Typically I would say “thank you” with an open and gracious heart for such a kind gesture. Usually, I would be reminding my daughter to demonstrate her own gratitude by saying “thank you”, but not this time. This time, the protective-momma-bear in me that has rarely surfaced is growling and itching to roar.
My daughter is extremely kind, loving, obedient, generous, and sweet-hearted. As most 3-year-olds, she sees only the best in others and does a good job of knowing right from wrong. While eating dinner at the community event last night, she asked me if she could have some of the Valentine’s conversation candy hearts that were in the middle of the table and I told her after she was finished eating, she could. After she finished, she asked again and I told her she could have 2. My precious little girl carefully spent a considerable amount of time choosing her candy hearts and ended up with a green one and pink one.
As we were getting up from the table, you—full of good intentions, I’m sure—told her, “Oh, go on Sweetie…take a big handful.” Annoyed at the fact that you didn’t bother to ask me first if that was okay but instead addressed my 3-year-old directly, I kindly responded to you, “No thank you, I already told her she could have only 2, which she already has.” Then, much to my pleasure, my 3-year-old looks up at you with her precious eyes and tells you, “No thank you” too! (parenting-WIN!)
Thinking that this awkward situation was over, I turned my back to throw away our plates and as I was turning back around, I see you stuffing my daughter’s tiny hands full of candy hearts and quickly walking away. Standing in shock and seeing her confused face at what just happened crushed me and I walk over to my baby girl who then APOLOGIZES to me and hands me all the candy that you just stuffed into her hands. Mind you…I didn’t ask her to do this…she did this on her own.
You see, my 3-year-old knew better than you and shouldn’t have to apologize for you. My heart broke as she apologized because she showed so much more maturity than you did with your “good intentions”. Your good intentions only served to teach my daughter that disobedience and sneakiness are okay. Your good intentions only served to undermine the sometimes difficult lessons of obedience that’s she’s managed to learn so far.
Now, I hate to jump to hypotheticals, but to make my final (and, yes, supremely more dramatic) point, I will. WHAT IF….what if I had other reasons, serious reasons for not allowing my daughter to have more than 2 candy hearts? What if there were medical reasons? You had no idea if my daughter could or could not have candy, yet you stuffed it into her open little hands unabashedly. I feel for my friend who has a toddler with Type 1 Diabetes—what if you had stuffed her hands full of candy hearts? Do you even understand the gravity of what you could have done? You don’t know my daughter, you don’t know me, and you had no idea what you were doing. You had absolutely no idea.
So yes, normally, I would be thanking you for your kindness toward my daughter, but not today. Normally, I would feel ashamed of myself for feeling frustrated with you because you were only full of good intentions. Not today, though. Today, I am saying “shame on you” for literally going behind my back as a parent and forcing my daughter—my precious 3-year-old baby girl—to show 10 times more maturity than you. Shame. On. You.
A Frustrated Mother
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