Ella really surprises me sometimes, and makes me worry about what we're in for when she's a teenager. A few weeks ago, she had been acting up at the dinner table, so I excused her and sent her off to her room. Later, as I was folding sheets in the guest room, I called her in for a chat. I asked her what she wanted to talk about. Her response was that she wanted to talk about Lily and Campbell and how I was driving her nuts. I asked her to be more specific, and she said, "Mama, I know you're just trying to make this be about my behavior." I just about dropped my teeth in surprise. Of course that's what I was doing, but how did she figure it out?
Most mornings, she refuses to drink her juice or milk at breakfast, saying she's not thirsty. I worry that she's going to be dehydrated and try to force the issue, usually unsuccessfully. This morning, I gave the girls chocolate milk, hoping that the rare treat would inspire Ella to actually drink. She came around the corner after she finished breakfast and informed me that she hadn't drunk all of her chocolate milk because she knew that I gave it to her just to get her to drink something. She figured me out AND was willing to not drink all of her milk just to prove the point. Unbelievable.
When we went to our parent-teacher conference a few weeks ago, we told her teacher a few of these stories just to give her some insight into what she's dealing with. Her response was that she couldn't wait to see Ella as a teenager. You'd be amazed at how many people say just that.
On another track, the girls have been bickering a lot lately, and I know it's a result of the new family dynamics, so I try not to interfere or referee too much. Yesterday afternoon Ella came in to my room to report that Lily had hit her in the stomach (Lily likes to hit and we haven't figured out a way to stop it yet). Lily was trotting right along behind Ella, so I asked why she had hit her sister. She quite cheerfully informed me that she did it because Ella had licked her. I nearly burst out laughing. I then asked Ella why she had licked Lily, and she said it was to pay her back for tattling on her when she had accidentally knocked Lily over. I decided that this was one time that I really didn't need to interfere and sent them on their way.