Sunday, February 22, 2009

Because I Said So

Little man awoke in an especially good mood this morning. After a few minutes of playing around in mommy and daddy's room he sweetly asked if we could have pancakes for breakfast. It was too cute to pass up, so we headed downstairs for a Sunday pancake breakfast.

After making a special batch of M&M pancakes, little man was happily munching on his breakfast and playing with his toy trucks. Our faithful four-legged son, Casper, had taken up his usual position during any mealtime, which is next to little man's feet in hopes of catching any errant crumbs that should fall.

"Doggie wants a pancake," little man said, pointing down at Casper.

"Oh, he has food of his own," I said. "Doggies don't need pancakes."

Little man looked worried.

"But doggies need food, too," little man said. "I give him some of my pancake."

Just as little man began to reach down and give the dog an entire pancake I stopped him.

"No, no," I said. "Doggies don't need pancakes."

"But I share," little man said, his big blue eyes looking up at me.

I was stuck. At 3, the lesson of sharing is a vital one. I encourage it always. But how do I explain that sharing was good, just not with doggies?

"Oh, sharing is good," I said. "But don't give doggie your pancake."

"Why?" little man asked.

"Because," I said.

"Because why?" Little man asked.

And then the words came out of my mouth almost out of instinct. Words I never thought I would hear myself utter. Words that are famous and part of mommyhood lore ...

"Because I'm the mommy. And because I said so."

And there sat little man, giving me the same look I'm sure I had given my mother many years ago. The I totally know you have no good reason for that rule look.

And he was right.

And then I felt guilty.

So I did what any other good, loving mother would have done.

I changed the subject.

"How about some chocolate milk with those pancakes?"

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