We often see lists of what people fear most, and some old mainstays are public speaking, death, flying, vomiting – but I bet if there was a subsection of mothers with young kids taking that survey, “spoiling my child” would be on there somewhere.
Because no one wants that. It’s not good for mommy and daddy, not good for the kid, not good for other humans. Everybody loses, right?
So nearly every parenting decision is haunted by this anxiety. Your every instinct drives you to want to see your child happy all the time – but you’ve got to teach her, too, that sometimes, you don’t get what you want, and that’s just how the world works. Period.
Then there’s that temptation to just avoid the “store showdown” all together.
This is why, when I need to buy birthday presents for other kids, I usually bend over backwards to do it on my own – on the way home from work, or on a day I’m working from home and running errands.
Today, though, as a means of getting Lily to preschool without a fight (this was one of those very occasional “but I don’t WANT to go to preschool” mornings), I told her I’d pick her and Neve up a bit early and take them shopping to pick up gifts for two little cousins’ upcoming birthdays.
In a way, this was a good thing. It got me what I wanted – a battle-free morning – and it would take care of a task that needed to happen before tomorrow afternoon.
On the drive there – we weren’t even in the store yet – Lily says, from the backseat, “Can I get something too, Mommy?”
Oof. Continue reading