Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Friend Will Not Say Never

So, Avee is at the age where pretty much everything she says and thinks makes me laugh. She's so different, from Bo. Her interests, her perspective, her obsessions...

A couple of weeks ago I got upset with J. I can't remember now what it was about. It was minor. But I was laying on the bed reading, he came to talk to me and I started sulking. I said something like, "I'm just not going to ever _______ again. I'm serious. I'm done." He burst out laughing and said, "Okay, Avee."

I think we've been so perplexed by Avee when really, all along, she's just an uninhibited, unsocialized Me. I was very serious when I was sulking, but realizing how very much I sounded like Avee, made me get over it. But it also helped me understand Avee a little better. It's very real---her sadness, her threats, her need to make us feel her "suffering."

I don't think a day goes by that she doesn't threaten to "never be my friend again". I go back and forth between expressing dismay at this loss of a friendship (I don't want her to feel totally impotent) and confirming that she will always be my friend, no matter what. She is tough though. When I say, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that, I really like being your friend." She usually responds with a "Well, that's what you get" sort of answer. When I reaffirm that I will always be her friend she tells me firmly that I will be standing alone in that friendship.

Lately she has been having some tough consequences for her behavior. She kind of throws tantrums when she's mad or frustrated, and she's getting to the age where she has to use words and try a little harder to express herself. Two days in a row she threw the Wii remote when she got frustrated with a game she couldn't immediately master. (The kid's amazing on the Wii, seriously.)

So she lost the privilege of playing the Wii for the rest of the day. She tried to bargain, she whined, she yelled, and finally she told me she was no longer my friend. I told her I was sorry to hear that. She said, "I'll let you be my friend again if you let me play the Wii." I told her, as tempting as this was, she wouldn't learn to treat the remote more gently if she didn't have to go without it for a while and think about her actions more. "Then have fun not having ME for your friend," says she.

Yesterday, she did it again. Threw the remote. This time it was aimed at Bo, and who's to say he didn't earn it, but she broke a known rule, so she lost the privilege again.

She was furious. She knew I would stick to my guns because of the day before, so she didn't bother with the bargaining. She just went right into the threats and verbal tether-ball. I won't ever be your friend. I'm not your friend! I won't ever snuggle you again, I want you to hold me, but don't ever snuggle me! It's awesome.

During a brief break from one of her monologues of all the things I was missing out on, I asked Bo to turn down the tv volume. She jumped to do it. I said, "I thought you weren't my friend and didn't want to have anything to do with me?" She said, "I said I won't do anysing with you or by you, but I'll still do things for you."

She had trouble coming to the table for dinner when she was called, so there was a little drama there.

Then at bedtime all three kids were being turds. After repeated efforts to get them out of my hair and into bed, I finally just yelled, "GET UPSTAIRS NOW!"

My yelling always makes Avee sad. Sometimes she responds indignantly, because she doesn't want me to see that I got to her, but most times she just cries.

She started to cry, stormed up about three stairs, turned to me and said, "Mom, we're OVER" complete with a hand chopping the air. I burst out laughing as she explained, "That means we are not friends anymore!" My laughing made her cry more, but I could not pull it together. I've laughed about it at least 26 more times since she said it last night. I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff.

In the end, I love that she thinks the absence of her love and affection is the worst punishment. I love that she knows we are wrapped around her finger. I love that she always expresses her anger to me. I love that it usually lasts no more than 8 minutes. I love that she wants so desperately to withhold her affection as punishment, but ultimately, just can't do it.

I thought I should write some of this down because of one of Avee's remarks today as we were driving around town. Avee was in the back of the van, her friend Ella was in the seat in front of her. We were listening to one of our Veggie Tales CD's that has the Michael W Smith song, "Friends" on it. You ain't lived until you've heard a gourd and a cucumber sing that! One part, if you aren't familiar, goes, "And a friend will not say never, 'cause the welcome will not end...."
I heard Avee above the music exclaim, "That's not true, Ella you say never to me ALL THE TIME."

Ella is Avee's perfect match. She didn't hear or didn't respond and then when the song ended she sighed, "That is the most beautifullest song I ever heard, could we hear it again?"

Meanwhile, Avee's in the back muttering about how she got gipped out of a friend that never says never.


Rebecca said...


Kristi Clinger said...

Avee keeps me laughing. I Love to read stories about her.

Bex said...

Hahaha!!! That kid is awesome. I know she had Jason wrapped around her finger too, it's no surprise though she's a tough guy melter.

Rebecca said...

okay.. now that I have matured up.. love that child of yours..a mini you.. but I think right now I am in Avees I understand feeling the need to be validated.. those kids.. working out all their feelings..i will be your friend forever!!

Tiffany said...

Simply adorable. I love reading what you write.

glittersmama said...

We are OVER!


Klin said...

I love that she said "We are over!" She is a perfect Drama Queen.

When my girls told me they wouldn't be my friend anymore I said I'm not always your friend, but I am ALWAYS your mom! They never argued with that.

Do you think that whole "I'm not your friend" threat is a girl thing?

Charlotte said...

You are too nice. Our 3 year old likes to confer his "buddy-ship" as a gift. "I'm your buddy" is a prize all the kids fight for here. He tried threatening me with "I won't be your buddy" but stopped when I informed him that I only share my treats and read stories with my buddies.

Sarah Tilley said...

oh, you really make me want to have a girl just like avee. and i would've died laughing.

Amy said...


SAHM Scrapper said...

lol (literally)

Alicia said...

After giving birth to a mini me of my husband I had drawn a similar conclusion as you, children are just smaller versions of ourselves. You, as usual, articulated it better.

This post makes me laugh even more when I realize that you wrote on my facebook page a few days ago that we were no longer friends. Please, listen to the vegetables and let me be your friend again.

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Code Yellow Mom said...

Do you read Chinese? And how come a Chinese person commented before me? Are they telling you you got the job?


I LOVE. this. post.

Avee is a mini you. And it's awesome. Don't socialize her too much.

I kinda hope that sometime soon Jane will tell me, "Mom, we are OVER!" but I don't think it's going to happen. :) That is truly hilarious, btw. I would still be laughing myself.