Thursday, April 22, 2010

Patience

Yesterday afternoon, as I was scurrying around trying to get laundry done, preschool lunch made, packing finished, dogs fed, cats fed, kids fed, husband fed, puppy poop picked up...you get the idea. Anyway, when I was busy Brynn asked if she and Callie could watch a movie.

Sure! Anything to make my job easier right now. Callie immediately piped up and said, "Belle!" Belle is one of those lame, cheaply made, straight-to-DVD Disney movies. I think it is called "Belle's Magical World." It is cheesy. For reasons that I do not understand, Callie loves it.

Recently, though, Brynn has gotten over her love for the Disney princesses. She doesn't dislike them, but she's sort of grown out of them. This causes some friction whenever movie time comes.

In a calm and loving voice, Brynn said, "Callie, I'm happy to watch Cars, A Bug's Life, Mary Poppins, Firehouse Dogs, Wall-E, Anastasia, B Movie, yada yada yada." She named pretty much every movie in our collection. And then added, "Please, don't make me watch Belle or Cinderella."

This went on for about ten minutes, with Callie becoming progressively louder, more screechy, and more desperate. Brynn, to my admiration, sat calmly the whole time and repeated, "Callie, I'm happy to watch..." and listed the ten thousand movies she would watch.

Since Callie wasn't getting it, Brynn said, "How about if we choose one to watch today and one to watch tomorrow. We'll rock-paper-scissors for who gets to pick the first one."

Callie seemed satisfied with that until, predictably, she lost the best out of three rock-paper-scissors tournament.

Callie screamed and Brynn put in her movie (which turned out to be Chicken Run). Callie kept screaming but, by the time the movie started, she chilled and watched it from beginning to end without complaint.

I think my favorite thing about parenthood is witnessing those moments, however few and far between they might be, when one of my children acts mature and loving and kind and proves to me that, despite my best efforts at screwing them up, at lest one of them might turn out to be a fully-functioning, productive, successful adult. Brynn did that yesterday. One more scream from Callie and Brynn might have exploded in tears, but she took a lot of abuse yesterday and she took it well. She negotiated well with her sister, despite her sister's infuriating attempts to throw Brynn off track, and Brynn came out the winner. Really, they both came out winners because Brynn got what she wanted through good behavior (and a little rock-paper-scissors luck), and Callie threw a fit but nobody gave in to her.

Today I am proud of Brynn.

No comments: