If you can’t say something nice…
… then don’t say anything at all.” I’m trying to teach Missy about this concept. I used to hate it, seeing it as yet another way to make women and girls just shut up and lose our voices. But, well, there’s a point there. These incidents all happened in the same 24 hour period:
- I’d tried a new-ish recipe for breakfast: baked cinnamon oatmeal with berries. Seriously good, and good for you. Except not to Missy, apparently. She volunteered: “this is… OK. Not really so good, but it’s not too bad, so… OK.” Thanks kid.
- The cover of my datebook is falling apart, and after much internal anguish, I decided to cover the whole thing with duct tape and have an ugly datebook, rather than spend money and buy a new one. Less than a second after I’d started, Missy started looking on. “What are you doing? Why are you using that? [note the disgusted look on her face]. Why are you covering up all the pretty stuff? This isn’t coming out very well, mommy.” “Sweetheart, if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” “Oh, well… hm… I don’t… I mean, uhm. Good job mommy, but that piece is a little crooked” I couldn’t stand the critique, so left.
- “Mommy, I thought you were going to wear something pretty?” “What?” “Well, I thought you’d wear something… nice today. Not that.”
I’m not sure where she got this critical voice, I think it’s fairly new, and I pray I’m not the one she’s emulating here.