As often happens with little girls who are the first born, my niece, Jessi Sawdon was…well, a little bit bossy. She thought, from the very beginning, that she was as much in charge as her parents were. She was independent, she was three…and she was going on twenty. In the very early years of Jessi’s life, her mother discovered that she was going to be a bit of a challenge. When told to do things, Jessi would often argue with her parents. Since her dad worked, and her mom did not, it was usually her mom, my sister, Allyn Hadlock who found herself on the losing side of an argument with a stubborn three year old. When their child is argumentative, most parents try to use creative ways to get around the problem…because, lets face it, no one really likes to spank their child, and my sister is pretty soft hearted anyway. After trying everything from reasoning with Jessi, to arguing back with Jessi, Allyn finally decided to try a little bit different approach. The results were comical.
The next time the arguing started over a task Jessi was asked to perform, such as picking up her toys, Allyn finally said, “I’m the mom…you’re the baby.” Well she quickly found out just how clever and quick her little girl was, when Jessi began to argue with that…saying, “I’n da mom!!” Allyn quickly answered, “No, I’m the mom.” That argument only fueled the fire more, and Jessi said, a little more forcefully this time, “No, I’n da mom!!” Obviously this strategy was getting them nowhere. I mean, what do you say to that. You can argue back and forth all day, but the toys are still going to be on the floor…and Jessi always had a mind of her own, so she would continue to argue if necessary. And to add to the problem, Allyn was having a very hard time keeping a straight face. Jessi was so serious about all this. I really think she thought this was something that could be negotiated…like being the mom was an elected office, and she was going to beat the incumbent on this election.
Through the years some things have changed, but not everything. Jessi is a grown adult, and married to the love of her life. She knows that being the mom is not an elected office, and she understands that her mom will always be her mom. Nevertheless, Jessi still has a tendency to be a bit bossy, and that information came to me directly from her mom. Her family understands Jessi’s ways, and most of the time her bossiness isn’t a problem, but once in a while they have to straighten her out a little bit, and when that happens, Jessi is taken back to her three year old self, when she hears, “You’re not the mom” from her mom or siblings. It is something they do laugh about these days, because it is a cute way of saying, “Jessi, we are all adults here, and you are not the boss of us.” The age old comment of “You’re not the mom” is not usually followed with a three year old comment of “I’n da mom!!” But, once in a while when everyone is in the right mood, you might hear that comment from someone. Either way, they all end up laughing about the whole thing, and really, that is what the comments are all intended to bring about anyway, so everyone is happy.
As I said, Jessi is married now, and while they do not have children yet, I think it is her husband, Jason’s best interest that he be informed now, so there is no doubt about it in the future. Whether he likes it or not, in Jessi’s house, Jason does not get to be the mom. Jessi has been waiting for the day…all her life…when she will get to be the one arguing with her little three year old daughter over who gets to be the mom. Jason will simply have to settle for being the dad, because between them…this is not negotiable!! Today is Jessi’s birthday. Jessi, try not to argue too much…ok. Happy birthday Jessi!! Have a great day!! We love you!!