Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Streak is Over
I finally did it. I finally said it. I said something that I had so prided myself on not saying that I even posted a running total of the number of days that I had not said it on this very blog site.
Then, in an instant, the streak ended. After 1,434 days... the peanut's entire life... I finally said it on a Wednesday night during dinner.
"Because I said so."
The ultimate cop out. The laziest, not-a-real-reason explanation a parent can give to a child. As soon as I said it, I knew it. I caught myself... and said, "I can't believe I just said that."
Why did I say it? Just like I explained before... I was being lazy. I said it without thinking. It happened so fast. I wish I could take it back.
There we were, at the dinner table. The nightly negotiation with the peanut had begun. She wanted to know how many more green beans she had to eat before she could be finished. I said five. She said three. I said four. She said two. You have to love her negotiating style. We settled on three. Little does my daughter know that I always put more on her plate than I expect or want her to eat.
I want her to eat five whole green beans. I put seven on her plate. She eats two. Then she asks, "how many more?" And our tango ensues...
So after we settle on a number for green beans, we move on to dessert negotiations. Namely, what she will be allowed to have for dessert, assuming she eats her green beans. Tonight, she asks for cookies, or candy. Not knowing how much fruit she ate that day, and assuming how many sugary snacks she was given, I told her she can have yogurt or applesauce for dessert. If she finished her green beans.
And here is where I slipped. "Why, daddy?" And I thought about it, and said, "Because you probably had enough sweets today." I knew that was too vague of a response for her. She kept pressing... she just wanted a reason.
Now throw in that 1) I was still getting over being sick, 2) I was tired from a long day of work while still feeling sick, 3) I had prepared a delicious meal (chicken marsala thank you very much) that my wife, who was now sick beacuse of me, could enjoy, and you get "Because I said so."
Ugh. The worst. What kind of mail-it-in parent says "because I said so?" Me. That's who. This once. Hopefully this last time.
What I meant to say was, "I bought you ice cream yesterday because you felt sick (I got her sick too) and I know you had some after lunch today." But I didn't. Instead, I mailed it in.
My wife wanted to give me a break because of my physical and mental state at the time... but that's the thing. You can't take a break. There is no break from parenting... or, at least, from good parenting.
So reset the ticker... we're starting another streak. And I'm bringing my "A" game. Again.
THE STREAK IS ALIVE!
What is "The Streak?" Click here to read more.