The truth behind yesterday's post and the SMART-induced crankiness is that it was not SMART-induced. My SMART experiences of not listening were on top of a morning filled with OC not listening. Roll it together into a big ball of Why Do I Even Try? and that's where I was by the time SMART happened.
Lovely. Way to be a grownup, eh?
Yeah. Some days are harder than others. My daughter is wonderful - exceptional even - while she is also a normal child who does not like to listen to every little thing her mom says. Imagine that!
Sometimes I don't want to be needed by anyone or any being, the way my daily life includes a constant need for my attention by many sources: the cat who puts his paws on my leg to be up in my lap as I type; the cat who pukes on the carpet, always on the carpet and not the easier-to-clean floor; the other cat who rubs against my legs asking to be pet even as I sit on the toilet minding my own business; the child who talks and talks to me, constantly demanding my attention when she has a whim to mention something of consequence to herself, all throughout the day, heedless of any visual clue that I am otherwise engaged.
I have noticed that OC often replies to a suggestion of mine with her own. It happens more and more often. When I say, "Go get dressed" she'll respond with, "Okay, then I will watch a movie."
Wait a minute....what?!? Sometimes she asks, sometimes she informs, sometimes she completely changes what I have said. If I give her choices - choices! It's so Parent magazine of me! - "we can go for a walk or go out back and play soccer" she might return with "or we could go to the park". Um, yes, or not.
Sometimes we do what she suggests. I want to hear what she thinks, most of the time. Other times I just want her to listen and do what I've asked her to do. It seems like it's such a struggle just to get back to what I said in the first place.
Instead of being pleased with her copious ideas - and I should be - I am often caught by surprise by this and end up overwhelmed with too many possibilities and wondering where my parental authority has run off to. The question I have is one of balance and fairness: when do I let her have her way, and when do I not?
She's getting older. She's not a toddler anymore, and I recognize that as she grows she needs to have her ideas considered more often while being mindful of the balance of giving kids control vs. giving them a say.
It's all part of growing up, though, isn't it? Expressing yourself and compromising. I am the one who is behind the curve. My daughter is expressing herself, and I need to get with the program.