Raising a child who is almost right about everything...

...can be daunting! Oh my!

When I was pregnant with Mai, I promised myself that I won't be one of those moms who use their mommy powers to take advantage of their children -- like ending discussions with "because I said so!" and "who is the mommy here, me or you?" So even if patience is my least favorite virtue, ever since I had Mai, I have to extend my patience to endless asking and correction I receive from my child.

Ok, the asking of what seems to be an endless string of WHY questions, I'm not so bothered about. It's those times when she bravely corrects me that I usually have a problem with. Not because she's wrong or that I hate to be corrected (ok, maybe I do hate to be corrected). Most of the times... ok, all of those times that she did it, she is right! And having been raised in a very traditional family where we don't question my parents' authority, I feel a little jumpy when she bravely corrects/rebukes me. The defensive in me... go figure!

For instance, about what happened last night. Ok, in my defense, I think I'm menstrual or something, which is why I was a little temperamental. So, I was on my husband's case about something when Mai blurted out, "Mom, I haven't seen other mommies or daddies yell at each other. That's not a family, you know!" Right away I thought of snapping, "you just haven't been around many daddies and mommies darling"! But then again, she's right! That's really not how you treat family! But it still hit me hard as I wasn't "yelling" that loud anyways (whatever "yelling" means for her) and why she didn't make that comment in my husband's presence seems to be a bit unfair! He was sort of "yelling" too, you know!

Anyways, I couldn't sleep last night. I mean out of all the times she corrected/rebuked me, it didn't hurt me this much before. Maybe because her observation (made in a declarative sentence mind you!) really did bruised my ego. After all, as far as I am concerned, I had the right to be angry. But justifying my logic to a four year old, who declared not her rights but what is right, will just be downright embarrassing. Yeah, I know what you're thinking..."a little too late to keep yourself from being embarrassed Janelle!" Ha! But I guess that's just it... I'm embarrassed... shamed that I was supposed to be the "adult" in this situation who should've known better to, at least not yell in the presence of my compulsive corrector daughter (maybe when she's not around, right?)! Geez! You'd think? But no! So, what does a mom like me do with my super mom powers? Use it for good to apologize and admit I was wrong to raise my voice (that is, after my jaw was dropped in shock for a good 2 minutes!)

But I'm thankful that Mai has the boldness to correct me if I'm wrong and God knows how many times that is. In fact, I'm amazed that she has no hesitation to call on my behavior if and when it crosses the line. I love that our relationship, young as she is, isn't the conventional I-am-the-parent, do-as-I-say kind of relationship. I do want a family life where communication, respect and expression of one's values are fostered. So even if I'm at the receiving end of my daughter's corrections, I am glad that she feels secured enough to do so.

So now, with such a magnanimous experience of embarrassment under my belt, it does make me think twice to express my unabashed moods to just everyone, most especially Mai. I guess that's another learning she taught me - the value of restraint. :-)

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