I know I've said to tons of parents over the years, "Oh, he/she doesn't mean it when he/she says those things. They love you. They're just testing things out. Don't take it personally."
It's amazing how much wisdom and insight you have before you have children.
We have entered the land of four year old injustice. The land where every word uttered from the mouth of mom is met with some form of the following, "Awww nuts [sidebar: NO idea where he got this...], NO FAIR, you are such a meanie. A MEANIE. *Roar*". And if we happen to be in the car at the time, there is some extra seat kicking just for emphasis.
There are so many mom moments that just catch you off guard. I've been around kids for a lot of years. I've seen this. I've heard about it. But, somehow, it still comes as a shock. Because, what? I'm going to have the ONE kid who says, "You know, mother, you're right. You are so insightful about my needs. I'm so glad you are looking out for me."
I knew it was coming, but truthfully? I'm a little huffed.
Today I could feel a big ol' lecture working it's way up. It went something like this. "You know what? I'm so tired of you calling me mean. I work really hard for you and do lots of really nice, good things for you, and you don't appreciate it. And furthermore, your behavior is what earned you these consequences in the first place that are 'not fair', so blame yourself not me." I maybe would've thrown in a "young man" or two just for good measure. But you know what I did instead? I ignored the tirade. I just rolled down my window and flat pretended it wasn't happening.
Remember all those times I told a mom "Don't take it personally"?? Yeah. About that. Some moms embrace the meanie role, calling themselves meanie just to irritate the kids. I think there is some part of me still trying to be Mary Poppins, hoping to never be meanie. And now that I've admitted to feeling this way, I feel like I'm standing here nekkid in front of all of you. Be glad this is the written word, friends. But, I realized, it wouldn't bother me a bit if there wasn't some part of me who never wants to be seen as meanie.
In understanding the unbelievably high standard I have set for myself, I could feel myself relax. Wind in my hair, sun on my face, I laughed and said, "Yeah. I am a big meanie!"