Tyler and I were at Henry's a few weeks ago getting supplies for dinner. He asked if I would buy a pack of mini blueberry muffins. I said no, we have mix at home, we can make them. His response stayed with me. It wasn't what he said, "you always say that," it was how he said it. He sounded so resigned and a little defeated. Then I lost my Mom of the Year hat because I totally turned it around on him. "Well, you can always offer to help me make them."
Why did I say that?! It was a knee jerk reactionary and passive aggressive statement. It's not like he was accusing me of being a horrible mom in the middle of the grocery store (though that must be how I took it since I basically blamed him for the lack of fresh baked goods in our house). I felt horrible after I said it. Who blames the 7-year old for not offering to bake?
I thought about what he said for the rest of the day. He's totally right. I do always say we can make muffins but rarely follow through. It's just muffins. And not even homemade ones.* Why is it so hard for me to give him something so simple? I resolved to be a different mom for the rest of the summer. I posted on Facebook that I was going to be "more of a Yes Mom." Since I posted I think I've done OK.
We spent last week at the beach with Phil's family. I smelled like campfire smoke every day and brought half the beach home with us, but Tyler had a blast. Between the junk food, S'mores and candy he had more crap in a week than he's had in a month (probably longer).
Between Phil and I, Tyler has been to the park (many times), Disneyland, the zoo, three camps, our neighborhood pool (a LOT), the library and the book store (that's my boy!). There's been more TV, computer and Wii time and staying-up -until-11:30 reading time than I normally allow. I think we've given him a good summer.
At the end of the day, when Tyler gets older he won't remember the exact things we've done for him, or the quantity of things we did. He will remember that we were there. When he looks back on the times he said, "today was the best day of my life!" we'll be woven into those memories. I don't want any of his best days tarnished by all the times we said 'no' to one of his requests.
When we got pregnant, we talked about not giving in, not letting our child control the house and drawing the line being being occasionally indulgent and spoiling. I think we've gotten so caught up in keeping Tyler grounded that we forget to let him have fun.
|Santee, Ca July 2010|
I'm going to try harder to find the balance between giving him every little thing he asks for and keeping reasonable limits. I will continue to make him "earn" his treats but slip him a piece of candy once in awhile. I will bring a little more fun into our time together. I will make more muffins.
*I add a little vanilla and fresh berries to the mix so they could totally pass for homemade.