"L.A.!" Mrs. Awesome pipes up from the kitchen.
"What?!?" says the tyrant.
"I'm sorry son, I didn't hear you." I say.
"*sigh*, Yes ma'am." with the air of complete annoyance and defeat.
We are trying very hard, and I do mean very hard to
- Be consistent in our relaying of values to L.A.
- Not tell him he is wrong all the time.
Yes, yes son... That IS the letter "R". (again)...
We want to be honest with him as much as possible. I think the wonder of children should stay intact as long as possible. That is really the Fountain of Youth for those of you that are searching for it. He firmly believes many of his childhood heroes are real and I will not be the one to squash that for him. One truth that we share with L.A. is how much we love him. No matter what happens in my life or Mrs. A's life - that fact will never change.
There are times when we are sleep deprived (i.e. all the time) and we are getting increasingly frustrated at being overwhelmed by whatever it is at the time (Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, you name it...) and we're T-minus 3 seconds away from DEFCON 1.
L.A.: "I love you."
Enter the sensation of feeling like a mule. Of course you love your child, but this is underhanded and very observant for a four year old.
You immediately reduce yourself to Tapioca pudding and shower your child with affection.
Yes, I do say "I love you." L.A. often. We give him hug sandwiches. We are currently working on reducing our phone time when he is in the room, because he is starting to understand that phones are starting to replace televisions as the almighty time sucker.
Thankfully, "I love you" has not reduced its value. Granted, it has morphed into a tool (weapon) at times, but the value has not decreased. I hope that when he finds someone to say it to when he's older he'll still remember its weight and power. I hope he never loses his wonder for the simple things, as they are usually the most powerful.
(A crisp, cool morning in the South. It is 85 degrees. A father is walking his son to daycare just as he has done many days before. The son now walks, superhero mask on and proclaiming that victory is near. A pause from the speeches of battle...)
"I Love You."
"Thank you so much son, I love you too."
(Battle cries against Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle villains resume).
Priceless. What's in your wallet?