|Lil'Gal left; Niece on the Right|
Except, it wasn't. For Lil'Gal (considering how stubborn she is and what a boundary crosser she is at every moment) this was a Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day for her and I.
Let me preface this with yesterday. Hubby was readying to leave to visit with the boys for some beer and bull$h!t. He does this every other Saturday evening or so. Sometimes at their barn, sometimes at ours. As he was about to depart as I felt the sounding of a very bad temper tantrum - a melt down - a knock-down-drag-out, as I call them coming on from Lil'Gal.
She respects her Daddy's word better than mine, mostly because he's no-bars-hold when it comes to behavior and discipline, even I fear his temper sometimes when it comes to that (not in a bad way, just in a 'I warned them and now their gonna' get it' way), but she totally follows his word because of it - unwillingly, but she does.
I catch him before he leaves and explain to him to deal with her first or one of the two of us (she and I) might not exist by the time he returns home (I'm thinking me, from brain explosion). I do NOT exaggerate. Lil'Gal can give me a run for my money; I grow grey hairs upon each encounter of fit and temper and war-of-the-wills. It exhausts me emotionally, mentally and physically. I love her dearly. I appreciate her strength. I DO. It makes me proud. But it wreaks havoc on me at times. Think of those horrible fits you see on 'Super Nanny' and 'Dr. Phil'. I jest not. And, she knows it because she will ask me not to tell, "So and so, Daddy, etc." She doesn't want them to know how inappropriately she can behave and more importantly how inappropriately she behaves, at times, with ME.
Ahem, speaking of which. Don't leak that I shared on my blog. She'd be horrified.
Anyhow, Daddy dealt with it but she is still on a rampage and half way through her bath we are both, I'm embarrassed to say, screaming at the top of our lungs. And, poor Farmer, Jr. is in the other room having to listen too it all - as is somewhat typical.
She's mean, hurtful, hateful, whiney, non-compliant to the point of purposely making my duties difficult for me. We are both mean to each other. Yes, I did hear Dr. Phil in the back of my head sayin' "What were you thinkin'? You are the parent and adult. You do not have the RIGHT to lose control." *sigh* Sorry Dr. Phil. But, you weren't here to help me.
Then, insert the guilt. I prayed for forgiveness in church this morning and direction and to be a better parent. (I was told never to pray for patience because that one comes in a 'teaching' lesson. I don't need anymore 'lessons' in patience. I just need more patience.)
Anyhow, long story not-so-short, she and I apologized shortly after her bath. We started on a new page. We agreed that we didn't like how WE felt about ourselves or each other when we behave that way. And, we reset for a nice evening. We snuggled asleep until Daddy got home and moved her to her own bed.
Fast forward to today. The Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day!
This morning I told her to dress for church. She came out in cute long shorts and matching top outfit to which I replied, "Not good enough for church." To which she started to tantrum. I left to dress myself leaving her to work it out herself. Apparently, she didn't fall into full tantrum. She came to me minutes later in a cute skirt and a separately cute top, silver sequenced belt and matching flats. WIN FOR ME!
NEXT, she let me brush her hair with little complaint. She even wore jewelry. Her charm bracelet, her ring I bought her through a jewelry party AND, a necklace!
She was well behaved in church, wonderful at breakfast, great on the way home. She got her birthday gift from Gramma (my mom) and 'it' needed a memory card. She had been so wonderful that I took her to Walmart to get said memory card. Typically, this would have waited until a trip was merited. We did a little grocery shopping too of which she helped me and reminded me the few details we currently needed, including meat for dinner which I let her decide because I was feeling high on my low stress level rush.
She didn't complain when I brushed her hair again for my niece's piano recital. She behaved for that. We get home and she is ready for a bath (What? I have to bathe her nightly because of the huge cast). So I do but I have to miss my window to exercise on the treadmill. She is aware of this but I don't complain.
She helps me with dinner. I mean BIG TIME HELP. Hubby had to leave for a ship and I was rushing to get dinner to the table so he could eat with us before leaving. Let me task out what she did:
unloaded the dishwasher
got milk from the back fridge for me (full gallon with her awkward hand)
set the table, placemats, condiments, silverware, etc.
got the butter out for me at speedy demand (who knew she could reach)
got some utensils I needed
helped me clean as we went
served green beans for her and her brother and didn't cheat on how much to serve
put stuff in the laundry, pantry, etc as I needed
waited for my beck-and-call for what else I needed
After dinner she (unprompted):
put the flour container away (I'm surprised she didn't drop and break it, but she managed on her own accord casted and all)
cleared the table; completely
loaded the dishwasher with some instruction from me
assisted in making their lunches; she handled 3/4 of the duties
put lunches in back fridge
put milk and all condiments away
put placemats in the laundry
helped me put leftovers away
returned my cookbook and rack and other items to the appropriate counter
put dirty dish towels from cooking fried meat and cleaning kitchen in utility room for washing
cleaned and pledged table
when I swept the floor under table and in kitchen she got the dust buster out and waited for me to finish and then 'sucked' it up for me
she RETURNED the dust buster to its place in the pantry
she told her brother it was bath time
she started running his bath for me because she knew Daddy wasn't here to help me
she didn't fight with her brother -AT ALL - even though he kinda' earned an argument here and there
she hugged me and said, "Mama, I'm sorry you didn't get to exercise today."
she hugged me and said, "Mama, was I help to you tonight?"
ABSOLUTELY. I told Hubby, "If Lil'Gal was like this every day? My stress level would be at negative 5."
If every day with my sweet, smart, strong willed, head strong, assertive Lil'Gal were as Super, Wonderful and a Very Good Day as today? I have to admit I probably wouldn't appreciate days like today. :-P
AND, I don't think I would appreciate her as much. I do think after last night's knock-down-drag-out, our sincere apologies and love and heart-to-heart -- that, she gets it. She gets me a little more. I think she finally considered things from my point of view. I think her help tonight also made her realize all the little things I do that end up being the whole sum of what 'Mama' is and does, day to day, moment to moment. I feel valued, appreciated, and she and I were so in love with each other over working so well together.
Today, was my current favorite "Lil'Gal and the Super, Wonderful, Very Good Day!"
And, to end this post, I shall add Lil'Gal's video of my sweet niece and her perfect piano recital. :-D
Because she is my other adorable Little Gal in my life. <3 And, of her, I am also so proud.
Happy "Tomorrow is Monday and the last week of the 2010-2011 school year!" SUPER SQUEEEE!