“What’s a contradiction, Mommy?” (April 25)

How can children be so aggravating and, yet, so endearing? 

This morning, CE spent about 5 minutes (not exaggerating) telling me she didn’t want “maana” (toddler translation: banana) on her oatmeal today, while I was trying to get the drapes all open so we could *not* eat in the dark. I tried to explain to her that telling me once was sufficient. Clearly, I am insane for thinking so. So, I said, “fine, no banana!” a few decibels louder than I intended. 

Finally got the oatmeal in the bowls (she asked for an extra big bowlful), sat down, and prepared to cut banana into MY oatmeal. And then CE plunked her bowl in front of me and looked at me expectantly. I asked her if she was expecting banana, and she responded by smiling and nodding enthusiastically.

I think it is totally possible to both love your children and hate being a parent simultaneously. I won’t lie–I wanted to push her face into her oatmeal, cream-pie style (what? it wasn’t hot). Then I remembered I would have to clean it… And THEN I remembered that was not an appropriate response. 

So I gave her some banana. She ate about half of her bowl, then informed me she was finished and that she would not be allowed to have any snacks. At least I know she’s been listening. Understanding what I say? That’s still on the table, alongside about half a bowl of banana-less oatmeal.

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