Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Little Dig

Barbara: Yesterday, my husband and I were going out for dinner and my youngest daughter was going to be home alone until the older one came home from work. I went into M’s room to say goodbye and asked her to remember to tell S when she came home that there was dinner in the fridge. Except I preambled that request with, “Don’t ignore your sister like you usually do when she gets home.” M stopped and looked at me sidelong … then wondered aloud why I needed to add the “dig”. And, she wondered, why did “digs” so often have to accompany our parental requests? Couldn’t we just ask her to do something and leave it at that? 

I hedged and stammered and thought and considered––because M ALWAYS wants an answer. And then blurted that I thought the “digs”, as she called them, had something to do with the fact that we so often ask her and her sister to do something—and they so often DON’T do them, even with several reminders, so we resort to “strong-arm tactics”—like the aforementioned “dig”. 

Well, M, in all her old-soul glory, pinned me with one of her eviscerating, penetrating stares and carefully reminded me that she was still going through adolescence and that, while she knew she could often “be a bitch”, these digs hurt her feelings and, more importantly, had a cumulative negative impact. 

Hmmmm. Can’t argue with that, right? 

Left me feeling a little … careless. 

Deb: Nothing worse than a teenager with a good point. Should be against the law.

However, the next time she gives you “eyes on the ceiling” or a sarcastic comment ... you got her, baby!!!!!!!!! 

Barbara: True dat!


  1. I'm enjoying the first day of a 4 day weekend and finally have time to read a few blogs for pleasure rather than just trolling for links. You gals are fabulous!

  2. That girl has a great brain! Obviously she got it from her mom. The amazing ways teens channel their intelligence!Urgh!

  3. They can have a point as long as we don't let on that they have a point. Then it's all over. ;)

  4. Hi Nag! Thanks -- and love your blog too. Am floored by the great links you manage to find!

    And thanks, Lisa -- but she NEVER misses a beat, unlike her mom...

    Megan, you are SO right. Unfortunately, my poker face is pathetic, so she always knows when she's got me -- and, yup: it's over!

  5. You mean like this?

    In the MIDDLE of a mediation a few weeks ago, when I asked older to make dinner for younger while I was at work, I proceeded to get a series of text messages relating the fight they were having over orange vs. white mac n' cheese:

    H: S is making white. He knows I hate that.

    Me (under table while I am being paid $$$/hr to behave like a lawyer and focus): tell him mom said ORANGE.

    H: he won't. He said I should make my own.

    Me: Just tell him to make orange.

    S: I'm not making orange. He's old enough to make his own. I'm making white.

    Me: If you make white, you're grounded.

    S: Fine. But I'm not eating it then.

    H: I'm not eating orange.

    Me: S, stand there and teach H to make orange. You make white. Help him to make orange. You both better clean up from the mess.

    Yeah, right.

    Now, what is it he will tell me when I dig him about not just making dinner nicely for his brother while i'm at work?

  6. Ha! This is priceless, Gae! I love your multi-tasking abilities (lawyering, texting, and maternal disciplining all at once).

    My daughter, M, does this too -- she can carry on complete conversations and appear to be focused only on you (or her teacher, as the case may be ...), while having lengthy text exchanges with her friends, with her phone neatly hidden under the table!!

  7. So funny Gae, I love it. The battle between yellow and orange. Hilar! Let us know what he says when you dig him!

  8. I am 37 1/2. My mother just turned 57. She is a very stereotypical passive aggressive, subtly vicious, sweet venom Southern woman. It's all martyrdom and psychological warfare with her. She's never outgrown incessantly digging at me (e.g. in a phone call a week ago when I mentioned I had started my new job that day, instead of celebrating the joy of employment and encouraging me in my new job which is something very different from anything I've done before, her comment was: "Well, I hope you last..." *rolls eyes*), but I have, mercifully, outgrown her. She wastes an awful not of energy making a fool of herself with me. Very annoying. The sad truth is, if she read your post, it wouldn't ring the least bit true with her because she is willfully oblivious. *sigh*

    Barbara, it purely pleases me, tickles me pink to no end, that your daughter's lesson is resonating with you. Good for you as a mom!

  9. OK, I take back everything I said earlier today about my mother's crap not working on me anymore. Obviously, I was accidentally a liar and hypocrite when I said that in my earlier post. I'm sitting here having cried myself into a stomach churning headache and fighting the urge to full out scream my head off after having been on the phone with her. Correction/Ammendment to earlier comment: There is a way my mother can still mess with my head. When she does/says things the implications of which are a negative commentary on my abilities as a mother and how I'm raising my son ---

    *deep breath*

    Screw it. I need a cupcake. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Emotional eating. But, I really freakin don't care right now.)

  10. I think any one of us can corroborate that a mother's words never lose their power -- for better or worse (really, for better sometimes, too!)

    Maybe since you're aware it's happening, you can find your own reliable defense mechanisms -- like those was an emergency!!


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