Sometimes being a parent isn't so much fun. It's not all trips to the zoo and ice-cream cones and presents on Christmas morning. That's the fun stuff you take pictures of and, I suppose, reminisce about when you get old. But what about all the little things in-between? Its those little things that, when added together, play a role in determining what kind of values your adult child will hold near and dear. Yikes!!! I can tell you in all honesty I was not thinking this whole thing through when I approached Ryan with the idea of having a baby. My head was filled with images of happy mommies and daddies piped into my home via TLC's Baby Story.
What this is leading up to is a confession: I have not entirely enjoyed being mommy these past two weeks, because I feel like a big jerk. Here are just a few examples of the life lessons occurring at number 615 this July:
Last week, Nora did not finish all of her chores on Chore Chart 2.0. She was three chores shy of completion. I wanted her to earn a book so very badly, but after some discussion with Ryan, we decided that she really hadn't done her part. Teaching her to do half the work for all the reward wasn't a very good lesson in helping out family. I was the one that had to tell her why it would be another week until she could earn a book. At first she thought it was a joke; she smiled and said, "But Mom, I want a new Jack and Annie!" Nonetheless I cleared the board. The look of devastation on her face was just the worst, and I was the bad guy. The whole time I was thinking, "Is she old enough to understand what is going on?? Can't I just give her the book, because this sucks".
Nora also got a lesson in "faking" i.e. lying today. Nora has taken to the habit of telling fibs, a habit I worry about because Mr. Karma isn't kind those who are less than truthful. Unfortunatley, she thinks its nothing more than a joke. Today I asked her if she wanted the uneaten portion of her sandwich. She said no, and I asked again, and again, because my plan was to make it my lunch. I was hungry, and it looked good! So I ate it. After I had eaten about half, Nora saw what I was doing and screamed, "I'M HUNGRY!!!! MOOOMMMMYYY!!! I want my sandwich! I was just FAKING!". I knew I had two choices: One, give her the rest of the sandwich. This would teach her it is ok to lie, it is ok to scream, and that it is ok to avoid the words please and thank-you. Two, explain that faking is not cool, and finish my sandwich. I went with two, and ate that bad boy up. In the process I unleashed the unholy forces of a Nora tantrum, complete with spit and thrown furniture. Time out time. Momma for sure needs another cup of coffee.
These are the moments that don't feel warm and fuzzy. They hurt. Yet, in spite of it all, I know that I've done the right thing. I love these girls so much, and I'll do anything to help them grow and mature into loving, kind, and truthful women. It seems mean now, it probably sounds abusive to the neighbors, but if it takes an argument here and a tantrum there to set them on the proper path, then I'll do it. Plus, not 10 minutes after I finished that sandwich, we were cuddled up on the couch watching the Care Bears with Emily. TLC, that's "fake" happy. This is the real thing. When I'm not being mean, that is.