The Latter

Parenting is hard work.

Yesterday we had to have a chat with our daughter about putting in some extra work to get a grade back where it needs to be. This is not a pleasant conversation for any of us, and, if we don’t let her push our buttons and stomp off to her room, it takes a long time too.

Ultimately she will get it straightened out and we were all back on friendly terms by bedtime, so it is worth the extra effort. Yesterday however she made us work for it. She tried a whole arsenal of “teen attitude” including “I don’t know”, “I guess” and “whatever” accompanied by lack of eye contact, sullen voice and angry body language. This was a tough go for her as she is fairly happy and almost always perky. Teachers have called her personality “sunny” since she was two.

Once we were past the uncommunicative stage, the debate was on. We have a habit in our family, for good or bad, of talking everything out. And until its resolved not just until someone is done talking about it. I should mention that by family I mean our little trio. Extended relatives on both sides would rather pluck their eyeballs out before they would talk about a problem face to face.

Her big gun in this argument was that were were placing unreasonable demands on her and were in fact treating her like an adult rather than an eighth grader. Pretty solid position, backed up by some hard evidence but when we questioned if she was really referring to X or to Y, her response was “the latter.”

I stopped her right there. I said I didn’t believe we were making demands beyond the level of maturity of someone who used former and latter correctly in everyday conversation.

Game over. We’ll call it a draw.