Zanna is playing with her Barbie dolls in the living room. They are hanging by their arms in a circle around a Beyblade arena that her brothers have left on the footstool.
The mommy is talking to her baby. She uses a sweet but firm voice saying, "Honey, it is time for bed RIGHT NOW. Honey, those clothes don't match at all. Honey, I said STOP doing that. Honey, I will not say this again."
Listening, I think, doesn't that mom ever say anything nice? And, is that what I sound like to my four year old? Does my daughter think all mothers mask their frustrations with a singsong voice and one repeated endearment at the front of each aggravated sentence?
Why, I wonder, doesn't that Barbie mom ever pause and say, "Honey, you are such a nice baby. Honey, I love you so much."
Right then, the mommy falls off the foot stool and I half expect her to blame the baby or lie there in defeat. Instead, the baby doll helps the mommy back up to the plastic arena to hang by her arms with the other Barbies again, and the mommy says sweetly, "Thanks, Honey. You do so well."