Benefit of the Doubt

Lately, Sweet Boy has been saying “fine” — a lot. As in, “Eat your breakfast.” “Fine.” “Get dressed, please.” “Fine.”

Out of his mouth, the single syllable alternately drips with venom or whistles out on a breath of exasperation.

I joke that this is a preview of his 15-year-old self … but in reality, I had been giving him the benefit of the doubt. I figured that he had picked up the word and tone from a friend or TV (or, OK, maybe a parent), but that he really thought it was just another way of saying “OK” or “yes.”

Foolish, foolish Mommy.

Daddy finally got a little tired of the early adolescent attitude and told Sweet Boy that “fine” wasn’t really a nice answer.

“Well,” Sweet Boy explained logically, “‘fine’ is just a word for when you don’t really want to do what your parents want.”


Vocabulary and self-expression is well-developed. Attitude, um, advanced.


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