What do you do when your child refuses to eat or is a picky eater?

Eat your veggies!!!! Image borrowed from: http://www.foodonthetable.com/

One thing that I have always been proud of as a parent, is that my kids are not picky eaters. They have always eaten their veggies, didn’t consume much sugar, and just had a well rounded diet. They ate consistently, ate well, and was always open to new foods.

That has all changed in the past 3 weeks. I have a 6 year old and a 21 month old. And both kids have decided that all the food they eat just doesn’t taste good. My 21 month old, I get it, he is testing his limits on what mommy will give him. He is playing with his food. You gave him bread and butter once and now he has decided that he won’t eat unless you only give him bread and butter for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whatever…. with him, I just need to figure out how to incorporate vegetables back into his mouth and I will be satisfied as a mom. Does marinara sauce count as a veggie? In my house it does.

But my daughter is a different story. She has decided that she is a little princess and your job is to wait on her hand and foot. And if she doesn’t want what you give her to eat, she will fuck with your head and return the meal back to the kitchen, asking for something else to eat. And it is all my fault. I take full responsibility for this behavior. Now I have to figure out how to reprogram her.

You see, summer is here. And summer camp now has begun. She is expending lots of energy. According to her, an applesauce cup is enough for breakfast. A bag of fish crackers is enough for lunch. And some oranges and a string cheese is enough for dinner.

“The sandwich doesn’t have honey on it. The sandwich doesn’t have the right bread. The sandwich doesn’t have enough honey on it. The cheese wasn’t cold. The apple was yucky. I don’t like bananas now….”

This is the same girl who will down a chicken tostada at the end of the day when we treat to take out.

So after about 3 weeks of this going on, I lost it this morning. After 3 weeks of me tending to her every need by allowing her to return the food and giving her a different option, (since I am paranoid that she will die of starvation), allowing her to eat one bite and return it, I went totally bonkers and freaked out (check out that run on sentence).

It all started with instant oatmeal…. 3 mornings a week, we rush out of the house each morning with a car full of bags, laptops, lunches, backpacks, etc. We struggle to get hair and teeth brushed, beds made, get dressed, and attempt to not leave the house as if a complete tornado had just flown in. And 3 mornings a week, I have no time to put up with kids not eating breakfast or at least taking breakfast with them in the car.

Ok so the oatmeal. Rushing around this morning, mistakenly allowing the TV to be on before she had started her morning routine, she asked for oatmeal. I think to myself, Great, she wants oatmeal. That will be a great meal to last with her until lunch time while she is at summer camp playing hard. I prepare the oatmeal. I put yummy butter and milk in it. I bring it to her on the couch with a towel and a smile. She ate one bite and said, “it is yucky, I want something else”.

“Are you (fucking) kidding me, girlfriend! There are people starving in poverty that have no food. I don’t have time to make you a different meal. Why don’t I just go into your piggy bank and take a dollar out and throw it in the trash. That is what you just did by refusing to eat the oatmeal. ” (of course I communicated my frustration with throwing the f-bomb at her)

And that, my fellow mommies, is the moment of clarity for me. The moment where I realized that I was the asshole in this situation. The moment the clouds parted in sky and the light shinned directly in my eye. Then I told her, she can go in the kitchen and find herself something to eat, cause I am done.

The rest of the day, as I sat at work pretending to do my job, all I could think about was how I was going to communicate to her with this massive discussion about how she needed to eat the food that is given to her, or she will go hungry. How she will be offered food and if she refuses it and it goes in the trash, it is her loss. That I will not be her short order cook anymore. That I am disappointed that she would waste food because we should be so lucky that we have food in the first place. How it takes work to prepare a meal and it should be appreciated. I was basically going to make a big huge stink about it.

But there was no huge talk. In the end, I decided to take it meal by meal. And basically gently remind her that if she didn’t eat the food provided to her, she would not eat, and that is really too bad. I am also thinking of having her start making her own meals, help with dinner, and basically start having her learn what it takes to prepare a meal. I am not going to get mad anymore. It really just goes in one ear and out the other. But I am going to give her the freedom to learn on her own what it means to be hungry if she chooses to not eat the food that is given to her.

I really think, for whatever reason, she decided she would going to try out this power struggle with me. I believe it really it has nothing to do with food itself, but more about testing the limits. It took me 3 weeks to catch on, but I am hoping that we see a turn of events.

Now getting my toddler to eat his veggies…..

*Disclaimer…. I am living off of 5 hours of sleep and a full work day, please taking 2 hours to get the toddler to go to sleep. Pardon the miss-spelling or grammar issues.

My daughter helped me face my fear…. of public transportation

Santa Cruz Buses are Good for the Environment Too!
Image borrowed from: http://forum.bustalk.info

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me to take her on the bus for a solid 2 years now. Apparently there is something that seems glamorous about going for a ride on a huge blue box. You can see the bus stop from our living room window, so there is no hiding the bus swinging on by every hour, on the hour.

I had been avoiding taking her on the bus for 2 years now. However she gently reminded me of my promise I had made 2 years ago. I realized I had no more excuses. It was time to conqure my fear, and get my ass on that bus.

Now you may be asking yourself, “What the hell is her problem? Why would she be nervous about taking the bus?”. Well let me shed some light on the ways of my manic brain. The last time I took the bus was 20 years ago when I was 14 or 15 years old. Back then (the 90’s if you may), the only people that rode the bus were junkies, homeless, mentally disabled, and teenagers. Do you know how scary teenagers are? Fucking scary!!!! Ok, but really. The bus smelled like piss back then and had a strange dirty, sticky, vibe to it. Even as a kid, I only rode the bus maybe 1-2 times in my life. Anywhere I needed to go, I could ride my bike, walk, or get a ride. And when I was 16, and got my license, you better believe I felt too cool to ride the bus.

But here I am now, 34, and about to take my precious babies on what I thought would be cesspool of germs and goober. But my baby gets what my baby wants. (enter sarcastic tone). One fear I have is pretty logical. I was afriad I would get on the wrong bus and end up driving to Africa let alone across town. I did some research online and found our route. I also found the bus fare amount and made sure I had exact change. $2!!! What a deal!! Of course in my mind I kept thinking, “What if I don’t have enough? What if the coin gets stuck on in the machine and everyone yells at me? What if, what if?”

So we had our money, we had the time we needed meet the bus, and we had our route. We were all ready to go. So here we are at the bus stop. I had a 6 year old, a 21 month old in a sling attached to me, an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and a bag for our library books. Here we come!!! We got on the bus with flying colors. Phew! No one even yelled at me one. Go figure!

I was pleasantly surprised once we got settled in a seat and was on our way. The buses must have been remodeled somewhere in the past 20 years (Who would have thought?). The seats and floor was clean. There was no unpleasant smell. I felt comfortable and safe. There were no crazy people. Don’t get me wrong… There were people of all walks of life, shapes and sizes, etc. But mostly college students, some elderly, and lower income people. But was nice to experience a different side of life that I don’t think about on a day to day basis. And it was nice to just sit back and not have to worry about other drivers, traffic, etc. Granted it took twice as long to get to where we were going, vs driving myself. But we weren’t in a hurry and just had fun riding the bus.

Sometimes it takes our children to help push us beyond our bubble and comfort level. I certainly did not want my daughter to share in my own fears without having her experience life for herself. Most of my daily fears are not based on reality, but my own perceptions and judgements. Which isn’t healthy, but my own shit that I deal.

But that is saved for a new post. For now, all I can say is, YAH for public transportation!!!!

Swimming, Jr Life Guards, soccer, music, theater, oh my! When extra curricular activities rule (or ruin) your life.

When my daughter was as young as 6 months old, I had her in swim classes and a community play group. When she was 1, she was in a baby sign language play class and swimming. When she was 2, she was in tumbling and swimming. Then all the while during her preschool days, we religiously went to a weekly mommy and me music class. She also did dance class and gymnastics. Phew! Once we hit preschool, we were a part of a co-op where I worked in the class once a week.

We had time back then. I only worked 20 hours a week the first year of her life. And that is with only going into the office for 3 hours a week. I worked fulltime after she was a year old, but only 2-3 days a week in the office. With her being my only child, it was easy to fit in all these extra activities. And frankly I loved it. It was fun and a great way to get both of us out of the house.

But now I have 2 kids. Not only do I have 2 kids, but my daughter is in kindergarten everyday, where I work in the class once every other week. Now you would think I would have more time with her in Kindergarten every day and working less in the class than I did when she was in preschool. But somehow it doesn’t work that way. Kindergarten is only 3.5 hours long. In that time, I grocery shop, clean house, play with the baby, get the baby to bed, and hope for 2 hours of work time before having to pick her up from school.

We have only 1 extra curricular activity at the moment, and that is swim class twice a week. So from 4:00-5:00, we are walking to the pool, she is in swim class while the baby is in the gym childcare, and I am lucky if I can swim laps for 20 min. We have been doing this routine Tues/Thurs for 5 months now. And I am pooped!!!! This week, the swim school is on vacation from the holiday. Tuesday afternoon, we played in the backyard, I cleaned the kitchen, watered the yard, slowly made dinner, watched some TV, played in my daughter’s room with her, and maybe even watched a cloud pass by. My husband came home to a calm and mellow wife. Not some spastic crazy ball of fury, trying to rush to get everything done, the kids in bed, and on the couch with my laptop working by 8:00 pm. It was heaven!!! And it made me realize, that I need a break from having to be somewhere, at the same time, twice a week, every week.

Soccer is next, coming August!

However, our little break will be short lived. School is getting out for summer in a couple of weeks, and the extra curricular activity cycle starts all over again. Jr Life Guards gets started, then soccer in August. Holy Shit!!! At least in July, we should have a little break.

There is a part of me that feels as though our children benefit from having free time. Where they can play, make up games, dig in the dirt, have alone time to explore, etc. I totally agree! I kept my daughter so busy when she was a toddler and preschooler, where she can barely play by herself these days. She has a very short attention span for playing on her own, and I blame being all up in her ass for the first years of her life.

OMG! She needs music classes now, or she will miss her window of opportunity to learn an instrument. (sarcastic tone)

There is another part of me that wants to sign my daughter up for every single extra curricular activity she shows any interest in. This way it gives her exposure to all the killer genres of hobbies available. I already know, she isn’t into gymnastics. And even though she loves to dance, she really isn’t into dance class much. I think she would love theater, and would love to get her into a theater class some day. I also would love for her to learn how to play an instrument and maybe the baseball team. Holy Shit! You would think I wouldn’t be so anal about all this, but I can’t control myself. It is like a sick disease or something. She has so much life ahead of her. Why do I need to push her to try activities that she may not have any interest in. When she hits 4th grade, she can play in the school band if she wants. They also offer a drama group at school. There is no need for me to pay money for a class across town.

Then there is my little sweet baby boy. He is 20 months old and has not taken one class in his cute little life. No swim class, no music or baby babble classes. And you know what? He is the most content little boy ever. He can sit and play on his own for hours. Ok, maybe to say hours is a bit of an overkill. But he can play on his own for at least 30 minutes. In baby time, that is like forever.

I do plan on putting him in swim lessons or maybe a mommy and me music class in the fall. But my daughter will be in 1st grade until 3:15, so it will be so much easier to manage one child’s activities at a time.

I think in the end, I need to stick with my goal of 1 extra curricular activities at a time per kid. And have periods of a break between activities to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, stop and smell the dirty dishes in the sink. We need to find a balance where myself and the kids can be home with free play, as well as hauling their asses around town for games, classes, etc. If someone has the magic cure all solution for this, please share!

I need a swagger wagon, just to haul them around to all these activities.

A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 2

If you haven’t had a chance to read:
A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1, check it out!

After my daughter decided that chores were basically slave labor, she decided to become an entrepreneur to raise money. She created paintings and put on an art show. None of the neighborhood kids wanted to come see her art show, let alone pay actual money for the art. So that was a bust (of course I thought it was so cute, that I purchased some art). She also attempted to become a street performer and pan handle for money. Basically she came out of her room with a pretend hymn book, singing, and holding an empty egg cartoon. We enjoyed the performance, until she stopped, gave us a horrible look and said, “Don’t you know why this egg carton is here? So you can put money in it”. Well, holy duh! Of course. How could we ever miss that?

She even tried "living room" street performing for money.  Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

She even tried “living room” street performing for money.
Image borrowed from: http://literarysignpost.com/2012/09/01/street-performer/

After trial and error, she came home from daycare one day with an epiphany. She would put on a lemonade stand. Yes! This was the answer to all she was looking for. After thinking about this for some time, I decided, yes, I can handle this. Some Kool-ade, maybe some cookies, sell them for a buck each, BAM! No….. it doesn’t work that way apparently. You have to make the lemonade from scratch. Organic preferred. And in doing some “market research”, 25 cents is pretty much the going rate for a cup lemonade. Doing the math, I realized, she would earn maybe $5.00 if she was lucky. But I was willing to give it a try.

We picked a weekend, and set a time for the lemonade stand. I game her a 2 hour window to be open for business. We picked lemons from our daycare provider’s tree, purchased poster board, cups, and some cookies, and got to work on our marketing strategy. Ok, I have to admit, I have a career in marketing. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda know what I am doing when it comes to getting the word out. You just gotta blanket your target audience. Ok… I tooted!

Fresh Homemade Lemonade and Cookies. 25 cents!

It was SOOOOO hard not to want to micro manage. Of course by this time, this was MY lemonade stand in my mind, not hers. It took constant reminding, to stay in the background and gently coach the process, vs leading. I encouraged her to make a flyer and we could put it on the door steps of the homes on our street. Being that she is 6 years old, she isn’t the worlds best writer. But we worked together on what she wanted to say, I wrote it out, and she copied what I wrote and added her own flair. Apparently spider illustrations along with “Fresh Homemade Lemonade” was her marketing approach. Some words were miss spelled or missing. But you got the message from reading the flier. If anything the fact that it looks like it was written by a little kid, probably drew in more customers. It was SOOOO hard to not correct her every move. But I didn’t…. much.

By the time the lemonade stand open for business, she had left fliers with every house on our street, we put poster-board signs at the end of the street next to the bus stop, she made a hand written huge sign for her table, and I emailed our family and Kinder class, and posted it on Facebook. Overboard you may say? I think not!

Oh yeah, one last thing. She decided that we should feature face painting along with the lemonade. Which meant, mommy gets to face paint. Fun…. (that is “Fun” with a lingering sarcastic tone). But I went along with it. She also wanted to put out chairs for people to sit and enjoy their lemonade while they hung out. In the 2 hours her lemonade stand was open, she sold out of ALL the lemonade, had about 5 cookies left, and made $30!!!!! I could’t believe it. She added it to her money pile.

In doing some research, I found companies who sell clothes for the American Girl Doll for half the cost of the official brand. http://www.doll-clothes.com/ is one of them. Not having to pay so much for clothes, really helped the bottom dollar amount she would need to save.

She was convinced she had enough. I didn’t believe her, but was open to counting her money, again, so we could see how far she had to go. Low and behold, in one month’s time, she had saved a total of $100. I was shocked. You know what that means? I had to come up with my end of the bargain of matching her dollar for dollar? What the hell did I get myself into? I never thought she would be able to save that much. And in only a one month time? Really?

One thing I have to say, is that the ladies in our family have tenacious genes running through our blood. We are go-getter biatches! And we don’t work hard, we work smart. Funny how she already has figured that out. I am actually very proud of her. She put her mind to it and did it!

So today, she got to order the doll, the clothing, and the accessories she wanted. And so the waiting game starts. She better love this doll with all her heart. If I find her American Girl Doll in a pile with her other dolls, collecting dust with matted hair, in the closet, I am going to be pissed. Well, not pissed per say. I will probably just reclaim her as my own doll. I never had my own American Girl Doll. You are never too old. And technically I did pay for half of her….. I am secretly really excited for her to arrive. Does the stork bring her? She wrapped in silk when she arrives? Does heavenly light burst out of the box when you open it? I can’t wait!!!!

A 6 year old’s quest for an American Girl Doll, part 1

It all started about a month ago, on a warm sunny Spring day. The mail had arrived. And there it was. 30 pages of glossy full color heaven. The all mighty American Girl Doll catalog. It was like the clouds had parted and the heavens were singing to my daughter as her eye lite up turning each page of girly goodness.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

This is the closest you will ever see what my daughter looks like.

She immediately decided that the American Girl Doll was the perfect doll for her. And a doll she MUST have in order to complete her existence on this earth. I of course, rolled my eyes and secretly wished that catalog never had arrived. I know my daughter. She plays with almost NEVER. She likes the idea of dolls. She has a collection of them. They pretty much chill in a pile in the closet collecting dust and knots in their hair. Poor dolls…. However according to my daughter, none of those dolls look like she does, hence why they are not played with and why she MUST have the American Girl Doll that looks like her. I looked at the price tag. $110.00!!!!! And you don’t even get a cute outfit or accessories with it. Are you fucking kidding me? Pardon my french, but what bullshit to expect a parent to fork out over a $100 for the doll. Not to mention $30-$50 per outfit. I won’t even spend that much money on an outfit for myself, let alone an outfit for an 18″ piece of plastic.

After she hounded me for a day or so, I decided to make her a deal (insert evil laugh now). She went through the entire and narrowed down everything she wanted, from the doll to 2 outfits to get her wardrobe collection started. We tallied the shipping, tax, and what little money she saved so far. She needed a total of $225.00. I agreed to match her dollar for dollar. Of course in mind my, I never thought in my wildest dreams she would actually follow through. Which in turn, would save me over $100. We are talking about a girl who would pan through the couch for loose change, just so she could use the little bit of saved money on yet another 6 inch stuffed beenie animal she saw at the drug store. But what the hell, right? This would be a good lesson of saving money, doing chores for money, and be patient if it was something she really wanted.

We started off with her making a poster with cut outs from the catalog of all the items she wanted. She then wrote, “Do you have any chores for me? I am saving for an American Girl Doll”. We posted it on Facebook for our friends and family to see. From that alone, she received $20.00 from a distant grandma. She also was able to earn some money from doing odd chores for the grandparents. This includes window washing for grandma, and helping her grandpa wash the boat.

She realized very quickly, that chores were a waste of time. Really? I had to think fast. My plan of teaching her the value of hard work was sinking quickly. She decided she didn’t want to help out around the house for extra money. She already has chores that she has to do as “a part of her contributions to the family”. But then there are things she can do for extra money. Apparently she is too above hard labor or something. I mean shit, all I asked her to do was pull some weeds for money. Weeds that would have taken me 5 min to pull myself. But to her, it was slave labor….

Read Part 2 of how she finally earned her money and made her big purchase. 

My daughter is 6 going on 16

teengirl

This is NOT my daughter, although sometimes it feel as though it should be.

This evening I was watching old home movies of my sweet daughter when she was 2 years old. So small and innocent. So carefree and playful. She laughed at anything, danced around the house like a little fairy, and just rocked it all the time.

Now fast forward to age 6. My sweet little “teenager”. Oh man, I remember being a kid and saying, “I can’t wait to grow up”. And my mom telling me how wrong I was. In my mind, it wasn’t any farther from the truth. Being a grown up was way better than being a kid. How wrong I was. Now I watch my daughter as she grows up. She defiantly puts me to work when it comes to teaching her values, morals, right and wrong, and just all around living life to its fullest. It just seems like she is so anxious to grow up. What happened to playing with dolls, playing house, or building a sand castle in the backyard sandbox. Oh yes, she still does that. But now when she plays house, there is usually an imaginary boyfriend who is kissing her, or she is pretending to push out a baby in a vaginal childbirth….Yeah, that one is my fault, as she was by my side when I gave birth to her baby brother 18 months ago. It just seems like her entire attitude is similar to a hormonal, premenstrual, young lady….. eye roll and everything.

She knows the lyrics to some of the major top 40 billboard pop songs. I am constantly being asked, “Mom, put on Carrie Perry: Kiss Me, Kiss Me”. I have only told her about 100 times that it is Katy Perry. Other than that, she knows songs I don’t even listen to when she is in the car, including: Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Of course when I try and sing with her, I get that almighty, “No, mom, only I get to sing it”. Which of course I then begin to channel my mother and say, “Well it is my car, and when you have your own car, then you can decide the rules. But until then, I get to sing along as well”.

She tries to wear hoochie mama clothes to school. She will be in her room getting ready for school, as I work on getting the baby ready, lunches packed, diapers changed, etc. Then struts out of her room like she is on a red carpet runway. This morning she comes out of her room wearing a leotard, leg warmers (no panties), and a ruffled shirt. “Um…. what are you wearing?”. Which she responds with, “mom, it is a skirt”. I am sorry, but a little chiffon ruffle is not a skirt. Nor is a leotard considered clothing for school in any shape or form. I am constantly saying, “Honey, I see you want to wear a skirt, here are your options of skirts you can wear, including clean underwear and leggings to cover your booty when you are on the playground”.

This is a regular line I hear in the mornings, “Mom, my ponytail isn’t high enough”. If her ponytail was any higher on her head, it would look a unicorn horn coming out of her forehead. The hairdo is a HUGE deal in the mornings for her. Luckily she only needs me half the time to do her hairdo. Most of the time she comes out of the bathroom with about 5 headbands on, and about 8 clips. But she rocks it.

Lastly (but I know there is more), she acts like she owns the playground. We attend a charter school with grades kinder-8th. When I bring her to school, she works the courtyard. I watch her as she has no fear and approaches the 8th grade girls to say, “Hi Dakoda, how are you?” Then gives the girls hugs and moves onto the next group. It’s nice the older girls just think she is super cute vs an annoyance. Of course she doesn’t give a regular kid hug, oh no…. She gives the “chick hug”. You know the hug us women give each other that includes the one arm, barely making physical contact, at the same time saying. “hi, how are you?” with a slightly higher pitch than normal.

I am constantly telling her, “You may not wear a bra until you actually have boobs to hold them up”. “Sorry honey, kindergartners are not allowed to have boyfriends or kiss boys at your age” and, “Sorry honey, having pink hair is only for Crazy Hair Day, Halloween, or a special occasion.”

I love my daughter with all my heart. And I feel confident that we don’t expose her to inappropriate movies, behavior, or influences that are above her age development. I just have to continue reining her back to 6 year old land. Even if it means bursting her bubble and bringing her back to reality.

When good girls go bad… or scratch stars into the bathroom mirror

This is not my bathroom, but after my daughter vandalized our family bathroom, this bathroom represents my emotional outlook of our bathroom.

This is not our bathroom, but after my daughter vandalized our family bathroom, this bathroom represents my emotional outlook of our bathroom. Sad…

I was just telling my dad how wonderful my 6 year old daughter has been lately. Ever since we reduced her iPad usage and instilled a more structured evening routine, her attitude and over all energy has been calmer and more pleasant. She has been more engaged at school, she has been doing what we ask of her, being more respectful, helping out around the house, and just over all being the fun loving and playful self we know and love.

With that prelude fast forward to Saturday. My girlfriend came over with her 2 year old  son and we all walked down to the beach for some fun in the sun. Yes the benefit of living in a small beach town, is a 10 min walk to the beach, followed by replacing the burnt calories with ice cream on the way back. My daughter was a little attention starved with my girlfriend when she first walked in the door. But overall, it was a great outing  She was well behaved at the beach. She had fun. We built sand castles together. We played in the water together. She was even understanding when I needed to tend to her baby brother while she played on her own for a bit. We even collected really snazzy shells and rocks she could show off at her kinder class “show and tell”.

After ice cream, we headed home and played in the backyard. While my girlfriend packed up her belongings, packed her sandy little boy, and loaded the car, I walked into the bathroom to to clean up, and there it was…. Starring me right smack in my face, as I stared at my greasy, sandy, hair, and sun burnt freckly face. And huge fucking “A” scratched into the mirror. I couldn’t believe it. I stared at it for a while in disbelief. What the fuck was she thinking? What did she use to scratch this? And why would a six year old choose a symbol of the Anti-Christ, or Anarchy? Is she planning mutiny on me? I don’t get it.

I walked into the living room, right in front of my girlfriend, my husband, and the 2 babies. “Get your butt in the bathroom, right now.” She had a blank look on her face and followed me. I had her look in the mirror and I asked her “what do you see?”. Of course the answer was, “I don’t know”. After a couple rounds of that game, she says, “It looks like a star”. A star! Now I see it….. Yes a star. A fat 6 inch star carved right in the mirror. Turning my clean, vintage, pink bathroom, into a vandalized truck stop. It could have said, “For a good time, call 555-5555, carved into the mirror, and I would have been just as pissed as looking at a star”.

So the question is? What do you do? How do you handle this as a parent? She is 6 years old? She knew it was wrong. Why she continued to do it, even with knowing it was wrong, I don’t know. My mom said she remembered doing a similar act when she was a child, out of peer curiosity. Is that why kids end up playing with fire when you aren’t looking and set the cat on fire? Curiosity? Did my child loose all sense of reason and logic when she realized that her new found rock treasure from the beach could make really pretty designs when scratched on the mirror? And didn’t stop to think, “holy shit, mom will freak out of me if I even think about doing this?”

In the end, we had a long talk about how I work really hard taking care of the house to make things nice for us. And how I was disappointed that she would destroy our family belongings like that. I also said that I was going look into out how much it would cost to fix the mirror and she would not receive any allowance money nor would I buy her anything over the next month, so she could help pay for the damages. But these are the times where I question what is the “right” thing to do? How do I effectively parent her where it is ingrained in her head that she should never do anything like this again…. without causing physical harm?

Sometimes I wonder if in 15 years from now, when the kids are out of the house, and I have “empty nest syndrome”, will I look at that star scratched in the mirror, or the drawings she scratched into my bed head board (oh yeah, this isn’t the first time this has happened), will it bring me memories of how my kids used to be young and free?….Nah, I’ll still be pissed off.

Please help me feel like my child is somewhat normal. Tell me about your what your fully functioning children have done in the past that is similar to my little outlaw? What is your story? Please share, please do.