I have long suspected that Becca’s teenage years will be the death of me. OK, who am I kidding, it’s going to start so much younger than that.
Like, you know, now.
Someone told me that Four is the age of attitude. (Well, Four through Seventeen, but whatever.) Rebecca seems to have gotten the memo. For all of the times that Daniel has been the one to push me straight over the edge, these days he is downright compliant. Persistent and stubborn, sure. But reasonably compliant.
Rebecca… oh, she has mastered that sulking, pouty glare when she doesn’t get her way. She’s not foolish enough to actually talk back and get in trouble, but she will give you the stinkeye, big time. She calculates, she manipulates. She knows exactly how to poke Daniel and rile him up and piss him off, all while technically not misbehaving.
The daily occurrence is with regard to the carseats. While the seats are identical, they each have a “side” that is their own. Occasionally they like to switch seats, and the long-established rule is that both kids need to agree on the switch, or you can’t do it.
At least once a day, I watch her block him out and say “no,” just to assert her power to do it, and to piss him off. Daniel being Daniel, this tends to send him into dramatic wailing, which only satisfies Rebecca even more.
I can see that she’s manipulating him over something completely trivial. I can see that she’s doing it on purpose. And yet, technically, she is doing something that is well within her rights.
I am trying to tell her that I’m onto her, that I see what she’s doing and she needs to stop being mean to her brother. I am trying to get Daniel not to react so strongly, adding fuel to her quietly smoldering fire. But this stuff is so subtle, it’s a tricky line to walk.
Since she was a baby, I knew Rebecca was clever. Always watching, always figuring people out. Sometimes a little quieter than her brother, but more because she is observing, and lying in wait. She is figuring out the game and exactly what she needs to do to play it.
Middle school? High school?
I feel faint.