Can you imagine saying something mean to that cute face? I did and it didn't feel good.
Mornings around our house are always hectic. The other day, my five-year-old woke up excited that the long awaited kindergarten trip to the fire station had arrived. The best part – I was going along as a classroom volunteer. She is a real mama’s girl, so that was a pretty big deal in her little world.
This particular kid is a bit of a fashionista. By dumb luck, our kids ended up in a public school that has uniforms. As such, there is no real discussion about what kids are going to wear to school. However, my fashionista girl regularly express opinions about shoes, sweaters and coats.
On the day of the school trip, the morning was madness. I had to get the kindergarten kid and the three biggies out the door. The baby was screaming for breakfast and the pre-schooler had to get dressed for nursery school. I was under pressure for time since I had to get myself organized in order to be at school on time for the field trip. I handed my kindergarten kid her sweater with instructions to put it on and head out the door for the bus. She started fussing, complaining and carrying on about not wanting that sweater. I snapped. Out of my mouth came something that stopped her in her tracks. I said “If I get any fuss about this, I will not be going to the fire station”. She looked startled and quickly put the sweater on.
I consider that statement to be a perfect example of lazy parenting. Did I really just threaten to take away something so special to her – spending time with me? Did I really just serve up a threat I would not have followed up on? Yep and yep.
Half an hour later I was driving to the school with tears streaming down my face. When I arrived, my daughter’s little face lit up. I gave her a hug and told her I was sorry about the sweater incident and that I wouldn’t have missed the school trip for anything. She laughed and said “I know, mama!”
I’ve still got a lump in my throat as I type this, but I’m trying to remind myself that if my dear, sweet five-year-old can forgive me, maybe it’s time to forgive myself.