Bird hopped in the car yesterday excitedly telling me that she had won “The Estimating Jar” in class that day and got to take all the contents home. Having guessed 150 pieces of candy, she was only one off from the actual number.
Yes, her teacher sent her home with 151 pieces of candy. And these were not Smarties or M&Ms. The kids take turns filling the jar and I’m telling you, some other mom unloaded her kid’s leftover Halloween candy. 151 pieces of fun-sized Snickers, Milky Ways and Three Musketeers is 145 pieces too many. Seriously.
The end result was a 9 year old’s tantrum fit to end all fits at 8:45 pm last night when I was trying to get her into bed, found her opening a piece of candy and promptly confiscated the whole bag. I listened to the fit for 5 minutes or so and finally decided she would not be able to calm down until I gave her an out. And so I did, climbing up to her top bunk and telling her why a nine year old child can’t have unlimited access to candy, giving her real life examples of people who had suffered ill health due to genetics poor eating habits and explaining that we want her to be the strongest, healthiest child she can be. She settled down, we ascertained that she was, in fact, hungry, and we went to the kitchen and I made her a bowl of oatmeal. The drama evaporated.
So yeah, I’m learning. I can’t let me desire to be the mom and lay down the law trump the need my child feels to have some independence and sense of fairness. We have suffered through a lot of Bird’s tantrums over the past three years and while I know they weren’t all her parents’ fault (though it is she and I that butt heads the most), I suspect that most could have been prevented. Sigh. If only we were perfect…