I even demonstrated how this could be done by carefully and slowly enunciating each word, while maintaining a serene smile and soothing tone.
Why would I tell my daughter to do such a thing?
It is because when I am not being annoyed by Darren, it amuses me to annoy him. You could almost say aggravation is the mud that keeps us together.
And what is more annoying than another human being who remains composed and rational while you yourself are having an episode, particularly when that other human being is ostensibly not as wise or mature as you?
Plus, Hannah can at times be, how shall I put this, persistent, in her frequent and repetitive requests and questions to the point of torture. The strongest of men would crack under the kind of pressure Hannah exerts.
Now, I know using my innocent child as a pawn in a marital combat of dimwits is most likely breaking all sorts of rules in all sorts of parenting books. But I do not care because I do not take advice from experts. I rebuke all educated professionals and glean my life lessons, as well as parenting tips from reality TV.
Well, it turns out I might be watching too much TV.
They say TV rots the brain and maybe that’s true.
Hannah never did use my line on Darren.
She used it on me…while I was having an episode.
You see, I am usually running late in the mornings and because of it I get frustrated when the children do not cooperate or do as I say. Hannah is especially frustrating when it comes to her hair (which I have blogged about before when she tookmatters into her own hands with a pair of scissors).
When I try to make her hair look presentable, Hannah will not sit still. She will complain I am hurting her when I have not even touched her yet. She cries, wiggles around, and runs away giggling like it is a game.
One minute she is whining and says she needs help and the next minute she is refusing my help, saying she can do it by herself. Sometimes she claims she cannot put on her own socks and other times gets dressed by herself, does her own hair, gets her own bowl of cereal, brushes her own teeth and ties up her own shoes without ever being told or asking for assistance.
I therefore know Hannah is quite capable when she wants to be. Unfortunately she only wants to be when it does not benefit me. For example, if it is a Saturday, the one day we do not have to rush out of the house, Hannah is happy and ready to go before anyone has even woken up.
On a Thursday, however, Hannah suddenly reverts to the newborn phase and cannot do anything for herself. It is the worst day of the week, when the lunch supplies have run out and I’ve only had 4 hours of sleep a night for the preceding 4 or 5 nights, and I’m kind of irritable and ditzy from the lack of sleep.
It is also spelling test day and Darren “forgot” to help David with his homework the evening before when I was at work. But Darren is not here to assist or at least vent my frustrations on, because he gets to go to work before anyone else is up and thus avoid all the morning chaos.
So now I have to quickly help my son with his vocabulary words in the middle of trying to get the kids breakfast, when there really is nothing to give them for breakfast since no one has gone shopping, hence the lack of lunch supplies.
On top of all this, invariably one of the neighbor’s eight cats has gotten into the garbage, and there is no gas in the car. So I will have to clean up the trash as best as I can, shove the children into their seats and then coast down the hill to the corner trailer store with its 60-something-year-old gas pump and Store Lady who hates me simply because she hates me. I have done nothing to her.
Under the above pressure, I sometimes get a tad impatient and maybe on occasion I raise my voice. What can I say? I’m a product of a product of a product. I’m a little bit of this and I’m a little bit of that and the result is…well, it’s sort of a mess.
ANYHOW…back to Hannah…this past Thursday morning I was doing my usual crazy-woman, everyone-is-going-to-be -late routine and Hannah was doing her usual not cooperating/whining routine, and maybe I ever so slightly yelled, “If you don’t sit still, Hannah, I’m going to freak out!”
Hannah did not so much as flinch.
Instead, in a calm, condescending voice, while maintaining a serene smile and soothing tone, she said, “When you yell at me like that, mommy, I cannot hear you.”