Tap-dancer, mother of the Climber (15) & the Cherub (12), and girlfriend of Mr. Fixit.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Making and making do.
More Easter baskets!
Even though you know that a bit of disappointment is not going to kill your children - and might possibly teach them a bit of fortitude - it can sometimes make you feel mean or sad when you have to tell your kids No. As in: No Climber, you can't do an extra day of tennis clinic this holiday even though you really want to come back tomorrow and do the Easter Egg Hunt and the Tournament With Prizes because we spent all our money on saving the cat. It is even worse when your kid tries to be really brave about it in front of you, quickly wiping away tears so you won't see how much he minds. It's not that my kids can't take a No. I am absolutely not scared to say it, and they are mostly complaisant about taking it. I just think that there is some pre-programmed section in a parental brain which inclines you to give your little darlings everything they want. Madness. Nobody should have everything they want.
Still. You have spent all your money on saving the cat, so how can you make this less sad for your trying-to-be-brave 10 year old? I suppose you could just tell them to get over it, be thankful for what they already have, think of the kids in poor countries, tell them the privations you endured back in your day etc etc. But although that sort of talk can help them with perspective, it doesn't really deal with their disappointment. What you want is a softer option, an alternative, a compromise. Like say, buying a $3 bag of chocolate eggs and taking them to Astrid's house the next day for a little playdate egg hunt. Seemed to do the trick.
On Easter morning we received a phone call saying that Grandma Fixit had maybe broken her toe and that Fixit and Climber would not be able to go stay at the Fixit's holiday cabin in the hills as planned, something that Climber had been very excited about. Of course, he was disappointed, but Easter Sunday is a pretty fun day so he didn't seem too devastated. After all, my Dad came to visit, we made pink lemonade, we had a fun Easter Egg hunt with clues ...
... and later on in the afternoon we drove over to visit poor Grandma Fixit to cheer her up. She was feeling pretty terrible about letting him down too, poor soul, but we said we'd try again later in the year.
However. In the same spirit of solving the tennis disappointment by secreting $3 worth of chocolate eggs round a friend's loungeroom, Fixit and I decided to bring the mountain to Climber anyway. Well, not so much the mountain as the campfire, which had been, we think, on top of Climber's To Do list for the getaway. So to top off a lovely Easter Sunday, we made a camp-fire in our old Weber and let the boys eat their dinner outside. There was also marshmallow toasting.
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