Saturday, July 18, 2009
A Mean, Ugly Mommy
We went to a High School Musical 3 party today. It was one of Holly's best friends. You would think she would have been thrilled-and she was... until about 30 minutes into the party. She decided that she didn't want her picture taken. She didn't want to participate in the fun games (the games were really cool, by the way!). She didn't want to eat pizza. She only wanted to stay right by me the entire party. Now, maybe being the imperfect mommy that I am, I may have made the situation worse by trying to persuade her to participate. In retrospect, I could have just let her be and allow her to stand by me the whole party-it's not like she was being disruptive or anything. And it's not a crime to not want to participate sometimes, as long as you're not being rude. I know I have those moments myself. But nooooo, I couldn't do that. I was relentless, reminding her that she wouldn't like it if HER friends didn't play at HER party and act like party poopers. I really feel like I provoked her to meanness. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses for her mood, but I also need to look at situations like this and see where I could have been a better example and parent to my children.
Anyway, after not wanting to eat pizza, she decided she wanted the ice cream sundae. Well, under the circumstances that was not acceptable. We went to a quiet spot, a.k.a. the laundry room, and had a little talk. It was at that point that she was just saying mean things and being completely unreasonable. I administered a little correction and decided that she needed to be removed from the situation. We went to the van, (we couldn't leave because I had brought my nieces to the party) and sat there and talked about what had happened, which quickly turned into her yelling at me, "You are a mean, ugly Mommy!! Well at that point I started to cry. Don't know why the water works came because I generally am not a cryer! I guess I just felt exasperated and I had visions of her at 13 and how this same situation could be repeated! At that point we both just sat there and cried! I quietly sat there and prayed that God would help me handle this the right way not the way my flesh wanted to handle it! Like by saying things back like, "Well your a mean, moody daughter!!" and other clever, mature comebacks that came to my mind! After about 5 minutes she said, "I'm sorry, Mommy". I asked her what she was sorry for which she was able to articulate beautifully. We went back into the party and she pulled her friend aside and apologized to her and enjoyed the next 15 minutes of the party as a happy child. As part of her punishment I told her when we got home she would have to take a nap. I put her to bed and she was asleep in 5 minutes. She is still sleeping as I type -2 1/2 hours later! Well, what does all this have to do with Saturday Psalms, you ask? After she went down for her nap, I was reading some Psalms to help me refocus after our dramatic afternoon and I read this verse as my prayer:
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
I felt like I was on a roller coaster this afternoon! I NEED God to keep me on level ground as a parent, as a wife, as a human being!