Sunday, November 06, 2005

peace offering

It must have been my fault for bragging that my daughter Laura never mucked about in swimming class (see entry: " Things are going swimmingly". Really I was tempting fate right there with that title, right?!). They say pride comes before a fall, so I'm sure I had it coming to me. The very next day, at the grocery store, Laura grew horns and was the devil incarnate, and I had a kind of parenting meltdown.

It started when we entered the grocery store, and Louey (shortened version of other nickname, Laura Lou) and Benjamin began hopping about 'being frogs'. This was all very cute and all, but let's face it - not much fun for other shoppers trying to get past. I asked them to stop, and they did for awhile. We continued stocking up on fruit, veges, chocolate, milk, chocolate, meat and chocolate (well the chocolate blocks were on special so I was saving us money). Then Laura began with the jumping thing again. I asked her to refrain. She continued. I warned her that if she disobeyed me, we would return the muffins she'd chosen for an afternoon snack. HOP HOP HOP went my daughter. Ah dear... back to their shelf went the muffins, to the sound of wailing child.

Next we arrived at the checkout, and here was where I found myself closely resembling one of those mothers you see on the TV show "The Nanny". Louey climbed up on a bar beside the checkout, and I asked her to get down (now they do say choose your battles, so I guess this may have been a point to NOT pick a battle but I was tired and already annoyed and yes I am a flawed parent). You can guess the rest - Louey stared at me and quietly said, "No". I told her if she didn't do as I asked, she'd have to miss out on bedtime stories tonight (it's hard at the shops - there is no option to simply send off to a room, or remove a toy/activity). Again I was met with challenging eyes and,"No". I kept escalating - I felt like I was in a comedy show except I wasn't amused - saying, well then no Blah Blah, and if you don't get down there'll be no Blah Blah either. None of this worked. I ended up leaving her there, as I couldn't face adding to the audience amusement factor by dragging her off the bar to have her possibly cry, scream, and then leap back up again.

As soon as we left, I told her how I was very unhappy with what she'd done. She spent time in her room on her return, and certainly did not have any of the Blah Blahs! I wasn't angry anymore, and told her I loved her, but that it was important she obey me.
The next morning, Laura presented me with the fruit and flower basket you can see in the photo, and told me it was to say sorry. It is made up of the contents of our fruit bowl, in a basket she uses to store her teaset, with flowers Louey picked from our garden. I thought it was very pretty, and took a picture. I'm sure I'll always look at that photo and remember the intertwined perils and joys of parenting. And there will be no more boasting-about-kids from me for awhile!


TotalChaos said...

The little buggers'll get you everytime, but the basket is almost a tearjerker.

mackeydoodle said...

Aww Jellyhead, we all have those moments where we want to strangle the little darlings:) When they do us proud we should brag! Always encourage the positive behavior. The flower basket is too sweet. Give them a hug from me.

Motherkitty said...

Lest we forget who's actually in charge here -- certainly not us!

Laura Lou's concilliatory gesture is precious and artistic, and one to be treasured. I would print and frame this picture and place it in her room as a reminder of meltdown outings to the grocery and then asking for forgiveness. She will treasure it forever, especially if in the retelling the story becomes legend. It just proves how very sweet and thoughtful your gorgeous daughter is.

BTW, do you know that kids get hyper from chocolate through osmosis (and anticipation)? The heady aroma enters through the nostrils and pores and travels directly to the most primitive area of the brain which in turn tells the body to act unnaturally until being fed that dark-brown substance in large quantities. It also makes some children play the "let's push mother's buttons in public places to see if we can get a rise out of her" game. I think it worked. But, look at how sweetly your precious daughter told you how much she loves you. Priceless.

jellyhead said...

Oh no, she did push all my buttons, didn't she?!
Next time I resolve to stay cool, calm and in control....(err, hmm!)

And Mackeydoodle, that was a good reminder for me about rewarding the positive behaviour. It's easy to forget to praise the good stuff (though I do try).

Heather said...

You are my hero! I never can keep my cool when my kids punch my buttons. I end up hollering and regretting it later.

What a sweet peace offering from your daughter!

susan said...

This reminds me when I took my two to the grocery store when they were small. I had the buggy half full, the smaller one was riding in the seat when the older one proceeded to start climbing up on the cart. The cart started to topple over, almost hitting the floor before I caught it and my little one. I left the buggy parked in the aisle, took both kids and walked stiff-legged out to the car, vowing never to take 2 kids shopping again.

I just posted a blog praising my daughters, hope it won't come back to haunt me!

doubleknot said...

My days of having to deal with small ones is long gone but I remember taking my son shopping and having to just leave buggy and all sitting as I took him out of the store. One time I caught him trying to stuff a large Halloween mask in his pocket - where he learned this behavior is beyond me - the manager was watching him ready to pounce till he saw me catch up with my son and make him put the mask back. Needless to say we didn't buy groceries that day.
The basket your daughter made for you is wonderful. Such presious moments should be saved. I am a firm beliver in letting a child know when they are good. It may take some time but catch them doing something good and praise them and see what happens. My room mate has a grand daughter who is a handful for all of them because they keep telling her she is bad and mean - and yes I had a talk with my room mate about it - well I saw her picking up the toys one day and just praised her for doing such a good job - I have never had any proplem with her since except she wants to stay with me all the time.