Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's brown and sticky?

This morning Andrew and I went to the temple, which meant the girls had the morning with Grandma, which meant that Grandma had to get Rachel off to school. We were home in time for Miriam and me to walk over to the school to pick her up and she was (initially) very excited to see us.

Rachel and Miriam ran down the hill and around the corner laughing and playing. Then they got to a house with a big tree on their lot—one of those big, messy trees that is forever dropping twigs and things on the ground (my girls love it but I can only imagine how much maintenance it requires) which we had to stop and play with, of course. The girls picked up twigs and started casting spells at each other and when they got bored of that they started whacking pole of the street sign to make some beautiful "music." They would have stayed there all day but eventually I said that I wanted to eat lunch eventually so it was time to be on our way.

My sweet, cooperative children obeyed and followed me down the sidewalk.

When we were just about at our very own corner Rachel realized that Miriam still had a stick. She immediately turned green with envy—not only did she also want a stick but she needed a stick and she needed it now. It just wasn't fair that Miriam had taken a stick from the neighbour's yard when Rachel had not.

I pulled the nice mom card and told her to run on back and choose a stick. Miriam and I would wait for her at our corner—Miriam was already tired of walking and was asking to be carried so I didn't want to make her walk/carry her all the way to the end of the street and back again; besides she was much too interested in using her stick to poke the bush we were standing by (she discovered a water bottle was lodged inside the bush and was very amused by this).

Rachel excitedly tore off for the opposite corner of the block. She stooped and picked up a stick then threw it down, only to bend over and examine a new one. This went on for several minutes.

"What are you doing?" I hollered. "Just choose a stick!"

"I can't!" she yelled back. "I need help!"

"No, you don't!"

"Yes, I do! They're all too long!"

"Then break one in half!"

"Just come and help me choose one!"

"I am not going to do that!"

"Come and help me!"

"No—it's just a stick!"

"I need some help!"

"Rachel—you have ten seconds to choose a stick before I'm leaving to go home!"

"Help me! I want a stick! I want a stick! Help me find one!"

"No—just choose one and come back!"

I wasn't angry but I was starting to think the whole situation was a tad ridiculous. If I walked back to where she was I would go from nice-mom to push-over-mom (and I don't want to go there) so I yelled, "Alright; I'm leaving."

Rachel started screaming bloody murder and began running back to me screaming, "Don't leave me!" and "I want a stick!"

One of our neighbours came out of her house to get into her car. She saw me standing on the sidewalk in front of her house and then looked up the street at the loud, angry child I call my daughter. She has a daughter a year older than Rachel.

"Have a nice day," she laughed before getting into her car.

It was a sympathetic laugh. I could tell.

When Rachel caught up to us she was still screaming and, by this time, nearly foaming at the mouth with rage.

"You need to calm down by the time we get to the house or you'll be sent straight to your bedroom," I warned her in a cool, flat voice.

She flew off the handle and stormed up the street, screaming all the way.

She beat me and Miriam home and used her extra time to pound and kick at the door while screaming.

I unlocked the door and Rachel flew through it and stormed to her bedroom, slamming the door behind herself. She screamed for a good half hour (or more) in there before coming out, crying, because she had a headache and a stomach ache.

She sat whimpering at the kitchen table, holding a cool cloth to her forehead, while Miriam and I ate lunch. The headache was from screaming too much. The stomach ache was also from screaming too much—we learned that when Miriam had to get x-rays of her stomach when she was sick last month (they took the x-rays right after drawing blood—which had made Miriam quite upset—and remarked that the only thing amiss in her stomach was all the excess air she had swallowed while she was screaming about the needles).

Rachel had screamed herself out of commission. She screamed so much that we were all surprised she didn't throw up all over the place (because this is Rachel we're talking about). Because she was so miserable she made a little bed for herself on the couch and asked me to close the blinds and then she just lay on the couch being quiet for a good long while.

Grandma invited Rachel to go run errands with her while Miriam napped, which was wonderful because it meant that I got to have a nap, too. Rachel had asked to watch a movie but I told her that was not a possibility given her recent behavior. The outing did wonders for her attitude. And mine.

Although I wasn't really angry with her I was extremely disappointed in how she flew off the handle and  I wasn't about to go around handing out privileges all afternoon. In fact, when she came home from running errands with Grandma I made her do her jobs and then do some extra jobs to make up for her behavior.

I still find it hilarious/baffling that this all happened over a stick.

I mean, it's not like I had given Miriam a popsicle and a unicorn, leaving Rachel a dirt sandwich and a dead mouse.

Miriam just had a stick that she had picked up from the ground. Of all the things to make life unfair...

A stick, folks.


1 comment:

  1. with kids. How familiar this is...

    You handled it with much finesse and I'm proud of you. I would have lost it long before!