It was one of those days I just wanted to get home and snuggle with my little Princess. I hadn’t seen her much because of extra hours at work to cover for an announcer who was on medical leave, and I had a list of things planned for us to do.
We were going to play Battleship in French (we haven’t even opened the game yet!), practice her reading and make some Hello Kitty jewelry. And most importantly, we were going to talk and cuddle. I had barely seen her the past couple of days because of work and I was dying to get home for quality time with my best gift ever. The hours couldn’t pass fast enough.
When I got home, Princess D was happily engrossed in the iPad and Youtube videos of young girls reviewing different Japanese candy and soda pop. Inherited Teen had been babysitting for the past 2.5 hours and wasn’t feeling well so she gave D a device and let her go free with it.
“Oh baby I’m so excited to see you! Give me a kiss!” I was like a kid at Christmas I was that excited.
I was denied.
“I want to try all of these pops, Mama,” was the big eyed response I got. “ALL of them.”
Denied. By way of ignoring.
I was gutted but I plodded on. Supper was in the crock pot and I finished getting it together, then called my sweet Princess out to eat. Out she came with iPad in hand.
“No, D. No devices at the table. We are going to talk.” I said.
“But I just want to watch. I want this candy,” my 6 year old loves her candy.
“You know the rules. I want to talk to you then do things.”
Princess D continued to set up the iPad and fully ignored me. I told her no a few more times and then defeated I gave up. And pouted. “Fine. You eat in here I’ll eat in the living room.”
(Yes, I know many of you are like “I would have just taken it away.” But some days, as a single parent, rushing so much with so little time you just don’t have the energy.)
I watched Shameless (UK version) and sulked over my supper, waiting for her to come and tell me she was done and ready to see me. She didn’t. An hour later I was over it. I went into the kitchen and pulled out the Mommy Voice I can only access when I am completely over it. Startled, she immediately did what I said. Put the device away and got ready for bed.
After I tucked her in I told her how I was disappointed she wouldn’t listen to me and hurt she ignored me. I pointed out she never even gave me a hug or kiss. And I told her she hurt my feelings by not wanting to spend time with me or respect the rules of no devices at supper. That made Princess D start to sob. She didn’t want to hurt my feelings, and my heart threatened giving in but I didn’t want to. I wanted her to learn that her actions have consequences and her decision to ignore me and continue watching Youtube videos had consequences.
She lay in her bed for about half an hour before she came out of her room. “Here, Mommy.” She said. “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings so I want to give you my heart.”
It was a heart shaped plastic pendant I had bought for her last year. “This way you can keep it in your pocket and always have my heart with you.” Then she got very solemn, dropped her chin slightly and looked up at me. “I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
My heart melted with love for this sweet, caring child of mine. And I swept her in my arms and kissed her face while I brought her back to bed. And I carry that heart in my pocket, always.