Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And though she be but little, she is fierce.
Me: “Annabelle, I am terribly sorry that I said mean things. I was frustrated, and I should have taken time to sit quietly and then come back. I apologize. Do you forgive me?”Annabelle: “Mama, I love you, and you love me so much. All the way to Jupiter and back. That’s why we fight mama. I said mean things, too. I’m sorry. We shouldn’t fight. Let’s start again.”
Fortunately, I’ve spent years doing my absolute best to model healthy behavior. My routine is that when I become flustered, I take a mama time out. I politely ask her to stop fighting with me, and say that we will discuss things when we both have cooler heads. She can always key in to when I am sleep deprived, stressed, or otherwise disengaged, and these are the times that she chooses to test me. She likes to find out if I love her unconditionally. The answer is always yes. Sometimes I fail miserably at modeling ideal behavior, and we end up having the conversation above.