I knew the time was coming. As a parent, I think you have a sixth sense about these things. The Frog Princess is so good. I’ve been waiting for the shoe to drop. Lately, I’ve noticed her pushing her boundaries and I’ve also noticed that as a 5-year old, there are nuances that she just does not understand. Take, for example, her belly.
For years now, I have taken to lots of tickles, poking of the belly and of course, reminders of how awesome that belly is. Things like “look that belly!” and “look at that big belly!” have left my mouth many times. In part because it’s true (kid bellies are the best) but also because I didn’t want her to feel a ways about having one.
The Frog Princess, in turn, will turn to me at times (especially if I’m in my bathing suit or without a shirt) and give me those same words I give her. Recently, while my sister was here, she did the same thing. Titi Q does have a belly and so, we began to try and explain to her that while it is true that Titi Q has a belly, and she does mean well when she turns to her, touches/hugs her belly and says “look at that big belly”, it might not come across too well in other circles.
So of course, you know it happened. That moment when she said those words to someone that didn’t know the background story. I know she’s 5 but, still. I felt the need to explain myself. And I thanked the person because she actually told her that wasn’t very nice (apparently, I caught the second instance of this sentence being uttered).
I think it’s important sometimes, for kids to hear someone else say what parents say in order to reinforce the lesson. But, I still felt bad. Like I’ve been doing something wrong in uttering those words to her.
Here I was, thinking that this was specifically for her. How do you draw the line in the sand between what is true, what is said and what is implied?
Same thing happens in other ways. We tell her that if she farts she should say excuse me. But then I give her mad side eye if we are at dinner with people and she says “excuse me, I farted”.
She’s telling the truth. And she’s doing what I asked her to do. So, what’s the problem, right?
Y’all, this is hard! I feel for kids. And I feel for parents. How do you walk that line? Help!