The kids and I were in the kitchen as we usually are most days at some point. Fiona was in the playpen and Eamon was doing whatever 8 year-olds do in that spastic way that they do them. But Fiona wasn’t feeling like she really wanted to have her freedom restrained by that playpen. And she started to shriek at me.
Eamon goes over and starts trying to keep her from crying by chattering at her in a high voice. Because at some point he’s decided that stopping her from crying is his job. And the high-pitched voice he’s making combined with her shrieks and wails is unbearable.
I say “Buddy, can you please stop that. And besides the pain in my brain, here’s why you need to”. I explained to him that when we respond to every little shriek she makes, she starts to think maybe she’s in charge. Even though it seems like she wants to be in charge, she knows that she’s incapable of being in charge. There’s too much going on and too many decisions to be made and responsibilities to have.
So the next place her brain is going is to Overwhelmed Junction. She’ll be frightened that she’s been given that level of power to be in charge. And she’ll then know that she’s living with crazy people. Because only crazy people let their babies run the show. Crazy people set no limitations and boundaries on their children which makes them feel unsafe.
I asked Eamon to tell me what he had heard me say and he can actually explain this to you if you asked. Maybe it’s fun to think of parents as the “Crazy People” when they really aren’t. We’re the kooky fun parents who talk a lot and love a lot. And Fiona can keep testing us to see if we have our licenses but I will assure her, we’re still driving.