Son: mommy, why are you mean to me?
Mom: What, I’m not mean to you? What do you mean, mean? Sweetie, you think I’m mean to you? Really?
Son: well, you talk to me differently than you talk to other people?
Mom: What do you mean differently?
Son: …you always seem angry at me.
Mom: I’m not ALWAYS angry with you… I just get frustrated that’s all. I loose my patience from time to time.
Son: why you don’t get frustrated with other people or loose patience with other people?
Mom: Ahh…well… I do sometimes, but…I can’t just go around yelling at people at work or at the store or at the bank.
Son: so, why do you yell at me then?
Mom: Umm, well. you see. You are my responsibility and other people aren’t my children.
Son: so why do Mommys and Daddys get to yell at their children?
Mom: You are 3 years old. Why are we having this conversation? I have to cook dinner now and, do the laundry, and your sister will be getting up from her nap soon.
Son: you are starting to do it again.
Son: i don’t like your voice
Mom: What voice? This is my voice. My voice is my voice.
Son: no. It changed. The sound of your voice changed. It sounds like you don’t like me again.
Mom: What? I LOVE you! I love you soooo much. Is that what you think when I talk like that… you think I don’t like you?
Son: … yes, (crying and sniffling) that’s what it feels like.
Mom: Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want you to feel like that. (Hug)
Son: can’t you just talk to me like you talk to other people? nicely?
Mom: Ahh. Yes. Well, I’m going to try. I’ll try really hard. But you might have to help me. Can you help me?
Son: i love helping!
Mom: You are too much…Okay, so, if you notice my voice changing, you can just tell me. You can ask me to speak nicely to you. And I’ll try.
Mom: But I might need your help cooperating, or I might need to take a break to recharge my batteries?
Son: you have batteries?
Mom: Ha! no, but, I might need to take a five minute break to lie down or just be by myself. That would really help me. Do you think we could do that?
Son: okay. I can play lego when you do that.
Mom: You are amazing sweetie. I’m going to try. I’m going to try harder. Why do I feel like sometimes you are the parent and I’m the child?
Son: what? I’m not your parent. That’s crazy.
Mom: Ha! but, ya sometimes it feels like…I love you.
Son: i love you too Mommy.
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