I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the most confounding things for me, as a parent, has been dealing with the irrationality of small children. My children are generally fun, kind, and likeable children who give me great joy. But every once and a while, they go Solange on me (too soon?) and become irate, illogical, and incapable of rational thought. And often, this happens as a result of me actually attempting to do something nice for them. (For examples of this, see my instagram #assholeparent hashtag.)
Yesterday was one of those occasions, and India got about as mad at me as I’ve ever seen her. India has mostly emerged from the volality of childhood. She’s precocious and fancies herself an adult. Case in point: yesterday she brought a clipboard with a handwritten behavioral chart to church to keep track of her siblings in Sunday School.
But yesterday I offended her deeply. My crime? I didn’t take her to a play that Mark and I were seeing. She loves seeing plays, and I do frequently take her with me. But this particular play was Tartuffe by Molière.Not exactly fare for a first-grader.
I explained that I didn’t think she was old enough to understand the language in the play, and that Molière’s language was similar to Shakespeare and a little difficult for her age. Well, that COMPLETELY set her off. She yelled. She screamed. She insisted that she is capable of reading Shakespeare. She told me how insulted she was that I would assume she wouldn’t get it. She cried over me robbing her of the experience of being the only child in the room, which apparently is something she greatly values. She was so mad she even called me by my first name . . . as in, “I do not appreciate this, KRISTEN. I DO read Shakespeare!”
She spent some time crying in her bed, and then later I heard some noises in her room and I walked in to find her feverishly writing sentences about her anger. This was one of several pages.
I finally calmed her down by profusely apologizing for underestimating her theater comprehension abilities and allowing her to watch Elf when the babysitter came, but my goodness. It was a lot of drama about drama.
And while we enjoyed the play very much, I feel certain that it would have been over her head and she would have been bored. But don’t tell her I said that.
Hi, I’m Kristen. I’m a mom of four kids via birth and adoption and a writer living in Southern California. Read More.