As a child, I too encountered the dreaded “Because I Said So.” It was usually yelled in frustration or hissed between clenched teeth. No matter what the method of delivery, it signified the end of the discussion. I remember wondering, what exactly does that mean and why is that a remotely valid argument? It was a parental trap; there was no way to fight it, and yet you felt unsatisfied in conceding.
Now, at 30 somethingish I know what it means. It means you’re losing the battle with a child. Yep, “Because I Said So” is the phrase used when you are being outsmarted or out-debated by an 8-year -old. The truth is, sometimes their reasoning makes sense … a lot of sense. Sometimes, I listen and think, okay, let’s do it your way. But most of the time there’s a reason I’ve made a particular choice and I have to stick by it, well that or I’m just another stubborn adult standing on ceremony.
I never imagined that I would be losing arguments to 8-year-olds or even 5-year-olds, for that matter. “They’re smart little buggers, aren’t they? Want proof? I recently partook in this exchange:
8yo: “Why can’t I have another candy?”
Me: “You had enough.”
Mathematical 8yo: But, they’re small, so ten is the equal to one regular candy.
Me: Nope, you’re done, they’re bad for your teeth. Enough.
Logical 8yo: Why, they’re chocolate? The dentist said to choose chocolate over chewy candies, so they’re not really even candy.
Me: They’re still candy, it’s just less harmful to your teeth. (Why do I keep explaining? WHY?)
Annoying 8yo: But, Dylan’s mom said they have nuts in ‘em which is good for you.
Me: Fine, go live Dylan’s mom. I’ll drop you off with your candy.
Typical 8yo: AWESOME!
Now, I’m officially losing the battle. I’m frustrated, flustered, and worn out. The only argument I haven’t used is “If so and so told you jump off a bridge, would you? And that’s only because I know it would be met with a resounding “Where and How High?!” Plus, I swore I’d never use such phrases!
Relentless 8yo: So, why can’t I have one? Just one, only one little nut filled chocolate candy? Please please please?
Me: BECAUSE I SAID SO, THAT’S WHY!
In that moment I realized I’d crossed over to the other side, I was officially a mother or my Mother, to be exact. Frankly that actualization wasn’t as upsetting as I’d anticipated. No, it was freeing. I mean once I turned that corner a whole world of phrases were open to me like: “Don’t make me come back there,” and “I’m not asking I’m telling,” and “If you keep playing with it, it’ll fall off.”
Me: Alright, kiddo, we’re done here, now go to bed.”
8yo: What? Why do I have to go to bed, it’s only 8:45??? Jack’s mom lets him stay up until 9.”
The New Me: Sorry, as long as you’re under my roof, you’ll live by my rules …
Thoroughly Content Me: Keep making that face and it’ll freeze that way.
Wow, I don’t need to have an original thought ever again!
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