Molly goes to preschool two mornings a week. She loves it. But when I pick her up at noon, she is worn out and hungry. I know this about her, it happens every single time. Usually, we go straight home for lunch after I get her. It takes us about five minutes to drive to our house, but as soon as we get in the car she asks me for a snack. She wants one right now. This has been driving me crazy for some reason. We are going home for a nice lunch, and I don't want to spoil her appetite with a snack in the car.
So I explain, every single time, that we are going right home TO EAT. Just wait five minutes baby, and you can have lunch. And every single time she freaks the hell out. Crying, ridiculous tantrums, refusing to let me buckle her car seat. This continues the whole way home until I am fed up, annoyed and sometimes yelling. She's fine soon after, but I just could not seem to get her to understand the situation. I couldn't figure out what to do about it. I felt like I needed to be more patient and not resort to yelling. Because she's three and she's hungry and tired and I know it's hard.
And then finally, it came to me. What am I doing? Why am I fighting this battle? I mean, really. So I started bringing a snack in the car. And now? Everything is great. And she still eats lunch.
Parenting so often feels like this battle of wills to me, where I know I can win because I'm older and wiser and Mom. But sometimes it just isn't worth it. At all. I get so caught up in the details that I can't see the bigger picture, that it's okay to take a loss. And make all of ours lives just a little bit easier.