Last I heard Bear was aiming for professional basketball player or a brain surgeon when it comes to life goals. Basketball. Or surgery.
After I was fully supportive of my daughter’s ambitions I tactfully slipped in that she might want to consider becoming a lawyer. What with her proclivity of arguing things into the ground and all.
I’m by no means the only parent dealing with this particular joy. The struggle is real, especially as kids get more verbal (and convinced they know more than their parents). But Bear has shown a particularly poor sense of timing when it comes to pushing to get what she wants.
Last fall Bear was halfway across the neighborhood, playing at a friend’s house, while I was working at home. I was juggling laundry, dogs, and finishing a post when I heard the bright DING! of my text alert. Shenanigans ensued:
Bear: Can I be allowed to text Lin and Dak?
[monkey emoji, smiley face emoji]
me: No for now. We can discuss as a family this weekend.
Bear: But T-man got a phone
me: Seriously? T-man didn’t have a phone OR text in 5th grade. You might not want to do this with me over text.
Bear: Sorry I just really want to text friends
me: Let’s talk later. [heart emoji]
Bear: Ok sorry sorry sorry
[wailing emoji, shocked emoji, kiss blown emoji]
Bear walked through the door that afternoon and I just looked at her, cocking an eyebrow. I mean, really? Who pesters their mom about getting permission to text…over text? Duh.
It was almost as good as the battle waged last month. BrightSide and I had gone to dinner with sista-friend and Big D. It takes us ages to coordinate an evening out, so we guard our time together jealously. We’d finally found an evening when all four of us were free and grabbed the chance to go to a local hibachi place. We’d just gotten our drinks when my phone started dinging.
Bear: What’s my Apple ID
Bear: I NEED YOU AND T-MAN WON’T LEND ME HIS PHONE
[angry face emoji]
You’ll notice that was a particularly one-sided conversation. I wish I could say it was on purpose, but the reality is I didn’t catch the messages until the last one came through. Not that I would have responded if I’d seen them.
It was about then that we realized Bear was simultaneously lighting up BrightSide’s phone. She went on and on about what she needed and T-man being mean and how she couldn’t even borrow his phone to call us and she needed to talk to BrightSide right that moment. I watched the texts fly fast and furious for a few minutes before asking my beloved to hand me his phone.
BrightSide: You need to work it out and stop acting like 5 year olds
Bear: I can’t get T-man to let me use his phone this is another reason why I should get one
[audible snap of my patience wearing out]
me: I AM ON DATE NIGHT WITH YOUR DAD AND TEXTING ME ABOUT NEEDING A PHONE IS **NOT** IN YOUR BEST INTEREST. STOP IT UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY.
Bear’s a pretty smart cookie – she can usually find 101 ways to persuasively argue her side. But these exchanges? These have a distinctive wtf? quality to them that makes me wonder if she had a brief break with reality.
Not that this would necessarily run contrary to any lawyerly aspirations.