I don't know about you, but before I had children I had high parenting ideals. The words, "I would never let my child do (fill in the blank)," indignantly tripped off my judgmental lips on more than one occasion. Ah the optimism of the childless.
As I have shared before, armed only with my theoretical principles, I developed a well-articulated, if completely naive, postulation on how children ought to be handled. From discipline to scheduling, I knew my stuff.
Then I actually had a child. How different the practical instantiation is from the theoretical. Suddenly I found out what it actually FEELS like to have a child throw a tantrum in a public place. My former self would have said, "My child will never throw a tantrum in public because I will discipline them properly at home. They will know better."
Which brings me to yesterday. Trey picked me up at the train after work and we hit the bank on the way home. While sitting in the drive-thru the kind teller noticed our three ducklings in the back and sent some lollipops (or suckers for your southerners) through to them. They were delighted. I promptly pulled the plastic off one for Davis and one for Addison. Genevie was having none of it, so I handed the lollipop to her with the wrapper still on hoping that would placate her. How wrong I was, but instead of fussing about it, like Addison would have, she just set about to making it right, trying to remove the wrapper herself, ample proof that she is indeed farther back in the birth order.
I quickly saw that her deft little fingers were nearly succeeding at de-wrappering the object of desire, and so with a small sigh I pulled it off and gave it it to her.
Let's back up a second...I gave my 17 month-old daughter a lollipop.
I don't know how clear I can be on this, but former Becky, with her ideals and parenting plans, would NEVER have given a toddler a lollipop. But along this sometimes rocky road I've learned a few valuable lessons.
Let me break down what went through my head during that sigh. The amount of sugar she was about to get was not worth the battle that would ensue when she just couldn't fathom the reason I would give her brothers a treat and not her. Suddenly "fairness" is a new parental issue. And really, why not? Why can a 5 and 3 year old have the sucker and she can't? She's no more or less likely to choke than the boys. She's got 12 teeth, including 4 molars and chews plenty of things more substantial than a lollipop. You should see her stuff her mouth with dinner. Plus, it's not like she eats candy all the time. A treat here or there isn't going to harm anybody. And that is why the third tends to be less high maintenance than the first.
You're welcome, Evie, and God bless you for being a persistent little firecracker.