24 May
It Was an Accident, Let It Go.

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

While visiting family a few months ago, my son got a bit rowdy and pinged my sister in the face. It was just an accident, but it left a little scratch. The scratch has since healed, but my sister is still not over it. Every time we’re on the phone she brings it up in either a guilting “woe is me” or judgmental “you need to control your kid” tone. My son was three years old at the time and didn’t mean to hurt her. He’s apologized. I’ve apologized. It should be done and over, right? And I repeat, JUST AN ACCIDENT. If she brings it up again, I may have to scratch her face… on purpose. You’re always so great with the witty retorts, Mouthy Housewives. What can I say to her to shut this down once and for all?


Get Over It


Dear Over It,

And so it starts.  First, your son didn’t mean to scratch your sister’s face.  Then, he didn’t mean to start the fire.  And after that we transition nicely to the whole what hostages? He was just horsing around!

As a mom, it’s natural that you want to see only the good in your little boy, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not a menace to society who must be stopped.  Your sister is doing you a favor in bringing it to your attention.  Her civic duty, if you will.  And as long as she lives in bizzaro-world, where toddlers are held to the same standard of behavior as adults, she will continue to harp on it.

Turn the tables on her.  Not literally, of course, because you’d never hear the end of that.  Ask her, “how is that scratch doing? Does the doctor say that there’s any hope? Any hope at all for a full recovery?”  No doubt she’ll say that it healed, but don’t give up.  Perhaps she should seek a second opinion.  It’s possible, after all, that what appeared at first like a superficial scratch was really a deeper, more significant event that went beyond the skin and is now affecting her thought process.

If she insists that the doctor gave her a clean bill of health, let her know that you understand that she’s upset about being scratched by a child, but that as far as you’re concerned, the incident is over and you don’t want to discuss it anymore.  And then think back to your own childhood. Surely she’d scratched, punched, kicked you at some point.  You may have to get some repressed memory assistance if nothing comes to mind right away, but I am certain that by the next time your sister mentions that scratch, you’ll have a good story about her juvenile delinquency to retaliate with.

Chins up,

Marinka, TMH

9 Responses to “It Was an Accident, Let It Go.”


Comment by Wendi.

I think that sister gets hit in the face a lot.


Comment by hokgardner.

You could also say something like, “I really am so sorry Johnny scratched you. We punished him by locking him in the closet for 24 hours with no food or water, and we think he’s learned his lesson.”

That should shut her up.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Perhaps you could ask her what would be fair monetary compensation for her pain and suffering. Once she realizes that she sounds like a commercial for Jacoby & Meyers, she might shut up.

Or she might take you to the cleaners.


Comment by Peggy Sue Brister.

I’m curious how a 3 yr old “accidentally” scratched your sister IN HER FACE? Are you sure it was an accident or was it a 3 yr old acting like an evil 3 yr old and since you are under the impression 3 yr olds can’t control themselves that you will just call it an accident? Most 3 yr olds who I have ever seen hit someone in the face, MEANT FULL WELL to hit them in the face. It was no accident. Your kid was just acting like a little uncontrolled shithead and you just want to dismiss it because your child is such an angel. Admit to her you’re a shitty mother and that your kid is evil and she will probably let it go.


Comment by Seana.

Uh, Peggy Sue? Lighten up, girl.

Nicole Reply:

I kept waiting for the joke at the end of Patty’s…oh well. Love the other suggestions, though. My kid is 6 and still accidently hurts his family members left and right, mostly just jumping all over poor grandpa.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Is she upset that a 3 year old scratched her, or that a 3 year old got the last punch?

Sorry to suggest that instead of her acting as if she thinks a three year old should act and think like an adult, she might be thinking more like a child…


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

Hey, this made me think along new lines: my nephew and niece have hit me countless times, sometimes really badly.
I have always put it down to children’s uncontrollable behaviour and it seemed obvious to me at the time(s) that they din’t mean to hurt me. Besides, the kids immediately apologised and looked scared when I was really hurt, so that I had to reassure them.

Do you think I should have sued my sister, instead? I might be in for a nice, round sum here, and as they are still kids, well… I’ll know what to do next time it happens! ;-D


Comment by SometimesYouNeedtobeKind.

Sounds to me like your sister is enjoying pushing your buttons a bit and enjoying hearing you forced to apologize. Sisters like to do that, don’t they? Let it go. Not rising to the bait is the best possible way to deal with it (and it will drive her nuts). No one is going to take your 3-year-old accidently scratching her face seriously, unless there was more to it then you are mentioning here.

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