I Like To Think She Learned That From Me

My boys spend every Friday night at church hanging out with youth group. So, every Friday night it’s just me, my husband and our daughter, hanging out here at the house. Last night my husband had to go from his regular job to do a side job. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a Girls Night Out with my daughter.
“Hey, would you like to go to dinner after we drop your brothers off at church?” I asked her, excitedly.
She responded with an enthusiastic “YES!”
Until I told her she would have to change out of her pajama’s back into the school clothes she had just taken off.
“But I want to stay in my pajamas!” She whined.
I explained to her that wearing pajamas to a restaurant was absolutely not acceptable and that if she wanted to go, she would have to change.
Long story short– she had a total meltdown that ended with her slamming her door while shouting “I THINK MY ANSWER IS NO! I DON’T WANT TO GO!”
I could feel the anger rise up within me. I wanted to fight back. To shout back at her something like “I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO GO ANYWAY!”
I took a deep breath to compose my thoughts. I didn’t want to have another meltdown of my own.
l opened her door and found her on her bed, her arms crossed and the Meanest Mad Face I’ve ever seen.
“GO OUT, MOMMY!” She snarled.
“I just have one thing to say to you and I’ll leave.” I said, calmly. “I’ve missed you so much since you’ve started first grade and I was really looking forward to spending time with you. I’m sad that you’ve chosen to act this way instead of being excited to spend time with me. You just made my heart sad, GabbyGoo. I love you.”
I closed the door and walked out.
She didn’t say a word.
For 20 minutes there was complete silence.
I walked in her room again to check on her. She was sitting at her desk, writing.
“Mommy! Please don’t look! Close the door!”
I left her alone.
A few minutes later, she walked into my room with her head down and handed me a folded piece of paper. There was a little heart with a flower in the middle on the front. I opened it up.
The anger and disappointment that I had felt towards my daughter just seconds before instantly melted away. I pulled her close to me, hugged her tightly and kissed her over and over again on her soft little cheeks. I was so proud of that little girl in my arms.
I love you and I forgive you.” I whispered in her ear.
She smiled, walked back into her room and walked out, dressed and ready to go out to dinner with her mama.

20 thoughts on “I Like To Think She Learned That From Me

  1. Ninotchka

    Funny, I had a falling out with Natalie (age 14) yesterday and later when I came home from a pool party with Elle, Nat came up to me and said “I’m sorry, Mom.” The 3 sweetest words, huh? We should all say them more often. 🙂

  2. Amy

    This was my first visit to your blog and when I read about your daughter slamming the door, I imagined her to be older. My 15 year old daughter still slams her door. When I realized she was only in 1st grade oh so many memories came flooding back to the forefront. It gets better and worse:) Great job staying calm!!
    My 13 year old daughter slams her door too. My 11 year old son has never slammed his door:)

  3. Denise

    Okay that note brought tears to my eyes! I’m so glad your evening was salvaged. I’ve learned sometimes there has to be some ugly moments to really appreciate the beautiful ones.

  4. mia

    I love how you were able to show her that her actions have an impact on others: some would say that is too much power to give to a child but I say it is the beginning of teaching them empathy. You are an awesome momma and she will be too! (but in like 30 years right?!!)

  5. Jackie

    A job well done mama! I’m so glad you got to spend an evenung with your baby girl after all. 🙂

  6. Meaghan

    Dang, woman! Why does it seem like every time I come check out your blog your entries literally bring tears to my eyes? That is really sweet of her – it’s hard dealing with the attitudes of young girls who seem to be going on teenagers at like, the age of five! (My daughter is nearly five going on 16). This was so cute, and I can’t wait until my daughter sends me little love notes – even if they have to come after fights.

  7. common mom

    So sweet! And pat yourself on the back . . . you’re obviously doing something right 🙂
    I never like the circumstances that make those notes appear, but I do cherish the notes.

  8. Jessica

    I really need to take parenting lessons from you. My first instinct (and most likely follow through) would have been to yell back and act like an ass.
    Your take on it was perfect and that note just made me melt.

  9. Jen W.

    “I love you so mush”? Adorable!
    If you are ever in the Brandywine Valley in PA, there’s a restaurant that serves 1/2 price brunch on Sundays to anyone that wears pajamas. Just sayin’.

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