Kids are funny little rascals. They can either be too sincere to handle and crush you with their sweetness, or they can be hilarious liars when they’re trying to get out of trouble, but you have to keep a poker face and never let your enemy know what you’re thinking. You have to be tough. Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with wise little geniuses, and other times they are kids. Just kids who need guidance and support. And this is when you have to ace it.

You’re the grown-up and you have to keep being the grown-up, even when you want to give up and throw a tantrum yourself. Parenting is not easy, but it’s very eventful and very rewarding. It’s going to teach you that you don’t know everything, but also show you how much you do know, especially when you have to show up for your kids and comfort them when they’re distressed, or put them in their place when they’re being naughty.

They had a playdate last week with our neighbors’ kids, they were all over the house, playing videogames in the living room, building forts in their bedroom, and then having sword fights in the backyard. The house was full and loud and I was making bread for the first time in years. I got this new bread machine and hand mixer from my sister for Christmas, but I hadn’t tried it until last week. I never would’ve made bread otherwise, but this machine turned out to be pretty handy, and the bread was delicious, the kids loved it.

But back to my point. So, the kids were playing around, having fun, and then I overheard them fighting. I didn’t get upset, of course, these things happen with kids. The fight ended soon and they carried on as before, but later that evening my youngest told me that he was very offended because Malcolm, who was on his team, had told him he hated Batman, his favorite superhero, and now he didn’t know if he wanted to be friends with him anymore.

I found this trivial and funny. If a friend of mine had told me something like this I probably would have brushed it off. But you can’t do that with kids. You have to respect their preferences and take them seriously, no matter what. So we talked for a while and I managed to gently convince him that he should still be friends with Malcolm, but, boy was it a tough conversation!

Has anything similar happened to you?