A broken toy, battles lost…and other not-so-fine parenting moments that occur in lockdown.
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I walked into the room. Exasperated. I’m just so tired of this. I sigh loudly as I step over a pile of capes, books, dinosaurs, a magnet wand, and tulle. There is always tulle somewhere in this house.
I heard the sound before my brain could register the pain in my foot. I lifted up the red cape, and there it was. Rarity. The purple My Little Pony. The stupid Happy Meal toy the Wild One had received over a year ago—you know, the good ol’ pre-pandemic freedom days— when I decided to indulge myself and her for a little junk food treat.
Looking back now, that wasn’t one of my finer parenting moments. I have added it to the list. I’m sure you, Dear Parents, also have a never-ending list trapped somewhere in your parent brain.
It looked so sad. This stupid, sparkling, purple pony, adored by my love, now missing its tail. I sighed loudly. For a moment I thought about stomping on it again.
I mean, I might as well dismember the rest of its body, right? Don’t tell me you’ve never thought about smashing at least one of your kids’ toys.
Ugh! I groaned loudly. I make these noises a lot these days. Then I heard the sound of little footsteps approaching. I scrambled to pick up the sad, broken, stupid, sparkling purple pony and I hid it among the rest of her misfit toys. Then the Wild One walked in and I reminded myself to take the stupid, now broken, sparkling purple pony before she sees it.
“I need this room cleaned now, or I am taking your ipad privileges away!” As soon as the words spilled out of my mouth. I felt terrible. I knew better than this. I know that making empty threats is a fruitless endeavour. She didn’t even flinch.
“I mean it. I am sick and tired of you not caring, or helping me. I am not your cleaner.”
Absolutely no reaction.
My child looked me dead in the eyes, and without missing a beat, “I don’t feel like using my ipad today anyway.” Then she left the room. And I just stood there. A casualty of a battle that I was never going to win. But honestly, I already lost this battle long before she came into the room. Because the battle wasn’t with her.
It was with me.
You see, dear parents. I am a Montessori trained teacher. I am passionate and enthusiastic. I love being in a classroom. Because I was good at it. I studied over four years of early childhood education. I have attended seminars about effective parenting. I have written distinction grade papers about effective communication and positive discipline, and presented parenting seminars about how to motivate young children. I was the boss and head teacher of my own nursery, in a foreign country, for seven years!
I now forever battle myself. Going back and forth in my mind, because I absolutely know how to deal with this situation.
Yet, there I was standing in a pile of piles. Glaringly unsuccessful in getting my own child to clean her room.
Are you asking the same questions I am? Why am I so unsuccessful? Is my child just a brat? Is this what five looks like? How long does it last?
Well, I still have no answers.
But after a long and hard discussion with myself. I’ve decided that I am going back to basics. I just need to remind myself that communication is key to fostering positive relationships. It seems I have forgotten this is amid the haze of lockdown frustration.
So, I will rebuild my relationship with my kid. Basics.
As for that stupid, little, sparkling purple pony, now with a missing tail? Well, I forgot about Rarity and the Wild One discovered her sad, little dismembered body. There were tears. I gave her a hug, and a piece of chocolate. But I never quite got around to telling her I broke it…..and I added this to the never-ending list of Not-So-Fine Parenting Moments.
A quick P.S
Yesterday, I discovered Shut Up and Write. And I registered. I, who is notoriously terrible at regularly writing posts, registered for a writing challenge. This could be an absolute disaster. Wish me luck!
Day 1: Breaking the fourth Wall.
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