There are a lot of things that go through my mind when one of my children opens a conversation with a line like my eldest daughter, age 11, recently did.
“The reason why I’m so smart is because…”
Now, you have to really extend the “uh” syllable in “because” to make it sound as tantalizing as she did. More like, “the reason why I’m so smart is becuuuuuuuhhhhhhz…”
Followed by a long pause designed especially for me to guess the reason behind this new found self-awareness.
Maybe the reason she’s so smart is because her mother has taught her many weighty and wonderful things.
Maybe the reason she’s so smart is because she’s been reading the dictionary secretly at night, knowing how much an excellent vocabulary will please me.
Maybe the reason she’s so smart is because I strictly prohibit watching junk like the Disney Channel on TV. (Oh, wait. No, I don’t. Scratch that one.)
I admit it. I have a reputation for having a big mouth and saying what’s on my mind. It’s partially deserved. (Those who know me would probably say it’s well-deserved. But this is my blog, therefore my reality. So there.) I’m not sure whether it would be in my favor or not for people to know all of the times I actually bite my tongue and don’t say what I’m thinking.
Nevertheless, this time I managed not to say any of the pithy, smarmy comments that came to mind. Chalk one up in the Mommy Column.
And the reason she’s so smart?
“Becuuuuuuuhhhhhhz… I did NOT just smack Ian on the head even though he totally deserved it.”
I was expecting something a tad more profound. And a lot more self-serving on the Mom front. Something that might justify all of the time and thought and attention I put into parenting. Something that might follow her through life as a memorable lesson on how smart her mother is.
I suppose I was hoping all along that “the reason why I’m so smart is because…” could somehow be interpreted as “the reason why you’re so smart, Mom, is because…”
But when I really consider it and try to remove my selfish self from the situation, she’s right. She was pretty smart.
Particularly because I’m quite certain Ian did deserve it. He’s 9. And a boy. He’s pretty irritating at this stage. Especially if you’re 11. And his sister.
Which makes me think.
I’m pretty smart.
The reason why I’m so smart is because I taught my daughter not to smack her brother on the head.