So, Wednesday was a hard day. One of those parenting days when I stop and think "I totally suck at this parenting stuff." And that kind of guilt never does a body good.
First, I got pulled over on my way to the school. I won't give you my explanation, I'll just say that apparently I was following a motorcycle too closely. Said motorcycle, like so many other Colorado drivers, decided to drop his speed by about 10mph without warning, so forgive me if it took me a moment to back up.
I think he dropped his speed because he, unlike me, realized the guy next to him was a cop. In a car that did not look like a squad car. Something totally unfair about that.
Anyway, if I've learned anything about Colorado drivers, it's that they. drive. slow. Like, under the speed limit slow. In Illinois, we were all busy and hurried (not good) but out here, everyone is all about taking their time.
So, I pick up the kids and we head over to Sonic for Happy Hour slushes. It's become something of a tradition. And that's about the time Sophia remembers she has dance. And also about the time I'm presented with a whiny list of why she can't go.
And I'm faced with a decision. I could avoid this new Wednesday afternoon tradition by letting her opt out of dance, but we already paid for it and darnit, it's good for her. So, I explain this. She cries. The whole hour before dance is pitiful. Adam comes home and tries to reason with her. Finally, she's calmed down, and I think, accepting of the fact that she has to go.
Then we park the car outside the studio.
And the tears come.
And the excuses which could also be dubbed "manipulation." Because, let's face it, a lot of what she's saying she's saying because she knows I'll take pity on her. And friends, sometimes this girl plays me. Successfully.
Inside, she changes her shoes and then bursts into tears. Loud ones. The kind that I can't even have sympathy for because I'm filled with the kind of anger that makes me want to breathe into a paper bag.
And I pull her aside, away from the curious children and their parents who shoot looks in our direction that I can't quite decipher. Are they feeling sorry for me or Sophia? Do they think I'm a horrible mom for enrolling my (extremely gifted on stage) daughter in dance? They're all watching me to see how I'm going to handle this. And I tell her calmly and firmly "You are going to class."
After a few inconsolable minutes, I call Adam. "Help!?"
He talks to her.
Wails. Like a toddler.
Finally, I said, "It's time to go in." (I should also mention I was going to be late for my eye doctor's appointment.) And I basically had to wipe her face and shove her through the door.
After a most frustrating eye doctor's appointment, I returned two hours later and apologized to the poor girl at the counter who had to witness the whole thing. She said "Oh, I saw her when I took attendance and she had a huge smile on her face. In between her classes she said Jazz is her favorite."
So all that drama for nothing? We came home and Adam and I (and my sister, who I called for parental help) all remember times when our parents forced us to do things we didn't want to do--and you know what? We understand now that sometimes things don't come easily. Sometimes you have to work at them. Sometimes you don't enjoy every second of it. And that's okay. It's in these times that you learn the importance of hard work. And perseverance.
I'm curious if this has ever happened to you? Do you give in and let them come home and drink anothr slushie? Do you force them through the door and hope for the best? Do you walk away knowing, as was the case here, that after ten minutes of dancing she'll be happy as a clam?
Or am I just really the worst mom ever?...