Wow, two posts in one night… I must be short of reading material.
So the other night, Aimee had Ebola or West Nile or whatever the virus is that has ripped through our house. She stayed home from daycare that day, and so once again we relied on the kindness of grandparents so that we could actually go to work.
In the evening, I figured she should have some tylenol or advil or something so she could get a good night’s sleep and maybe start to recover (I figured we were just about at the end of our welcome with the grandparents and maybe should get back to parenting the child ourselves, but was personally unwilling to take any more time off in the second week of a new job). She didn’t agree. She said medicine was yucky and she wouldn’t take it.
I tried persuasion, I tried bribery, I tried blackmail. I tried talking calmly, I tried yelling. I tried begging. I didn’t try sitting on her and holding her nose until she opened her mouth, but I thought about it. I might have even threatened to. I tried everything I could think of that was something short of withdrawing my maternal love and affection if she didn’t take the damn medicine.
She refused. And refused. And refused some more. We argued for 45 minutes. Finally I told her I was too frustrated and she should just go to bed. She did, wailing. I hugged her and kissed her and told her I loved her. She rebuffed my affections, and fell asleep, still snuffling.
I was mad. I felt guilty. Instead of burning my excess stress hormones with exercise, as I should have, I drank wine and fumed.
It was a battle of wills: the six-year-old versus the parental guilt-induced-by-fear-of-traumatizing-one’s-own-child. The six-year-old won.
The silver lining for my bruised parental ego: I am hoping that this is a sign that, in future, she will not succumb to harmful pressures from the limitless and unsavoury influences outside of her safe, cozy circle of family and family-approved friends.
She slept well all night and woke up sufficiently recovered to function at daycare the next day.
In the morning, I apologized to her.