Sunday was a showdown for the ages. Political pundits made wild statements on the morning news. Super Bowl rivals battled for it out on the field before millions. But a couple of rookies in our household were setting the stage for the biggest showdown. My three-year-old Chicken and my six-year old Goose awoke ready to battle… me.
It was one of those moments that the mother of every little girl looks forward to – the moment when their daughter has a daughter that gives her incredible grief over an outfit. For my mom, that moment was Sunday.
Back in the fall, I had purchased a cute knit blue dress from Gap Kids. I thought Chicken would like the dress – it has a slight twirl to it (one qualification for clothes). However, sadly, she informed me that it is not purple, nor does it possess sparkles… or glitter – so it is not for her.
When we visited Chicago, we fought about this dress, and I won. However, since that time, the warm Florida weather has essentially kept it out of the rotation. The nice cool weather Sunday morning was perfect for the blue dress. There was much protest. There were tears. There were screams. It is amazing how limp a child can become when they do not want to do something.
After fifteen minutes of protest, I won – or so I thought. Chicken resigned herself to putting on the offensive blue dress. Just before leaving for church, we bundled her in a warm, purple down coat.
When we dropped her off with her Sunday School teacher, she was still bundled in her coat. I whispered to the teacher that there had been (atti)”tude” about the dress and suggested that she let Chicken know just “how cute” the dress was. She smiled and nodded. I wondered how frequently this comes up with three-year-old girls.
I then went to drop off Goose with his class. And suddenly, and for no apparent reason, he would not let go of me. Now, normally, he begs to go to Sunday School. Maybe inspired by his younger sister, he saw an opportunity for his own showdown.
Low Key and I waited for a few more kids to arrive – thinking that maybe he would find some inspiration to sit down and color or play with blocks. More kids arrived and still he would not release me. I sent Low Key on to the service so that I could continue negotiations.
More kids arrived. The protest continued. He did not want to stay. He wanted to go home. His demands were clear.
It is always amazing that in moments like these child psychologists appear out of the woodwork. The theories abounded – “oh, it is the age” – “kindergarten is a tough transition” – and they continued. Seriously, it is the middle of the school year. And he has been in daycare since he was one.
This was a case of being off schedule. We had missed the prior week and now his schedule was off. And add to that, he was expecting a delivery of a new Lego set from Amazon. He had another agenda – much like Chicken – and was not going to go down without a fight.
After ten minutes of the stand off (literally a standoff, he would not let go of me and I was stuck standing there), I pried him off of me and his teacher gave him a big hug. I ran, literally ran, to worship service.
About an hour later, we returned to pick up Goose. There he was happy as could be playing with his friends. Seriously. So much protest over nothing.
Next, off to pick up Chicken. There she was playing – still wearing the purple coat. Her teacher explained that she refused to take off her coat, because she “did not want anyone to see her dress.” Well that is stubbornness… and dedication.
Upon witnessing the showdown, I saw the joy on my mother’s face. Finally, her daughter got to experience a bit of what I put her through when I was a kid – and maybe still today.
Stubbornness, opinions… I guess in the grand scheme of life – as infuriating and frustrating as a protesting three-year-old and clinging, adamant six-year-old might be – there are worse things in life. There are worse traits that they could have inherited from me. In the long run, both will serve them well. But in the meantime, I sense there will be more showdowns in our future.