After an early dismissal from an all-day teachers' workshop at a local university, I swung by my sister-in-law's to pick up Munch. It was a beautiful, warm day and since I'd be heading out to volunteer at the high school later (and missing family dinner and bedtime), I thought that maybe we'd grab a cool treat on the way home. When I arrived to pick her up, Munch was quiet and moody, which I've been seeing a lot of lately. Turns out my slightly early arrival had interfered with their tentative plans to pick up Slurpees at 7-11. Munch proceeded to pout, stomp, mope, and sigh loudly as she packed up to leave, all the while not saying a word to me- gee, can't wait until she's a teenager! As we got into the car, I made the quick decision to tell her that I HAD been planning on a treat and that her attitude pretty much eliminated that possibility. Munch burst into tears and apologized, so I got out of the car to give her a hug and we got on our way.
As we got closer to home, we stopped at the library. I'd been meaning to get library cards for the both of us and we had a few extra minutes. I also realized as we were parking that an ice cream shop was just across the way, and maybe we could still stop in. As it turned out, filling out an application for her own library card and getting a stretchy bracelet to attach it to lifted Munch's spirits considerably. She happily skipped to the car, holding my hand, and clutching her books. Boy, was I glad I didn't mention anything about ice cream earlier! Because as much as I wanted the enjoyment of taking her out for a treat, I realized that Munch had learned several lessons that afternoon about her attitude, accepting disappointment, and moving on to enjoy other experiences. So I gave myself a pat on the back for making the right parenting choice- but I still really wanted that ice cream!
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