire and had to take them back and get some more! Yeah, or maybe I'm worried about the economy! I'M STRESSED, OKAY!!!
But she wouldn't understand, and just writing that a day later made me overuse exclamation points and holler out in all caps, so I have a feeling that rant would have just reinforced the whole "You're mean!" point of view.
I told Jason about it after Ains was in bed, and he got a big kick out of it. This morning he asked Ains, right in front of me,
"Has your mommy been mean for 4 days?"
"Five, now," she said, looking over her shoulder at me. I hadn't even said an unkind word to her yet, so she must have just been going on my looks.
Hopefully things will lighten up soon. Hopefully whatever it is that's making me so mean (hormones, stress, hormones) will wane and I can go back to my sweet, lovable self.
I can hear that! Stop laughing!