Attitude. There is so much of it flying around our house these days, we have shortened the word to "tude." Just easier to say. "Cut the tude, Parker." "Maddie, don't give me that tude." Aaron even calls Maddie "a little tude-lette."
Where did they get it? Do we, as parents, really exhibit so much they are simply mimicking what they see, or were they born with this condition?
A few examples:
If I have to repeat a request, the tone of my voice changes, becoming progressively more firm [read annoyed/severe]. "Parker, please go potty so we can leave." I will repeat this several times before I start to count. If I get to 3 there is trouble. Usually by the time I get to two, Parker will give an exaggerated high-pitched sigh, "Hhuuuuuhhhhhh!" (He kind of sounds like Ms. Piggy from the Muppets.) "Alriiiight. I hear you. I'm going!"
When he recently responded to his father's request with a similar sigh, Aaron told him to watch it. Parker quickly explained he was "just being a pirate." Apparently pirates sound like Ms. Piggy, too.
Maddie's attitude rears its ugly head in other ways.
There is the good old "stink eye." She still gives this withering look on occasion, when a stranger says hello, when we tell her "no," or when she just feels like it.
There is the full-body flail. If you so much as look at her when she doesn't want you to, she will screech and throw her body around. [See previous blog entries about my suspicions of demon-possession.]
Then there is her new, favorite word: no. Maddie doesn't just say, "No." It is an art. A lovely, long drawn out statement, "Nnnnnoooooooohhh." It is usually followed by a smile.
However, if her "no" was in response to a non-negotiable situation (e.g. "Maddie, we are going to change your poopy diaper now."), the smile vanishes and is followed by the full body flail. Not ideal when you are dealing with a soiled diaper, let me tell you.
Finally, our own children have begun scolding us. Tonight Parker was allowed to stay up extra-late and watch TV since he had such a rough day at the allergist's office. When we finally put him to bed, he was informed there would be no late-night trips downstairs for special requests (another bedtime story, milk, etc.). As I tucked him in he said, "Mommy, can you please ask Daddy to come up and tell me another story."
Me: No, he told you he had said good-night and it was time for you to go to sleep.
P: Well could you just ask him?
Me: Fine. I'll ask, but the answer is probably no, so go on to sleep.
Aaron opted to stay downstairs.
Creak, creak, creak.
Tiptoe. Tiptoe. Tiptoe.
"Daddy! I told mommy to ask you to come upstairs but all you did was stay down here and watch TV!"