In a moment of frustration, my son discovers a new rebuttal - a thing designed to tell me he's mad and simultaneously poke me where it hurts.
In the middle of an argument in which he's being told no, he may not watch any more TV, he looks at me, then to the side, his blue eyes narrow, thinking, before he expels the words.
"Go to work, Mummy."
Emphasis on the weeeeeerk.
My eyes are fixed on the carrots I'm chopping into rounds, not letting on that his remark might have vexed me. Instead I find a distraction, move onto something else.
The next time he says it, he adds a little more blow to his punch.
"Go to work Mummy. And I'll stay at home with Daddy."
Emphasis on the Daaadddddyyyy.
My first reaction is a pang of hurt, like a tiny pixie stabbed me in an emotionally exposed place.
But I recover from the pang of hurt. Perhaps a bit too quickly. Because my second thought is - work! Awesome idea! AWESOME! Not in a mean way, but in an, actually you might be onto something there! kind of way.
"Okay. Maybe I will."
He looks at me, trying to read my reaction. Seconds later, he forgets all about it and runs off to find his brother.
I'm not sure what's worse - the fact that he's using that particular sentiment to provoke me, or the fact that I think it's not a terrible idea. I'm torn between wanting to be here all the time, and wanting to increase my work hours. Even though for a few seconds every time I leave the house I feel that awful twinge of guilt. Even though most of the time I'm exhausted before I even get to work late in the afternoon.
My son runs in. "I love you Mummy!"
Out of nowhere.