Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ouch- the hubby is right!

Let the world know, I humbly admit my husband was right! I spoil my daughter and today it came back to bite me!

Here is the root of my "issue", I have a hard time saying "No" when something is items from the dollar spot at Target. This means she has lots of play jewelry and notebooks and such.

I grew up in a home with lots of love but not a lot of money. The money we have now kind of makes us rich in comparison. I have a distinct memory of being 5, asking for gum, and when I was told "no", thinking, "When I grow up I am going to buy gum whenever I want." I still feel strangely proud when I buy a pack of gum. Now I don't feel like I was deprived of anything as a child, yet I get the same sense of pride when buying little things for Ava when she asks.

This has been a minor point of contention between Marc and I. It hasn't led to any major fights, but it is something we have discussed many a times. He feels like she should hear "no" often enough that she knows to not even ask anymore. His fear was that she wouldn't appreciate little things and before long also fail to appreciate bigger things. So far, it hasn't been a major issue because she is an extremely grateful child. She always says thank you and gets tickled pink when someone gives her a gift (even if it is a simple sticker). Today was a bit different.

I felt great today. I finally figured out that the fatigue I'd been dealing with was due to Claritin. I didn't take it today and I felt somewhat "normal" again. Having energy, I wanted to go out and "do" something on this rainy day so I decided to take Ava (and Phin) to the Scholastic Warehouse sale. My intention was to buy her one book. That also was her expectation.

We got to the sale and things were cheap, so I said she could get more than one (MISTAKE!) even though she'd have been happy to pick one. Anywho- we ended up with five for her and a couple for me and Phin. She snuck one off the register (which I didn't notice) and took it over to the window to read. I only noticed after paying and as I was getting her to leave. I told her she'd have to leave that book and explained that she took if off the register so I couldn't pay so she'd have to leave it behind and just have the four remaining.

I kid you not, my child started screaming. I've never seen anything like it. I felt like I entered the TWILIGHT ZONE! Could this be MY child? OH MY! I literally had to carry her out of the sale (mind you she weighs over 40 lbs), while carrying the books and pushing the stroller with Phin in it. I looked straight ahead and kept walking, ignoring all those gawking at me.

You'd think it would end there, but it didn't. It continued for 5 more minutes in the car (which seemed like 50). I was able to stay calm (partly because it was so ridiculous it was sort of funny) and tell her I would speak to her when she calmed down but also informed her that she would not get any books now because her behavior was unacceptable.

All is not lost, she gradually ceased screaming and then a short while later stopped crying. Soon I heard, "Mommy if I say I am sorry will you be happy with me." I said, "Honey if you are saying your sorry, mommy will forgive you." We made up. She was disappointed that even after correcting her attitude she would get no books, but she got the lesson.

I don't know if she'll remember today, but I will. I think I learned the bigger lesson. She has no concept of if something is cheap or pricey and the bottom line is she has learned that I will buy her things. She isn't used to me saying, "no". (That is really more embarrassing than her behavior today.) I am so happy to learn this lesson NOW and not when she is 16. I am a smart woman who is diligent about making sure she doesn't get too many toys, etc...yet for some reason I was spoiling her in my own way because it made ME feel good. Shame on me.

Now...I wonder how many more episodes like day will occur before she gets that I have changed.:)


  1. I was there today too. You went to the Winnetka one, right?

  2. Fun, fun story! I've been there! A friend (who is now a mom of ten) says that, if you can't leave where you are, just sit right down on the floor and hold the little screaming sweetie and keep saying, "I love you". No one can judge you for that or turn you in : ). Praying that you'll be able to say "no" a little more often (saying "yes" is just so much easier sometimes!).

  3. I'm excited to see the blog and to read your stories. It's fun to hear what you are learning and compare stories of our own children. :)

  4. Welcome to the blog-o-sphere!! Now I can keep up even from Africa :) happy writing!