Friday, August 21, 2009

How to Disagree With Mommy

I probably broke my vow to never argue in front of my children when Wyatt was still in utero. Over the past three years, my husband and I have had our share of disagreements in their presence and will surely have more before the twins are out of diapers.

Wyatt is aware that mommy and daddy disagree and also that we kiss and make-up. While he hasn't seemed to pay much attention to a few of our more-animated-than-usual-"discussions," he's asked me several times after the fact, "You mad at daddy?"

And I've answered him honestly, trying to put it in terms he'll understand like "remember when mommy was mad at you because you....but then later, she gave you a big hug and a kiss?"

We try our best to "fight fair."And apparently, it's getting through to him that even if you disagree with someone, you can still use kind words when doing so.

For a 2-year-old who constantly disagrees with his mommy, that's a pretty nice skill to have...especially if you're trying to avoid consequences for disobedience.

Case in point: today, Wyatt was in trouble for trying to fish out the ice in his water cup (for the umpteenth time). This time, the water spilled, soaking everything in the surrounding area. So, I was fussing at him for "not listening to mommy."

He suddenly interrupted me, "But sweetheart..."

Huh? "What did you say?"

With his head bowed low, he repeated a little more quietly than before, "But sweetheart."

I couldn't laugh. But I wanted to. For the rest of the day, I've been noticing every time Doug and I use the word "sweetheart" with one another and with the kids. I didn't realize we used the word that much!

But Wyatt apparently realized the word "sweetheart" has the power to diffuse a disagreement or (hopefully) ease consequences. Smart kid. Too smart.


  1. This is such a cute, heartwarming post. Children do learn at a very young age! And it is true, values are caught, not taught!