Advertisements

Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Strategic

Somehow Klara has already figured out that papa and mama require entirely different strategies of handling. When I come into her room in the morning, I hear that no, she doesn’t want any milk, and she doesn’t want to get dressed, and she really doesn’t want to get changed, and all she wants is night-night, but no, she doesn’t want any night-night, she wants Baby, no, she wants monkey, no, she doesn’t want them, she wants books, no, she doesn’t want books, etc. 

When N is the one to get her up in the morning, she cheerfully accepts the bottle, the change, the toothbrush, the clothes, and everything else. And when I ask N, “So how did it go? Was it exhausting?”, he says that it went perfectly and he has no idea what I’m complaining about.

It’s a conspiracy to make me feel inadequate.

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

10 thoughts on “Strategic

  1. My children are the same. They are much easier on my husband, and they reach angelic levels of cooperation with babysitters and teachers. It used to make me feel horrible, but I decided that they behave this way because they feel so sure of my love for them that they feel free to be less than perfect.

    Like

  2. Dreidel on said:

    Clarissa: “It’s a conspiracy to make me feel inadequate.”

    Cristina: “They are much easier on my husband, and they reach angelic levels of cooperation with babysitters and teachers. It used to make me feel horrible, but I decided that they behave this way because they feel so sure of my love for them that they…”

    Sorry, ladies, but neither of your explanations is quite correct. Small children learn early on that it’s Mama’s duty to be the primary care-giver, so she can be counted on no matter what! All the other adults — Papa, babysitters, teachers — aren’t so dependable, so they have to be treated with extra respect when they occasionally appear on the scene.

    It’s not so much love on the kid’s part as an instinctual recognition of which big creature in the house inevitably fills the food dish, no matter how the brats act — the same instinct that lets the household pet dog Fido and the pet feline Felix know which hand to lick, and whose legs to purr against.

    (The difference is that the pets instinctively lick the best hand that feeds them, whereas the children, bring blessed — or cursed — with higher, sentient intellectual capability, quickly learn how to play tricks with the feelings of their caregivers. 🙂

    Like

    • Absolutely. It’s simply different roles. Now I finally see you know something about psychology. 🙂

      Like

    • Anonymous on said:

      That is what I’m saying ;-). My kids are small, so for them my love is understood as security/dependability. I realized this was the dynamic when I saw them with their teachers– although of course the teachers have all been wonderful, my children essentially don’t trust them not to abandon them, so they secure their survival by being especially adorable/ cooperative.

      Like

      • I also noticed that if I’m not there when she expects me to be (like if I go away to a conference or if her Dad takes her to school instead of me), Klara “punishes” me by being very uncooperative and moody. The only time she had a real (as opposed to a fake which are plentiful) tantrum was after I came back from New Haven in June.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: