Monday, March 02, 2009

Parenting Lessons: In Progress

Yesterday was a challenge to my parenting expertise stamina.
Supergirl was awful. Sassy, insolent, unrepentant.
She spent the afternoon in time-outs which were extended before they were served.
I wanted to smack her around a bit, but we don't do that.

Finally, by dinnertime, she would just not stop antagonizing her three year old brother. This, as she knows, is a button-pusher for me every time, as I would never have allowed any other seven year old bully to treat her that way when she was three.

I demanded she come downstairs to help me with dinner.
"I don't want to make dinner!" she whined.
"Wash your hands!" I snapped back at her.
Did I care? Did I care at all what she wanted? No, I certainly did not.

I handed her a bowl of eggs.
"Stir!" I commanded, adding melted butter to her eggs.
She pretended to stir very angrily, then became interested in the process of mixing yolks into whites.
"What are we making?" she finally asked.
"Matzoh balls for soup," I replied, beginning to soften, "Will you please cut the carrots?"
"YES!" she said, more brightly now.

Fifteen minutes later, we pulled the matzoh out of the fridge.
"Can I make the balls myself?" she asked.
"Oh, okay." I pretended to relent.

"I miss the times when you used to help me with dinner all the time." I remarked.
"Well, I could do that again...."
"I would really like that."

Thirty minutes later, we were eating steaming, salty, doughy delicious matzoh ball soup.
"Honey, I am so glad you are going to help me in the kitchen again. Dinner always tastes better when you help make it."
"Oh Mama, thank you! I love you! I'm sorry I was bratty today!"

Not a trace of bitterness remained by bedtime.

Supergirl, you are my Superstar.


Denise said...

Awww what a great post.Rock on supergirl.

Anonymous said...

what a blessing. These are the moments that get us through anything. Yeah, anything. You are here with her and Ah-Day, I pray that gives you strength.

Sophie said...

That is so precious! Good on you, Supergirl.

Vicus Scurra said...

So you've broken her spirit and turned her into a stereotypical woman forced to work in the kitchen. So refreshing when so many girls are complaining about inequality and burning their bras and so forth.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you were able to discipline SG in a way that was gentle but firm enough for her to think about how she'd been acting and own up to it. Success!

Vicus S~
It seems like the timing of SG/Gwendomama smackdown just happened to coincide with making dinner so that was a good opportunity to distract SG from messing with the little one by having her help out.

You bring up an interesting point: What is a stereotypical woman anyway? Is it a disgrace for a woman to actually want to be in the kitchen, (drinking wine and) creating a fabulous meal, sharing her 'art' with others? I think cooking is a great skill to have, but I like food and want to know how to make the things I like.

In the 1980's we got so far from women learning skills like cooking, knitting, sewing, etc. because prior to that those were considered women's work. Now the pendulum has swung back in a more neutral position of women who are interested in these activities eagerly pursuing them.

I'm probably reading too much into your comment; it's just that I don't feel like designing bridges that much today.


Anonymous said...

that is so damn cute

mamadaisy said...

WOW! savor that moment. you know you'll need it later.

Elizabeth said...

great post -- she sounds a lot like MY seven year old son. They're such buggers, right? Frustrating and oh-so-perfect all at once.

RoseRedHoofbeats said...

I love cooking. Fuck off, VS.