I try to spend a little one on one time with each of my kids. My mom did this with me when I was growing up and I remember how good this “Special time” made me feel.
My 4th child, gets a lot of Special Time because her school day is shorter then her siblings. We have gotten into the habit of going to a local coffee shop once or twice a week. Which I love because it’s just so easy one on one. I get to give my daughter all my attention and we both get a lot of connection out of this small window of time together.
Last week she was in a particularly obnoxious mood. Yes she was tired and yes she probably already had too much sugar…. she was coming off a long weekend and a zillion other excuses I can make for a misbehaving toddler.
So we arrive at the coffee place. She usually gets 1 item. Last time we came she picked one for me and one for her and ate both! My mistake because this day she wanted to pick 2 just for herself! I explained that 1 is all she gets. So I ordered my tea and she had her milk. There was lots of whining and protesting. All I wanted to do was sit and enjoy my tea and hear about her day. But she continued to whine, twisting her body scuffing her toes on the floor, jelly spine while sitting. She unpeeled the straw wrapper throwing all the little pieces on the floor…. and the spoiled brat didn’t even say thank you…
so I remembered a story another mom had written a while ago… where she took her kids out for ice cream and was feeling like they were being ungrateful and she threw it away because they didn’t say thank you. I gave my daughter a warning. Still the whining continued…
I took her milk which she hadent even taken a sip of yet and threw it away! I told her that it was unkind to whine. And that going out for special time was just that… special. And choosing 1 item is more then enough. And that she needs to say thank you!
Well she went into hysterics…. we walked out and she cried the whole way back to the car. Then she cried even more because she realized we weren’t going back. And she missed out…
As we got closer to the car it was a different kind of crying…. because she realized this is not how she should act…. truly…. I really know this 4 year old understood all this.
Once she calmed down I explained my expectations for her.
I use to feel embarrassed by these situations… but all kids do it. I’m not naïve to think it won’t happen again, but I do know that my youngest learned a lesson.
Today we were back to our usual routine. I reminded her that she was able to pick 1 item. She did so…. said thank you to me and the cashier. We were able to sit and have the nice moment I was looking forward to a week ago. I’m proud of myself for not giving in and teaching this little person a lesson. I wish I had more time but sometimes when your too close to something it’s hard to gain perspective.