I just had the following conversation with my seven year-old son (who is going on eight in a few months):
Him : Phew, that was easier than I expected.
Me : What?
Him : Dealing with Julia. (sounding like he is more like 7 going on 38).
Me : Oh... okay... Um, Stu, thanks for telling Julia that you were down here, but you know it's Mama's job to deal with Julia right? I'm the grown-up.
Him : Well yeah...
Me : Stu - do you feel like you have to act more grown-up when Dad's away?
Him : (non-committal noise)
Me: Stu? You don't have to be a grown-up you know. I appreciate when you help me with things and try to get along with Julia, but you don't have be a grown-up.
Him : Yeah, I know... it's just that... when Dad's away and Nana's not here I feel like I am the Dad replacement. You know, so I have to act like an adult.
I explained that he doesn't have to but I am not sure he believes me. I gave him a really good answer about being a kid and that Mama was the adult etc etc etc... and he kind went "uh-huh..."
Then again, he just tattled on her. Sigh. The bickering is what I would LOVE to have them stop.