I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Tough Questions

In the last couple of weeks I've spent a bit of one-on-one time with my youngest daughter (youngest by 30 seconds...).  I tend to ask her about school or dance or just life in general - which normally she tolerates pretty well. She is however a pre-teen, so a bunch of my recent queries have been met with an eye roll and a "Mum, seriously! Boooo-ring!" I promptly told her that if she could come up with something more interesting to talk about, I'd gladly answer. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so with her usual flair for the dramatic and stubborn streak, now every time we are on our own she comes up with conversation starters for us. None of them are easy to answer, all of them force me to think hard, and ultimately she's right - what she asks is WAY more interesting than, "So, how's your math homework coming along?"

The challenge for me as a parent is to answer her with honesty, give the question the true consideration it deserves, but keep the answer child appropriate. Plus she's both impatient and demanding, so I often get about a 1 minute leeway before her asking me something and then her wanting to know my reply.

Some of her recent questions have been -

- If money were no object, what ONE thing would you do which would benefit ONLY you? (and then she asked the same question, but the benefits were to our family, then Australia, then the World.) The catch here was that it could only be ONE thing, and it had to actually be reasonably achievable.

- If you could change any TWO things about your current life (your appearance, your room, your whatever - no limits) what would you change?

- What one thing do you think you do really well? What one thing do you WISH you did really well?

- If you weren't doing what you're doing (for a living), what would you do?

...and so on and so forth, she seems to have an endless supply of moral/financial/social conundrums for me to solve. She's been asking some really tough questions (that first one in particular is not easy to answer!) The silver lining in all of this is that, in answering her, I get to share what my true values are. The ensuing discussion (because she always wants to prove she can answer these better than I can) brings up some great conversation, and also gives me the opportunity to teach her stuff which otherwise might not come up as easily. I think being able to talk to your kids openly and honestly is a great gift - and I hope it means that when she does bloom into full-fledged teenager-hood, she still feels able to come to me with her issues.

I'm guessing that DH feels the same way about this, which is why a little while ago I overheard a snippet of conversation between him and the girls which went something like this: "If you're stupid enough to get pregnant when you're 16, I sincerely hope that you come to Mum and I to help you out with the situation. Oh, don't worry, we'll be MAD AS HELL at you, but we'll also work together to deal with it. Actually, this applies to any situation, not just getting pregnant. But don't get pregnant, okay?"

To which DD2 replied, "OH MY GOD. As if! DAAADD! Seriously!"

Well, glad we got that issue cleared up. 

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