Some days I think mothering is a win-lose occupation. I’m having more of these days lately. G tells me at least once a week that I’m ruining her life and that I’m selfish for insisting on doing things my way. I know it’s totally selfish of me to insist she not eat food in her bed and then scatter the packaging in her dresser drawers and pillow cases, so yes, that’s why I’m attempting to ruin her life. Then I picked her up from horse camp yesterday. Apparently I’m back in her good graces for the week.
On Saturday when H and I were packing her suitcase for a week of day camp and time with the grandparents, she informed me she no longer wanted to go to camp–especially if I was going to force her to wear socks AND sneakers. I replied that she owed me $90 for camp tuition. She’s smart at the young age of 6 and decided that she would gain some leverage by acquiescing if I agreed to accompany her to day camp. (Sure, a 39-year-old mom would not look out of place at a camp for elementary students.) Instead, I agreed to buying her lunch on Sunday, and she agreed to go to camp and be spoiled by Grammy and Granddad. Guess who won this battle! (Hint: it wasn’t me.)
Yesterday I spent the day with my middle child, which is something that hasn’t happened since last December when we took explored DC for her eighth birthday. Apparently I’m not as fun as her sisters. Apparently she doesn’t whine to her sisters about how bored she is. And apparently I struck out at 3 attempts to make her less miserable. In the morning, we visited Miss Debby, one of our favorite people. She’s a grandmother from our church who has adopted our family as her own. She also has a kid-friendly house and yard and never insists that the girls pick up after themselves. S whined at Miss Debby’s house until we left for home. So I made a playdate for the neighborhood pool. After less than an hour, S actually curled up under a towel and asked to go home. After dinner, G and I took S to play Street Soccer, which is an evening of pick-up soccer games arranged by our local soccer club. I was excited: DC United sent 2 players to play with the kids and sign autographs, and much of S’s soccer team showed up to play. S was not remotely interested in the soccer pros; she actually left the field and told me she didn’t want to play at all and that this wasn’t her idea of fun. “Seriously? I just committed to a year of coaching your soccer team, and you no longer want to play?!” was my reply.
Fast-forward to this morning. S spent another miserable night coughing. She agreed to a doctor’s visit this morning, and our doctor suggested viral bronchitis as the cause of her misery. I simply asked if she could have cough syrup with codeine, please. Yes, I am Mother of the Year.
If I’ve learned anything, the rest of the week will be unpredictable. S and H will eventually conquer their coughs and sleep peacefully through the night. One of my kids will decide I am the world’s worst mother, another will defend my honor as world’s greatest mom, and the third will be wise enough to stay out of the discussion.