Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Great Debater

As the summer wears on, with nary a first day of school in sight, I find myself engaged in more and more ridiculous battles with my eldest. Seriously, this girl will argue any point, any time, just for the sake of killing time. And without school to break up the days, there's a lot of time to kill. Of course, I have to admit that my Ella-apple didn't fall far from either parental tree, since both my husband and I not only engage Ella in debate, but we actually try to win.

In my defense, though, sometimes winning counts. Like when Ella walked into the house a few weeks ago carrying a dead bunny.

...I'm sorry. Let me pause for a moment while you re-read that sentence...

She walked into the house carrying a dead bunny.

OK, maybe you grew up on a farm and this seems like no big deal. Me? I don't do dead nature. EVER.

And since I don't do dead nature, I did what any good, non-farming, suburban mom would do: I ran away from her screaming, "GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT OUT GET IT OUT!!!"

And Ella, the Great Debater, stood there with her bunny corpse in hand arguing, "But Mom, it's fine! See? It's fine!"

I'm not sure if I won the argument, but I finally convinced her - from several rooms away - to put the bunny back where she found it. And I DEFINITELY won the hand-washing battle. I just wish they still made lye.

Especially since our visit to the pool last week when Ella announced, in a very loud voice, "I NEED TO GO POTTY RIGHT NOW, MOMMY." Since I don't do dead nature OR public pool restrooms, I sent her off to take care of business on her own. Moments later, I saw her strolling by in search of her water bottle.

"Ella, I thought you had to go potty."

"I already went."

"You did? That was fast."

Too fast. So I felt it necessary to ask a list of obvious questions.

"Did you go in the bathroom?"


"On the potty?"


"Did you take off your bathing suit?"

"No, I didn't need to."

The fellow parent standing within ear shot started choking on his hot dog.

"Ella, go get in the pool right now."

"I don't want to swim, Mommy."

"NOW, Ella."

"I want a snack."


She finally got in the pool. It's gross, I know, but I'd like to believe that chlorine is like a modern-day lye.

But gross or not, sometimes I engage in battles that I don't need to win - I just really want to. Like today, when Ella told me to take a left instead of going straight.

"I know where I'm going, honey. I need to go straight."

"No, Mom! This way is a shortcut. You need to turn!"

"Nope, I need to go straight."

"Well, when I'm sixteen and I can drive and I have a car [a grand assumption on her part], I'm going to go that way."

Trying to diffuse the pointless argument, I responded, "Okay, Ella. That sounds good. And you know what honey? I think you are one super-awesome kid."


"No, you are Ella. You're an awesome kid. I think you're amazing."


Huh? "You know Ella? You're right. You don't do magic."

I figure I've got to let the kid win once in awhile...