Thursday, September 3, 2009

pick your battles

Let me start by saying that I have a weird relationship with war metaphors and war references, but I'll stick with the title.

Last night, Pic went to bed angry with me. Our dearly beloved friends, Auntie C and Uncle A, had come over to hang out, eat and discuss weekend plans. Pic was so excited they were there, she was having a difficult time winding down for the evening. She had barely eaten dinner, but she had eaten a Dum-Dum lollipop. It was cotton candy flavored and a deep blue. We were trying to get her calmed down and ready for bed, so I told her it was time to brush her teeth. First, she flat-out refused. Then, she hid under the living room table. Then, she came with me to the bathroom but began dancing around on her chair, ignoring me telling her to brush her teeth. I told her a few times and still she insisted on wiggling her butt around and avoiding looking at me. Finally, I told her she could either brush her teeth and come sit with us for a few more minutes or she could go straight to bed. More ignoring, more butt-wiggling, more toothbrush-topped-with-toothpaste sitting unemployed on the edge of the sink. So...I walked her back through the living room, told everyone she was going to bed and deposited her in her room with a 'Buona notte, I love you.' The sentiment wasn't returned, big shocker. She knocked around in her room for a bit and then eventually got quiet. After Auntie C and Uncle A left, I went to check on Pic. She was tucked into her sleeping bag, still wearing the shirt and skirt she wore both yesterday and Tuesday, her sleep-mask pulled down over her eyes. I stroked her hair, kissed her goodnight, sighed and left her room. I had 'won' that 'battle.'

At three this morning, just after I had finally settled into bed to read, I heard her call out, 'Mamma, come here. Mamma?' I went to check on her. She wanted some water to drink and help finding her sleep-mask. I got my goodnight cuddle and she went back to sleep.

So, of course, all is still well with us. She brushed her stained-blue teeth and tongue this morning. She finally got out of her pink shirt and patterned skirt. Right now, she's having some 'quiet' time with the covert cat.

Sometimes, very often, I understand why it's so easy to just give in. But, whoever said bringing up a child is easy?


kate said...

Good job. That sounds like a very hard one to get though and it sounds like you got though it without showing her how very frustrated you were. I applaud you.

Kat said...

I can quickly see that I am going to be one of *those* commenters, the kind that talk about their own stuff and miss (or ignore)the main point.

So,let me start by saying,yes,I know this post is about the battles of parenting. I am not a parent, I was attracted to the throw away line about war metaphors. I use them all the time. Also, I am extremely uncomfortable doing so, yet,I do. I think it has to do with cultural literacy. We all know what they mean. Others, we have to explain, or use the metaphor/language and accept that we will be less easily understood.

Okay, post hijacking over. For now.