On numerous occasions, Antwan has lowered his voice, told me to calm down, and explained his point of view when I was expressing my disapproval over any given situation. He truly believes that once I understand what’s going on, all will be well. But, of course, I really don’t want to know why he has water all over the floor or why his clothes are off or why the toothpaste is on the bathroom wall, I just want him to stop.
Antwan couldn’t possibly love Lizzie more and puts up with a lot from her. I have no doubt that he always will. But, he really hates it when she yells at him. And, she does yell. We’ve successfully filled her adorable head with enough self confidence to tell any of us exactly what she’s thinking at any given time. So, she does.
I think it really hurts his feelings when she yells at him. Often, he will break down into tears and come to me for a hug as he explains that Lizzie yelled at him.
Lately, armed with his belief that we are partners and co-parents to Lizzie, he’s been trying another tactic.
The other day, I hear Lizzie yelling. Then I hear Lizzie crying. Then I hear William – “Mom!! Antwan hit Lizzie!” So I yell “Antwan! Get in here!”
When he comes in, I launch into “You do not hit Lizzie…” But, I didn’t get any farther.
Antwan – “Mommy! Mommy! (He put his finger on my mouth.) Now you just calm down. Lizzie yelled at me, so I hit her. (He paused, seemingly for effect). She shouldn’t yell at me.”
Now what do you do with that?? I tried, desperately, to regain some appearance of being the parent in the room and explained that I would talk to her about yelling, but it was never ok to hit her.
So, it happened again. Same basic scenario. I hear her yelling. I’m heading to his room where they are theoretically playing. Before I get there, she starts to cry and comes running to show me her hurt finger, screaming “Antwan hit me!” I go to talk to Antwan. He tells me to calm down again and explains again that she yelled at him. I explain again that we don’t hit.
Antwan – “She yelled at me,”
Me, trying another angle, “Antwan, you can’t ever hit Lizzie. She’s just a baby.”
Antwan – “Yeah. She’s a baby who hit me.”
Me – “Well, yes, but” I stammered.
I really have no idea what I said next. But, it must have been somewhat effective because I don’t think he’s hit her since. Or, more likely, he decided based on his own conclustions that it wasn’t the way to handle it. He is the co-parent, after all. ( :