Perfect Mommy/Daughter Date…except for the puking…

Yesterday the two older kids headed off to Disneyland with their visiting cousins.

This left a day for just Sassy and I to spend together.

Sassy and I have an interesting history. For the first 2 years, it was nothing but snuggling, nursing, and playing. And then, the third year, something went awry and we were constantly battling each other. We were completely at odds…when I wanted to sleep, she wanted to stay awake. When I wanted to eat, she wanted to sleep. When I wanted to go out, she wanted to stay in, and vice versa.

It took me until she was about 4 1/2 to realize and respect some things about her. She is headstrong, with a steel will. She doesn’t like to be told what to do. She likes to be in control. She likes suggestions, but not commands. She likes to do things in her own timeframe. If you get on her bad side, she holds a grudge like no other. She needs to be appreciated. She needs to feel valued–her opinion, her needs, her thoughts. She’s sassy, and doesn’t like to be held back from what she wants.

In a nutshell, she’s me.

But not me, of course, she’s her. But all the things that I struggled with in her were the things that were so similar with me. Our struggle happened because I was treating her like a child, in the sense that I hadn’t accepted or respected her value as an equal human being.

Now I treat her like a child only in the fact that there are things she needs my help with. But in every other way, I treat her as a partner in this life. Once I let go of a lot of power struggles (food, sleep, activities) our relationship blossomed. I’m always thrilled when I get one on one time with her…we are similar enough that I know that she more than any of my other kids is up for adventure and fun!

So we spent a day in Santa Monica. We drove up and got her some running shoes, then went to Floyds Barbershop on Route 66. Next up was a park day for unschoolers/homeschoolers, where all the kids dressed up and put on an original play. And then the pier, with rides and cotton candy and more rides and more cotton candy! And then…walking along 3rd St. Promenade where we did girly shopping and bonded over cute clothes and accessories. And then we drank hot chocolate and ate nutella strawberry crepes!

best day ever

And then she puked all over me, multiple times, sitting on the patio of the restaurant. Like, buckets of hurl all over me. Not because of the cotton candy, but a lingering chest cough that occasionally gets deep and causes vomiting. Honestly, I can’t even begin to describe the throw up extravaganza I lived through last night…so I’ll save it for it’s own post. I bet you can’t wait for that. It will be an epicaly vomitous blog, I’ll tell you that!

But, moving along…

My favorite memory of the day, out of so many favorite memories that happened, was when she saw the lights on the Promenade for the first time.

IMG_6067

When we walked in to a store, they were off, and then when we walked back out it was dark and glittery and magical. And glittery and magical described Sassy’s face as well:

IMG_6049

That, my friends, makes for a perfect day. Even if it ended with 5 gallons of puke all over me, in my purse, on my camera, and in my wallet. And that’s saying something!

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17 Responses

  1. what a fantastic day (except for the puking of course, poor sassy). She’s such a lucky kid to have a momma who understands her and goes with the flow of life. 🙂

    • ‘go with the flow’, I didn’t always used to be this way, but now it seems I’ve learned the skill 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. This is one of the few times I’ve seen words like this in a parent/child blog: “Our struggle happened because I was treating her like a child, in the sense that I hadn’t accepted or respected her value as an equal human being.”
    I always treated my children as equal human beings. They needed information and assistance with growing, but they were/are always equal human beings. I think I learned more from them than they learned from me.
    One of the best moments in my relationship with my son involves puke and a shop vac. Good times in the wee hours of the morning. rofl

    • Treating kids with equal human value is an underused resource for raising them, I’ve found.

      I must hear the puke/shop vac story!

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Love your blog. It is how ALL children should be treated. I had the realization by my 3rd child. He is successful, just as headstrong as ever and sensible and sane as well. I did just the right thing, treating him as a person. All I ever did raising him was to gently guide him back on track if I ever saw he running off the rails. I highly recommend the approach to child raising. Now that same son wants me near to help raise his new son the same way. I am happy to oblige.

    You set such a great example! Well done!

    • I love hearing your experience with him, and now with your grandson! What a legacy you are leaving with them 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. First thing , Is she a scorpio ?

    She is so much like my daughter . And we had the same issues. She some what hated me becoz I always tried to draw a line for her. Then I realised that she knows her way around .
    When I started to respect her for what she is , we became the best friends ! And she only want suggestions . No commands . How true ! XOXO !

    When on our own we share a great time. Becoz we like to do the same things ! http://krishnnaleela.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/the-best-all-rounder/

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy your posts. We are considering homeschooling and unschooling when the time comes (my son is 2.5). Thanks for sharing your experience about battling each other. I too feel that we are struggling with that right now. I really try to treat my son as an equal but it is quite difficult at times. Your frankness has inspired me. Thank you.

  6. I must admit…this is my greatest stuggle with mey 8,5 yr old whos relationship with me can be described very much like yours and Sassy’s. Only so far I have not been so successful backing off. I seem to so it in spurts and sputters. Her strength and determination to do things her own way, in her own time, and for her own reasons sometimes comes across to me as so disrespectful that I sometimes forget to do this (back off treat like an individual person step). What I also find is that as a result of her power struggles with me, and definitely with dad…she tends to lean more towards a negative, definitely pouty outlook on everything. Honestly sometimes it really wears me down and I find myself back in that same old “you are going to do it my way cause i’m the momma” fight that I already know is not right and does not work for us. 😦 This aspect of our relationship does sadden me and I pray often that my child will not suffer to much as a result of my fickle, sometimes reactive parenting style. I am already more lenient with my children than almost everyone we know, and definitely more that my dh would like me to be. This is a very difficult place for me to be. Thanks again for hitting the nail on the head. I’m goning to continue working on this issue. Wish me luck.!

  7. Sounds like a fantastic day!!!! ;D

  8. oh no buckets of vomit is never a good thing.
    oh what a total buzz kill to your fabulous fun date!
    hope you all washed up ok. 😉
    and i SO wnat to go to that barber shop. bad.

    • K, I showered with my clothes on, and had to clean myself off in layers. After driving in them for an hour to get home :/ !!!

      I’ll take you to Floyds when you come visit! 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. I feel just the same way with Zoe, who is now 4 1/2! But I didn’t really have trouble before with daily routines (except every now and then with this and that), but now sometimes I do! I let go a lot. But I was wondering how do you manage practical life now that you realized all this? When she refuses to do something or does the opposite, or so… what do you do? (I am always learning new things from my fellow-mothers!)

  10. […] of 2010. Posted on April 15, 2010 by childsplay I warned you I was not done talking about the date Sassy and I had in Santa Monica…the one where she spewed about 5 gallons worth of grossness all over me. So if you don’t do […]

  11. […] warned you I was not done talking about the date Sassy and I had in Santa Monica…the one where she spewed about 5 gallons worth of grossness all over me. So if you don’t do […]

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