Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's a Tough Job But...

Most of the time being a parent is great. Miss M’s kisses and silly stories make Mr. Man and I smile every day. I mean look at this face!


But sometimes being a parent just sucks.

No, I’m not talking about the new wonderland of tantrums and attitude which rear their ugly heads in a child’s third year.

FYI for those of you without children… the terrible twos got nothing on what a dear friend of ours has referred to as the…

Satanic Threes

Oh yes I actually yearn for the “Days of Mo”.

Nope, I’m talking about the times you have to say NO when you really, really don’t want to.

It happened to Mr. Man and I on Sunday.

For weeks now Miss M has been asking us to take her to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).

Miss M has loved OMSI since she was an infant. The interactive exhibits are everything an active and curious child could want, and every parent in the Portland/Vancouver area knows it.

Mr. Man and I hate crowds, and on weekends OMSI is a mad house.

So whenever Miss M has asked to go to OMSI on a weekend when Mr. Man and I would rather have a root canal than fight the crowds our response has been,

“Awww, sorry Sweet Girl, OMSI is closed today.”

Yup, we are expecting our nomination for “Parents of the Year” to happen any day now.

But this past weekend was different. In a fit of working parent guilt, we promised Miss M that if she was a good girl at Gram and Gramps house, we would take her to OMSI.

She was ECSTATIC!

Except, when we arrived at Gram and Gramps the next morning to pick her up, the telltale signs of sick were written all over her face. Her eyes were red rimmed and running. Her nose was congested. She had a cough, and her cheeks were flushed with the beginnings of a low grade fever.

After big hugs and kisses, and announcements that she had been a very good girl she asked,

“We going to OMSI now?”

Well, crap. We both knew OMSI was the last place Miss M needed to be. She needed to be at home, in her PJs, cuddled on the couch, with her blankie watching movies.

Did I mention that sometimes being a parent sucks?

We waited until we were in the car on our way home to talk to her about it. We suggested maybe we should wait until next weekend to go to OMSI, when she was feeling better and could have fun playing.

Familiar with the 5 Stages of Loss?

Denial: “But Mommy, I’m not sick! I wanna go to OMSI!”
Anger: “But Daddy, you said if I was a good girl, we would go to OMSI!”
Bargaining: “Mommy, maybe we could go to OMSI for just a little while, and then go home… okay?”

Then Depression, and this one was the worst, as it completely broke my heart.

Mommy and Daddy had promised, and she was really excited, and she’d been such a good girl… and Mommy and Daddy had PROMISED.

With her little chin quivering with frustration and sadness, and her sweet voice trembling as she insisted she wasn’t sick and she wanted to go to OMSI, we had to be the responsible parents and stick to our guns, because that is what being a parent is all about.

It’s not about your child liking you. It’s not about doing what’s easy. It’s about doing what is BEST for your child, even if it breaks your heart into a million pieces.

On Sunday I listened to Miss M cry with disappointment.

I told her that I understood she was sad, and I was sorry.

I explained that sometimes we get sick and it ruins the things we want to do, but that when we are feeling better, the fun things are still there waiting for us.

Daddy and I promised, with a capital P, that we would go to OMSI the following weekend and play for as long as she wanted.

I did my best to help her understand, but in the end, Miss M is 3, and so she cried.

So, how do you help a disappointed little girl move from Depression to Acceptance… the final stage of loss?

With distraction! We offered Mac and Cheese and a new Scooby Doo movie, instead of OMSI.

Like I said… Parents. Of. The. Year.

With lunch and a new cartoon to veg out in front of, in no time all was right again in the toddler-verse.

Well, except for the nasty bug that got a whole lot worse and that now Daddy has too.

Thinking about investing in medical masks,

Mandy:)

How about you guys? Ever had to be the bad guy, even though you really didn’t want to? Any comments, feedback? I love to hear from you!

4 comments:

Nicole said...

Aww the poor little muffin!! I can only imagine how hard it is to reason with a wee one who doesnt understand :-( Hope her and Mr. Man feel better soon. Hugs to you all xoxo

Mandy:) said...

Thanks Nicole! She still has a nasty cough, but I'm hoping we're finally moving towards getting this nasty bug out of the house... Lysol anyone?????

Bonnie said...

The bugs this year are really, really bad. We are on our 3rd already!

I have heard from friends with multiple children that the odd years are MUCH worse then the even years and I did find 3 much harder then 2 was. So far, 4 is peachy! (We are only three weeks into 4 though).

Maybe you could take her in the evening, after work. Not as crowded and you'll feel less guilt. :)

Mandy:) said...

Thanks Bonnie... nice to know the diva act might subside when she hits 4!

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