Monday, June 18, 2007

The Enforcer

I feel like the biggest meanie sometimes.

The day started so well, and it ended so poorly.

WG had her first day of camp at DA. She absolutely loved it and I was ecstatic. There's nothing better than watching your kiddo have a really great time.

Then we came home and while Baby B napped, we read three books from her summer reading list.
  • Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding by Yumi Heo
    Great illustrations, an interesting and conversation provoking exploration of a little girl's conflicting emotions when her favorite uncle gets married. Perfect for five year old girl crowd.
  • Wolves by Emily Gravett
    An unusual and offbeat tale in which a rabbit checks out a library book about wolves. Blurs in line between the book we're reading and the book inside the book in interesting and creative ways. However, I found the ending a little scary. I didn't explain it to WG for fear of nightmares. Luckily, there's an alternate ending.
  • Best Best Friends by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
    A Caldacott winner, although I'm not sure why. It's interesting enough, and it did spawn a conversation about friends, jealousy and why its important to be nice. But its not the kind of book that we'd want to read again and again.)

We played our two new favorite games from Haba - The Sleepy Princess & The Pea & Animal Upon Animal. Both involve stacking and falling and both are lots of preschool fun!

Then, in a fit of spontaneity, we headed for the pool. Mel knocked off a few minutes early (I'm sure he'll make up for it after the kids are in bed) and we all went to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine together. The pool was fairly quiet and several times I noticed WG shouting loudly. I asked her to lower her voice. Dad asked her to quiet down. And finally, I got out of the pool, walked over to where she and Dad were playing and told her that she was too loud, that this was her "one warning" and that if she screamed again, we would be going home. Not a breath later, she screamed. I hadn't even had time to take ten steps away. So, I got her out of the pool and sat her down on the side. We talked a bit, and then packed up and went home. I feel like an ogre. But on some level I know that I did the right thing.

On the way home, Mel and I talked about whether the punishment fit the crime. And we talked about presenting a united front to WG. And I don't think she was intentionally testing the limits. But I do know that if my consequences become idle threats on little things, that eventually she'll start pushing the limits on much larger things.

As we were walking out, I could feel all the eyes on me. The grandmas and grandpas in the crowd just couldn't believe I was taking this poor child home for letting loose squeals of glee and screams of delight.

But one day, when she's not driving drunk through our neighborhood, and she's not rude to the people that she passes on the street, hopefully then they'll see why I'm sweating the small stuff.

Boy, is this parenting stuff hard.

1 comment:

Alfred said...

My only problem with your choice of punishment is that you punished yourself too and missed a great day at the pool! :) But, you did the right thing. Al B.