|Sophie pats Cookie after a job well done.|
I'm not one of them.
The other night, Sophie was overtired from a sleepover the night before and seemed a bit bummed out. While she was organizing her stuff for the following day's horse show, I made a few attempts to find out what was going on. I used my sweetest, best, most understanding Dr. Phil voice each time. I swear to you I did. It didn't work. She was mute, until all of a sudden she wasn't, and then she was face down in tears on the bed, howling. Absolutely howling. The cats peeked in, took one look at the situation and got the heck out of Dodge.
More gentle probing (and by God, I was exhausted at this point) got the kid to spill the beans. The cause of the drama? Camp had been "boring", the afternoon snack was "bad", and we didn't get a chance to go to the pool because I "needed to go grocery shopping."
My brain snapped. I had a full-on WTF aneurysm. Gone were Doctors Phil, Oz, and Spock. In their place was the wrath of Mom, and it was a righteous and awesome wrath. To put it bluntly, Miss Thing got an earful, and I was about half a second away from pulling her out of the show. I don't have a problem doing that; I've done it before. However, a small part of my brain was saying, "She didn't really do anything wrong. She was tired, you pushed her to tell you what was wrong, and she did. You just didn't like her answer, or the drama that came with it." So, before I did anything irrevocable, I got my husband's opinion on the matter, and a very rational friend's thoughts as well. Ultimately, we decided to let her show, but to enforce consequences later by having her do extra housecleaning chores and sit through one of my long winded lectures on "Why what you did was unacceptable: Part XXIII."
She woke up the next morning as her normal self. She was helpful, respectful, and listened attentively to her trainer and to me. She said "thank you" whenever people complimented her on her riding or on her pony. She was considerate of her pony and praised Cookie with many pats after each round. There was no sign whatsoever of the sulky hell-child of the evening before. She even bear-hugged her Grandpa and thanked him for coming to watch her show.
|Reserve Champion. Happy child. Tired Po-Po.|
Wonderful! Happy child, happy Mom, happy pony (there were lots of treats and hugs). She almost had a relapse when we handed her the bucket of cleaning supplies, but took one look at me (I think I might have been drawing in a deep breath in preparation for another Shock and Awe campaign) and thought better of it.
She went off to clean. I went off to take a nap. This parenting thing is exhausting.