F always warns me, when it comes to dealing with C, “Don’t threaten to do things you won’t actually do.” Would I actually burn her princess dress-up clothes? No. Would I really leave her at the grocery store? Never. Do I have the heart to give away all the outfits she rejects during one of her episodes of indecision? Definitely not.
As for my latest foolish threat: Can I really make Halloween “not happen?”
In one of my many low moments of parenting, I let frustration and anger come over me. C was supposed to be napping but instead was trying on different “napping outfits,” kicking the wall, tossing and turning, and performing what sounded like painful tumbling routines. I had Thing 2 already down for a nap, and I was really hoping to have Thing 1 nap so I could enjoy a moment of zen. So when C called me into her room, in a moment of rage I yelled, “If you don’t take a nap, Halloween isn’t going to happen! I mean it!”
I left the room with the image of my better half shaking his head, smirking and saying, “Tsk, tsk. How are you going to follow through with that one?”
As I sat in my own bedroom thinking about the costume parade at her preschool, the festival at the gym, and all the princesses, fairies, wizards, Hulks, and whatnot roaming our neighborhood asking for treats, I realized C would for sure call my bluff. I could see it now….”Mama, mama! Look, Halloween is happening. You told me it wouldn’t happen.” And that would be followed with tears, of course. Then, I would have to live with the fact that I tried to trick my little girl into thinking Halloween wasn’t happening. Oh, the guilt…
C actually called my bluff minutes after I made the threat. Maybe she realized Mommy can’t control everything, not Halloween and definitely not a little 3 ½ year old girl who doesn’t want to nap. When will I ever learn?