Saturday, November 28, 2009

I've Come For An Argument

For a kid who can barely muster the nerve to say "good morning" to her own teachers, Bug is weirdly confident about other stuff. Like the fact that I am totally and completely wrong about everything.

"Sweetie, don't crawl under the bed. It's very dusty under there."
"No, it's not."
Really? So that 2-inch thick layer of gray fuzz on the floor? What is that, exactly?

"We can't go outside, it's raining really hard right now."
"No, it's not."
Then why did our neighbor's trash cans just go floating down the street?

"I can't read any more, I'm too tired. I'm about to fall asleep."
"No, you're not."
Kid, did you miss the part when I said, "...down the hill, tumble bumble, pellzzzzzzzzz...."?

"Darlin', you can't wear those stripey purple pants with the starry orange shirt and pink Hello Kitty socks. It just doesn't go together."
"Yes, it does."
If you're headed to try outs at clown college, maybe. But not for lunch at Oma's house.

I actually used to argue with her about these things, which is ridiculous. It was like a Monty Python sketch.
"It's time to go home, bunny."
"No, it's not."
"Yes, it is."
"No, 'tisn't!"
"Yes, 'tis!!"

Unlike Michael Palin and John Cleese, there is nothing side-splittingly funny about our arguments. The debates would get heated, I'd raise my voice and make ugly, angry faces, I'd realize that I'd let myself get into an argument with a four-year-old and get even madder. Now, I try to just keep going. Distract, redirect, dip into the bag of tricks and see what works this time.

"I made meatballs and pasta for dinner..."
"No, you didn't."
"...and delicious cookies for dessert."
"Oh, yay!"

"Yuck. The cat threw up on the floor."
"No, he didn't."
"I'll just clean this up and we can go to the park."

Our pediatrician says the Bug doesn't really doubt everything I say, it's just her goofy four-year-old way of striking up the conversation. It gets to me, though. It does. I already doubt almost everything I do, particularly as a parent. So when she expresses doubt in me, too...well, it hurts.

I'm trying to look at this positively: she's not gullible. She doesn't take everything at face value. She's going to question everything until she gets to the bottom of things. That's all good, right?