Monday, September 8, 2008

a side of sass

Apparently, when children turn 7 they get sassy.
Either that or they start trying to live out a sitcom in real life and
answer each parental question with a smart comeback.
Except that here at the Aughtmon home, we don't have a laugh track.
One of the problems is that since we place a high value on funny here in our home,
the 7 year old thinks that anything that strikes him as funny is okay to say.
It seems we have not taught him the fine line between "funny" funny and
"Oh-no-you-did-not-just-say-that-to-your-mother" funny.
I was not prepared for the sass.
I think I have thought of my kids as "little" for so long,
I forgot there was a chance of back talk in the future.
There is also some eye rolling that is taking place along with a side of growling.
Growling, you ask?
It is a deep throated sound of displeasure that emanates from a 2nd grader's
throat when something is suggested that doesn't suit his fancy
like bedmaking or homework.
And brilliant mother that I am, I find myself saying things like
"That is not an acceptable" or "Use your words" or "Time out is in your future".
Maybe I should be saying, "I'm thrilled at your attempts at speaking tiger
but I believe their growling has a bit more ferocity
and you need to bare your teeth a little more."
So I am trying to think of it in learning terms.
I'm trying to think that this battle of words and body language
is one more way that Scott and I get to mold this small person
and shape him into the person he is meant to be.
One more way that we get to speak into his life
and remind him that his words carry weight
and he needs to pause and think before he lets loose with his next comeback.
I am trying to think these things instead of thinking that he is working on my last
maternal nerve and if he's not careful I will throw out all his legos
and confine him to his room until he is 24 and can show some respect to his mother.
I'm not saying he doesn't come by it honestly.
There is a bit of sass in his bloodline by way of me.
I remember sticking my tongue out at the back of my mom's head.
We were in the car and I was retaliating against some instruction she had given me.
But I was not openly sassy. I tried to keep my sass on the down low.
To my great surprise and sorrow,
my dad caught the whole exchange in the rear view mirror.
That was unfortunate. When I realized it, I burst into tears.
Because I knew there would soon be retribution at hand by way of my father.
But it does give me some hope.
Lo these many years later, I am no longer sassy towards my parents.
I don't roll my eyes heavenward or sigh or imitate jungle animal sounds or
heave my shoulders when speaking to them about household chores or brushing teeth.
So I'm thinking in, give or take 30 years, Jack and I will be just fine.
We'll be sans sass.
And that is something to look foreward to.

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Paula said...

Sorry to hear about the sass. Please let us all know if you find something that works. I always want to try "a side of hand" with the "side of sass". Good luck and praying for you.

deezmath said...

My, oh a mom of a 7 yr old 2nd grader, I have the greatest empathy for you! Only the problem now is that he's teaching his 3 yr old sister that sassiness as well! Who ever said that it would be easy till the pre-puberty age!? Man, if it's this bad now, what am I in for!? AAAGGHHH! Sedate me now! Altho', I have to confess...he probably got the growl from me. lol.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

A few weeks ago, Natalie was having a bad day, and she knocked down a Lego tower in Carter's AFTER I told her not to, and when I accused her of disobedience, she looked in my general direction and rolled her eyes.

Oh yes she did.

And then my head exploded.

Needless to say, she won't be doing that again until she's at least 7 and a half.