Oh, those teachable moments. Those moments where you and your child are both about to learn an important lesson. Your child will learn that you mean what you say when you issue an ultimatum. You will learn that patience may be a virtue but that it is also in short supply at eight in the morning as you head out of the door on the way to school drop off.
The girl was a little edgy yesterday afternoon. She wasn't listening. She was testing the boundaries. She was yelling a lot. By this morning her edginess had transformed into full blown craziness. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.
Standing on the front porch she told me she wanted to climb into the stroller while it was still on the porch. I told her I wanted her to wait until it was down on the sidewalk. Her response: a long, deafening scream. Long. Deafening.
I snapped. I picked her up and took her back into the house. I said if you are going to talk to me like that they you won't be going to school. I explained that we don't scream and we do listen. She cried. She promised she wouldn't scream. She swore she would listen. Okay, I said, you can go to school today but there is no more screaming and you have to start listening.
Outside we went. The husband picked her up to put her in the stroller. No, no, I want mommy to put me in the stroller she yelled. Followed by a long, deafening scream. Long. Deafening.
I wanted her to go to school. I wanted to take the boy to playgroup. Instead, I picked her out of the stroller yelling and screaming and carried her into the house. The husband brought the boy back inside. School was officially cancelled.
Here's the thing about those teachable moments. Sometimes they suck. Sometimes you don't know if you are doing the right thing. Sometimes you know you are doing the right thing but you really don't want to do it. Sometimes you want to look the other way and pretend that screaming at your mother is okay even though it isn't. Sometimes you don't want to follow through when it means all of you will be staying inside the house together.
But you have to follow though. So I tell myself. And I dream about the day when the follow through will involve her baking me a dozen cupcakes. And watch me eat them.