I have earned another stripe on my Mommy Uniform. The dreaded, "You're mean" words have left my daughter's mouth, directed at me. The good news is it was whispered, and even better news that it wasn't followed by, "I hate you!" (Nor was there a slamming door, which I was such an expert at in my youth!)
I know, I know... all kids do it. Experts say striking out is part of establishing and maintaining boundaries. And I've always said I wanted to be considered a "mean" mom, not a nice one. I'm not here to be my kids' friends. They'll have enough friends, but only one mom. If I'm not called "mean" and hated at least a few hundred times in my parenting career, then I'm not doing my job right.
Blah, blah, blah. It still wounds me a bit to be called "mean" by my baby. Oh, Lord, help me! I can hear the motherly recording in my head: "Mean? Mean?! I carried you for nine months and I've sacrificed so much for you and we just had a special day at the park and and and..." Sputter, sputter. Ugh.
As punishment, I swatted Katie's behind (not hard, just a swat) and took all her stuffed animals out of her room (including her beloved Curious George), and told her she must spend her naptime quietly thinking about the things that a nice Katie would do and say.
Oh - I have to back up one moment. Today at the park, she was also in trouble for disobeying me ("Slides are for down, not for up.") and for yelling at her friend Ryan ("This is for GIRLS only!"). So the "You're mean" comment wasn't an isolated incident. That's why I took the animals away and told her to spend quiet time thinking about her behavior. I told her she can earn her animals back when she has a happier attitude.
We'll see what happens this afternoon. Wish Mean Mommy luck!