If I was not actually listening to this conversation?
I would not believe it.
Here’s Mark, talking to Kallan . . .
“What do you want for lunch?”
Kallan hangs from the kitchen counter and kicks her legs back into the room, “Something good.”
Mark peers into the refrigerator. “How about turkey?”
“I hate turkey.”
“Ok, how about leftover pizza?”
“That’s too old. It will make me barf.”
“Hmmm . . . we have those teriyaki chicken bowls we bought the other day.”
“Ick. Those have vegetables in them. No.”
“Soup is disgusting and you are only supposed to eat soup when you are sick.”
“Nope,” she continues to kick her legs out and into the room as though she is some sort of crazed ballerina.
“Nope. Mom made those for lunch this week. I’m tired of ham.”
I stare at the two of them incredulously, but I say nothing.
Mark starts going through the cupboards, “Let’s see. We could make sausage.”
“Daddy, that’s a dinner meal.”
“Well, babe . . . what do you want to eat?”
She twirls and spins in the center of the room, “Something good.”
Are you fucking kidding me?
Maj yells from the other room, “Why is Daddy letting Kallan decide what’s for lunch when all she ever wants to eat is quesadillas?”
Mark ignores Maj, “Hey, Kallan! What about the orange chicken left over from last night?”
Kallan goes all whiny, “Ewwww. Daddy! I want something good! Nothing you are saying sounds good.”
Mark stares at Kallan, thinking. What could he do to make Kallan happy?
I stare at the two of them. And then?
I lose it a little bit.
I speak to Mark, “Babe, why are you having this conversation with Kallan? Why are you giving her this power? You are not going to win. She is not going to agree with anything you suggest, but eventually? You’re going to have to choose something. At which point, she will throw a fit and scream that she hates what you have chosen. Yay! Way fun.”
Kallan is furious, “You do not even know that is going to happen. I am having a perfectly nice conversation with Daddy, and we do not need you to be talking.”
“Yeah, well . . . I am your mother, babe. I get to butt in where I want.”
“That’s not fair! If I interrupt your conversation? You get all angry. But if you interrupt my conversation? You get to be all innocent mom.”
OK, and she does that air quote thing around the words “innocent mom,” which pisses me off.
And then she stares at me with her arms angrily folded and says, “You just think you get to do whatever you want. But you don’t. Daddy and I were talking.”
I walk over to her and stare down into her face, “Are you kidding me?”
She pushes her chest and her folded arms up against me, “No, I am not kidding you. This is none of your business.”
And so then I send her up to her room for 15 minutes, because I am pissed and because she will not fucking back down. I yell after her, “And Daddy and I will decide what’s for lunch while you’re gone! So there!”
I am all mature.
Kallan stomps up the stairs, and as she stomps, she yells (in the most amazingly sassy voice I have ever heard) . . .
“Look at me! I am Mom. I am all innocent.”
Stomp . . . stomp.
“I am all innocent, and all I want to do is help figure out what’s for lunch.”
Stomp . . . stomp.
“I am innocent Mommy and I never do anything wrong. I am all innocent.”
Stomp . . . stomp . . . silence . . .
And then she bellows down the stairs, “EXCEPT I AM NOT ALL INNOCENT. I AM A TROUBLEMAKING MOM AND I AM A BIG FAT LIAR!”
Mark looks at me mildly, “Well, that went well.”
“Oh, shut up.”
He gazes into the refrigerator, “So do you want the pizza?”
“Babe, that pizza needs to be thrown out. It’s old.”
“Ok, how about the turkey?”
“I was going to make the turkey for dinner tonight.”
“Alright, what about soup?”
“Soup makes me feel like I am sick. Soup is sick people food.”
“What about those teriyaki bowls, then?”
“The vegetables are all weird and squishy in those.”
Mark turns to look through the cupboards again, looking for a way to make me happy.