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My Big Mouth Stresses Me Out

I need someone to follow me around holding a sign that says, "SHUT YOUR FACE."


I open my big mouth and say things I shouldn't all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. But, the whole thing with birthday party invites is continuously biting me in the, as Alexis would say, bum.

I don't know when the little card landed in Alexis' mailbox at school. A month ago? Six weeks? Something like that. It was long enough ago that I let her open it, told her what it said, and agreed that she could go to the birthday party. And THEN dance class started and that Saturday afternoon thing started to suck harder than a Dyson.

Dance class is at 1:00. The party was scheduled from 11:30-1:30. That really wouldn't have been much of a conflict, except for the part where the two things were scheduled to happen are 10 miles apart. OK, so the 10 miles wasn't really the problem, the sucktacular construction, evil traffic, and lack of a helicopter were the real problem. It's a 40-minute drive between Point A and Point B.

I figured that since the kid couldn't be in two places at once, I'd ask her what she wanted to do.

BOTH. Of course.

I thought about it and realized there was a chance that we could go to the birthday party and just leave early. We might miss a few minutes of dance class, but oh well. So be it.

I told Alexis the plan. Alexis agreed to the plan. I repeated the plan, strongly cautioning the kid that she would probably miss birthday cake and some other stuff because of the whole leaving the party early thing. I asked again if she wanted to skip dance class and stay at the party. The kid swore up and down that she was sure she wanted to do both.

When we finally got to the birthday party, I warned Alexis over and over and over that we would be leaving early. She said she was fine. She repeated it. She swore to it. Again and again because I couldn't go five minutes without reminding her. You know, because I don't trust her and I KNEW WHAT WAS COMING.

So we finally went to leave and this odd thing happened. Alexis was OK with it. She told the birthday girl goodbye, skipped out to the car, and declared that she couldn't wait to get to dance class.

I was completely weirded out. Where was the fit? Where were the tears? C'mon! It couldn't possibly be that easy!

But it was.

And now I'm thinking I need to burn any birthday party invitations that show up in the mailbox for the next few months. Alexis may have shown that she can be grown-up enough to be flexible with the scheduling, but I'm not grown-up enough to just let her be flexible. The stress of waiting for the other shoe to drop just might kill me.

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Reader Comments (7)

That is great that she didn't melt down! I have found that your strategy - the one where you give them fair warning, a billion or so times - does actually work!!! It is exhausting, but effective :D

September 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke G

they do it on purpose, ya know. so you stay on your toes.

there's no complacency in parenting.

(wow. that's pretty profound for a tuesday night!)

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthe planet of janet

Wow, good for Alexis! Of course, that is their entire job as our kids; to keep us on our toes. Can't be TOO predictable. :-)

Glad to hear there wasn't a meltdown. Sorry to hear that it was easily as stressful as if there *had* been one, with all the preparation and planning for one. (It's amazing how they can stress us out even when they don't do the one thing you know will happen and will be stressful and cringe-worthy...*sigh* Heh!)

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave (Scrumpy Daddy)

yaaaaaaay, alexis!!
(as a childless woman, i get such a kick out of watching your parenting skills and watching alexis mature. i know you started this blog for quite a different reason than how some of us enjoy and appreciate it, but i thank you for it.)

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Don't get used to it...it'll be YEARS yet (I know, 'cuz we ain't there yet either!) before she'll truly "get it" and it will be normal. But isn't it fantastic when you get a glimpse of how it should be?!

Oh, yeah, and that other shoe? Probably coming straight for your head.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermumple

I would like to apply for the sign holding job. What's the pay?

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I think they plan it that way on purpose. Like if every once in awhile Lucy had let Charlie Brown kick the football instead of pulling it away ever time - she could have REALLY messed with his mind. Kids somehow are born knowing this. And ohhhh how they use it.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA
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