As our “loving conversation” deteriorated tonight, I said to my 12-year-old: Do you want to talk calmly to me about this, or do you want to accuse me?
Her response? Both!
Well, I can’t fault the kid for honesty. Ask a stupid question, right?
Pretty much gonna just give her kudos for transparency and move on.
In case you’re curious, here’s what moving on looks like:
Her: You’re not listening to me.
Me: I’m listening. I’m just…
Chorus of Her (mimicking) and Me (earnestly): …not doing what you want. Those are two different things.
Hmmmm… think she’s heard that one before?
Her: Say you’re sorry.
Me: I’ll apologize as soon as I know what I’m apologizing for and when I think I owe you an apology. You know what? On second thought, I will say this… I’m really sorry that I didn’t communicate well. I made this conversation confusing, and I set us up for misunderstanding. It wasn’t intentional, but that’s not the point. I’m really sorry about that.
Her: Say “really, really.”
Breathing’s life giving.
Breathing helps you not roll your eyes on the outside.
Not rolling your eyes on the outside is very important. Can’t say I learned that one the easy way.
Me, eyes ahead: You want me to say that I’m really, really sorry I didn’t communicate well?
Me: I thought you just said you want me to say “really, really.”
Her: I did. But I changed my mind. I want you to say it three times.
I wanted to argue the point. I really, really, really did.
I have a perfect lecture prepared in my head on graciously accepting an apology.
I have another lecture prepared on being controlling.
I have another lecture prepared on being snotty. And one on being respectful. And one on…
You get the idea.
Unfortunately, we were at the point in our loving conversation where a) that would’ve extended it into infinity, and b) I could’ve (should’ve?) applied all the lectures equally to myself.
Me, after assessing whether or not I could honestly give her three reallys (because I was extremely rational at this point so I decided it was critical to know whether I could mean them): OK. I’m really, really, really sorry I didn’t communicate well.
Her: Do you love me?
And there it is, ladies and gentlemen.
Isn’t that what it comes down to in the end?
Me: Baby, I love you always.
Me: Really, really, really, really.