It was another one of those days where I lost a husband, but gained a third child. If I had remembered to put the terror alert scale on the front door indicating that we were already at code orange, perhaps the evening might've gone better. I was in the kitchen, assuming my "gosh I hate this time of day" dinner making pose.
One would think that might be warning enough to tread lightly.
The husband merrily walked in from his productive, feel-good day at the office, bursting with love for his family. Then he opened his mouth: "Do you know what your daughter said to me this morning when I dropped her off at school?" I don't remember what exactly my guess was, but matching his enthusiasm, I assumed it was something adorable for an eleven year old. Wrong. The correct answer was "nothing". I tried to reassure my husband (and end the conversation) that I generally am the one to say good-bye first when I drop off our girl and the neighbor girl at middle school.
All set? Nope, what else? He said he did say good-bye. Okey-dokey. The girl child speaks up from the couch, and says that she didn't hear him. And, cue the mother snapping...my rant went something along the lines of: that being obnoxious, and whether you hear someone say good-bye to you or not, you say good-bye to them, and that she could just carry her violin on the crowded bus in the morning because nobody here was interested in driving her. I am not sure what the husband child's original intent was, but things were pretty quiet.
In my current state of floundering to keep up with how I need to adjust my parenting as the kids get older, I kept playing the scenario over in my mind. My son (who is a real boy) would never come to me with such drivel about his sister, as he would have called her out on her attitude right on the spot. If he did come to me with such a tale, I might've questioned why he didn't address it promptly, or possibly even inquired as to why he was being a tattle tale. I will even dare to say that the words "get over yourselves" would probably pass my lips.
So why was I taking a stance on behalf of a grown man? Why did I feel like my parenting skills were coming under attack, letting embarrassment get the best of me, by the person equally responsible for her parenting? No, seriously, why? After biting back tears through most of dinner, along with the urge to throw a fork at the forehead of the child I didn't birth, I still had to broker some sort of truce between them. None of the three of them spoke until I gave the all clear sign. Would you like to hazard a guess at what that sign looked like in my head?