Today was my morning to bring the Little Mister to school at Grandma’s House of Remote Learning. We backed out of the garage and waved at Mr. KK in the window. After a few waves I put the car in drive, turned the wheel, and off we went down our long driveway.
“MO-O-O-OM!” Little Mister whined (loudly) from the backseat.
“What is it?” I asked. We literally just left the house, what could be wrong already?
“I didn’t get to say goodbye to Lance,” Little Mister huffed at me. Lance is our neighbor’s dog, a gigantic white horse that barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night. There is no love lost for Lance.
“We didn’t get to say goodbye and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!” Little Mister yelled, crossing his arms across his chest and scowling out his window.
Ah, yes. Of course it was my fault. You see – we have reached the stage in childhood where everything is my fault. My child literally blames me for every bad and horrific thing that happens. Here are some examples of what has recently been my fault:
- Little Mister stubs his toe on the kitchen chair, while I’m 15 feet away at the stove.
- The wifi blips and the movie we’re watching cuts out. Totally my fault.
- Little Mister is building a tower of animals that is not structurally sound to begin with and the entire thing topples over. MY FAULT.
- Little Mister tells me he doesn’t want a cookie, so I put the cookies away. Little Mister then has a tantrum because I put the cookies away without giving him one. Mom’s fault!
- Little Mister runs and jumps on a bean bag pile, misses, and bangs his knee on the hardwood floor. Even though I’m in a completely different room, you guessed it: my fault!
So today, when I drove away from our house on our way to school without letting Max say goodbye to the dog who was not even outside, and was told it was my fault, I couldn’t let it go.
“So you not saying goodbye to Lance is my fault?” I ask. Not because I need clarity, but because the accusation is so ridiculous.
“Yep,” he says. “Just like everything else.”
“Let me ask you,” I say, as if I’m talking to a thirty year old, and not my 6 year old who apparently thinks I’m responsible for all of the horrible things in his life. “Is there anything you think I do right?”
Little Mister thinks about this for a minute.
“You cook right,” he says.
Cooking! Ok, I’ll take it.
“Anything else?” I ask.
“Hugging. You hug perfectly right.”
Awww. Now we’re talking.
“What else does Mommy do right?”
“You play with me right,” he says. “And you watch movies the right way.” I’m not quite sure what the right way is to watch movies. Maybe, staying awake? Lying on the couch? Singing all the songs?
“Wow, thank you!” I tell Little Mister. “It makes me feel good to hear all those things that I do right and that not everything is my fault.”
Little Mister sighs, obviously growing tired of our conversation. “You don’t do everything wrong. But it is your fault I didn’t say goodbye to Lance.”
Who was not even outside! I want to scream. But I keep my mouth shut, another thing I do right. Sometimes.