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Language Log

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 - 6:42 a.m.

Still waiting. Am hoping he'll come on the equinox. That would be cool.

Am tolerating the company reasonably well. Excessive helpfulness. Best way for people to help is to free up a couple hours of my day by not constantly asking what they can do to help, or perhaps by not offering unsolicited suggestions about how we could move our furniture around. I spend more goddamn time explaining why this can't go there.

Am trying not to be a micromanager about Q. I let them make mistakes, provoke an outburst of emotion, _then_ explain how we usually do things if it seems appropriate to do so. They were already so gracious about the food guidelines I sent, I hate to push it or make myself irritating and ridiculous. But they have a tendency to try to make her stop crying that I really dislike. It's against our policies. ;) She'll be having an outburst over something, and they'll either keep trying to distract her, or say, "Hey, that's enough, now." etc. No, obviously it's not enough. Don't make the child feel bad about her feelings. Having the feelings in the first place is hard enough. Or just as she's starting to regain her composure, they offer her something else they're hoping will placate her, which is the equivalent of poking her with a stick. She's been this way as long as I can remember, but still they don't get it.

I mean, we do what we have to do when it's necessary. For health. For safety. For consideration of others or important scheduling constraints. But we don't tell her not to say how she feels about it. And we try to pick our fights wisely.

I also don't like telling her "good girl" like she's a puppy or something. I thank her when she's been responsible, thoughtful, kind, or cooperative. Because, you know, fuck being a "good girl".

Guess I've developed a few too many opinions about parenting. If the grandparents swoop in, give her cookies, tell her she's pretty pretty, a good girl who shouldn't make a fuss, etc. etc., for a month, will that really make any difference in the long run? Or just be something that's at play in their relationship, not necessarily bleeding over into her general worldview?

And I realize that most of this is about me. I have a strong attachment to my autonomy, and a problematic relationship to authority. Yeah. And I want my kids to be the same way. I think it can serve one well, if tempered by thoughtfulness.

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