Tulips “From Sophie”

Sophie and I had a rough night tonight. One of my failings as a parent is to threaten and then not follow through. For example: “Sophie, if you scream like that one more time you lose dessert after dinner tonight.” Sophie screams. “Sophie, I mean it. If you scream one more time you lose dessert after dinner tonight.” Sophie screams. “Sophie, I’m serious!” Sophie screams. “OK, no dessert. You can get it back if you don’t scream for the rest of the night but …”

Seriously. Super Nanny would have a field day with me.

Anyhow, I promised myself, after a particularly rough weekend, I would start following through. And tonight, I did. There were a lot of tears. But I held my ground. Long story short, Sophie went to bed tonight without “stay up time,” without a snack, without books. I sat in the hallway and painted my toenails. She laid in bed and cried. It was horrible. But also good. Very good, for both of us. I was less friend and more parent. I followed through. I think, I hope, we’re in a better place now.

Andy went grocery shopping tonight. And came home with tulips. “From Sophie.”

Tomorrow I know Sophie will be overly loving, with her constant “I love you’s” (her “thing” as of late) and snuggling on the couch. Even if tonight she screamed “never” to me no less than three times. Am I doing this right? I wonder. Have I messed up? I worry. And then I look at the tulips. And listen to the words Andy says to me.

It will be OK. I am doing OK. We are all OK.

Sometimes, being “mean” is necessary and needed, I know. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier.

“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.” —Robert Leighton