Sunday, November 06, 2005
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!