Friday, May 6, 2011

Passive Agressive Parenting

I had some beautiful preconceived notions of what my adventures in parenting would look like prior to having a baby... Rocking my daughter to sleep at night, reading stories together, playing games and teaching her new things. All of these scenes were full of laughter, love, and a warm fuzzy feeling that I would be a good parent.

Fast forward almost three years to a scene that took place earlier this week. We were driving in the car and I offered Emily a bite of my cereal bar.

"That's MY cereal bar."

"No, Honey, it's actually Mommy's cereal bar and I'm sharing it with you. Would you like a bite?"

"No, you DON'T take a bite of my cereal bar."

Admittedly, this is where I could have taken the parenting high road and continued on a mature, good parenting path. I was exhausted, sick, and getting kind of fed up with the new "that's mine" stuff. I ignored her protests and took a very large, slow, passive aggressive bite of MY cereal bar. Then I reached back to offer her a bite. Emily took the bar and threw it into the seat next to her!

I said, "Emily! That's not OK! Do I need to pull over?"

"You don't eat my cereal bar!"

I actually followed through with the age old threat of pulling the car over. The problem with this is that I had NO idea what to do next! I got out of the car, fetched the cereal bar from the seat beside her, took ANOTHER bite (Am I 12?!) then closed the door, and thought, "What am I doing??" She was already in her car seat, so a time-out was out of the question... It's not like I had anything to take away or reinforcements to offer and what would I be asking her to do anyway?

I got back in the car and tried to think of how to explain why Mommy was acting like a nut, but when I looked in the rear-view mirror she was fast asleep. Let's just pretend that didn't happen, shall we?? I drove her home, carefully took her out of the car and walked in slow motion as I carried her to bed. I was on my knees covering her with a blanket when I remembered the popping sounds my knees tend to make when I raise from a kneeling position. Very pregnant and crawling feels funny, so I imagine it looks equally as strange. I slowly crawled to the door and prayed to God she would stay asleep!

I'm not proud of my parenting choices I made that day, but I don't think I did any major damage either. Note to self: Grow up before you decide to teach your daughter a lesson. I don't even like cereal bars!

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