I rocked my daughter until she fell asleep tonight -- after she cried for nearly an hour because she didn't get to have any brownies.
Oh, the torture...to smell the warm brownies but not get to taste them! Am I a horrible mother to put her through such agony? It was her own doing. She didn't get to have any brownies because she threw a tantrum when she learned that I (in a hurry to clean the kitchen before piano lessons) had already rinsed the bowl of leftover batter and put it in the dishwasher. Apparently, licking the bowl is her favorite thing in the entire world. Well, who could blame her? But sometimes there just isn't time or patience for such messy activities.
Tantrum = no brownies.
It's a hard lesson to learn. Yes, she's disappointed, but disappointment is part of life. It's okay to be disappointed and to be angry. But she has to learn to control those feelings. And that seems to be a theme for her right now.
As the tears grew louder and more genuine, I almost gave in about 10 times...especially when she said that she had prayed I would change my mind. But my love for her means that I can't give in. I have to sacrifice her happiness today so that she can learn this lesson and have a happier tomorrow. She doesn't believe me, but this decision was so much harder for me than it was for her. Just like my parents always said. :-)
I keep questioning myself, though. Is this lesson worth an hour of sobbing? I keep thinking back through the series of events, trying to remember why I made this decision and how this decision led to that reaction, which led to this other decision. Am I being too hard on her? Do we expect too much? Ryley said she wishes she were a grown-up so she wouldn't be bossed around all the time; she's tired of being a kid. Am I bossy? Don't I have good reasons for my decisions, and doesn't she understand that? I feel incompetent...like I don't really know what I'm doing sometimes.
Parenting is a series of situations and events and conversations in which you reiterate the same lesson 100 times in 100 different ways, hoping that this time will be the time she finally gets it. It is so incredibly exhausting.
It's been a rough day for all of us.
I was making the brownies to give as a peace offering to Ryan's co-worker, who stayed two hours late this afternoon so that Ryan could leave work and come change my flat tire. In the process of changing the flat tire, our jack broke, and the hydraulics of the van suddenly giving out caused a metal piece of the jack to snap off and fly into Ryan's hand, injuring it.
Like I said, rough day.
It's a good thing His mercies are new every morning.
I wish I could have some brownies (chocolate makes everything better!), but I promised Ryley that I would wait for her and have some with her tomorrow.
It was the least I could do. :-)
His mercies are new every morning. Morning, come quickly.
In my haste to vent of my parenting challenges, I forgot to praise God for His miracle of the day:
With a broken jack and an injured hand, Ryan and I were at a loss as to what to do next... Leave the van and come back later with a new jack? Call a tow truck? Ryan was one-handed and needed to return to work. I was supposed to pick up Ryley from school and then teach piano.
So we prayed. For help.
No sooner had we said "amen" than the door of the house I was parked in front of swung open, and a man called out, "Do you guys want to use my jack?" It turns out that he used to work in a tire shop AND he is a fellow believer.
God answers prayer.
another this-and-that post
2 days ago