There comes a time when dealing with kids that you need to abandon what you are supposed to do and just go with your instincts.

I was home alone with Z last night and she was fine until she went to bed. About 10 minutes later I could hear her sobbing. I went up to see what was going on.

She was crying too hard to make any sense so I did the stuff that you are supposed to do. Hugs, water, Kleenexes-  none of that helped much. I did get out of her that she missed her mom and she was “forced to come here.”  I wasn’t too worried about this because it is just as often the other way around when we are dropping her off and she’s yelling about not wanting to go back to her mother. I asked her if she had something that she was wanting to do at her house this weekend that now she couldn’t do. She looked at me like I might have just grown a bit of a brain and said that she wanted to play with her friends. Hysteria resumed.

At this point I decided abandon all good parenting skills and be myself. “You know, you’re right.  Your life pretty much does suck.”

Dead silence like someone had hit the mute button.

I had hated being a kid. I hated the powerlessness of it. You couldn’t make any decisions for yourself. “You can’t make any plans because you change houses every weekend. It is just one of the side effects of living with two separate parents.”  She was nodding with a look of shock of her face that an adult both got it and was saying it out loud.

I told her that we were planning on going to the fair this weekend to give her something to look forward to.  Then I offered her a Kleenex. She took and explained that she had a cold anyway so was already stuffy and now she sounds like this. She made a horrible snot-laden nasal noise. “Ewww, you’re disgusting!” I told her. She giggled and looked very proud of that.

Then my entourage arrived. I go nowhere by myself but they aren’t Z fans so they didn’t rush into her room until she quit howling and it seemed safe. Freckles showed up first and jumped on the already overcrowded bed and pushed Z around to make a space for herself. Riley followed her in and sat on the end of the bed.   We discussed their inability to go to the fair because they are too short for the rides which makes them so sad.

She seemed fine then so I escorted the herd out and she went to sleep. I’m going to write a parenting book called “Yes, Your Life Sucks You Disgusting Child:  How Brutal Honesty Shocks Children Out of Self Pity.”