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My 14 Year Old Expert

Via Jean Lawry -

You know those moments in parenting where you just can't win?

With our recent situation of taking Cooper the-cat-that-adopted-us to the vet to have him fixed only to find that he was already fixed AND had a chip (read "Goodbye Cooper") Rob and I weren't looking forward to telling our girls.  The loss of our old cat's Maddy and Phoebe 1 and 2 years ago hurt the girls tender hearts so much that telling them that Cooper was returned to his original family was sure to be met with tears.  Not my favorite thing.

Before Lily got in the car Rob and I decided we'd let her lead the conversation.  If she brings up the cat we would tell her, if not we'll talk when we got home.  The first words out of her mouth were "Where's Cooper?"  Ugh.  I took a deep breath and told her that he had a family, that they were looking for him and that they were very grateful that we brought him to a vet to be found.


After spending some alone time in her room Lily and I talked about the situation.  I told her that I had looked at the Humane Society's site for cats ready for adoption and, instead of being met with "Can we get one!",  I heard "How could you mom?!"  Wha' ?  She felt I wasn't giving proper respect to the situation.  Hmmm.

Then it was time to pick up Katie.  Rob and I had the same plan, if she brings up the cat we'll talk.  And she did.  So we did.  And... tears.

It was quiet in the ol' Harrison household that night.

The next day we went out to lunch as a treat.  And while we're driving down the road Rob and I get a lecture from our girls.  Lily starts by telling us that we didn't break the news to them correctly.  How could we tell them about Cooper in the car?!  Why didn't you tell us when we got home?  What?  I'm asking.  Are you serious??

We reminded them that they asked us immediately about the cat.  (They don't remember that.)  I asked 'Would you have felt better if I said - 'We'll talk about it at home'?  What would you have been thinking on the drive home?  Or, should we have lied regarding your question of where the cat was?  They didn't have an answer, all they knew is that they didn't like hearing about him in the car.  Oh for crying out loud.  I can't win.  I just can't.

And it's not only in this case either.  My youngest has become too comfortable telling me words that I've chosen are incorrect, or ways that I've done things could be done a different way, perhaps a "better" way.   My 14 year old expert.  It must be nice to feel so confident at such a young age!  Maybe I'll be more like her when I grow up.

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