You know, kids can be pretty ungrateful sometimes. I know that we shouldn’t expect them to understand sacrifice and compromise in the same way us grownups do, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish they would take a moment and think. Think about the intent of an action of a parent. When ‘they’ said parenting was a thankless job they really meant it.
Point in case:
I thought it would be a sweet thing to do to put a different sticker on each child’s wrapped snack every day inside their lunch box. It embodies the amount of guilt I feel for working and missing so much. It’s that little gesture that says “Hey! Mom and Dad are thinking of you!”
To this end I bought Isabel little Mini Mouse, Mignon butterfly and Daniel beautiful, bright smiley face and heart stickers as those are the things they love. The plan was to stick them on when they aren’t looking so they know how special they are as individuals and that we treasure them.
How did it turn out? Not so well. Road to hell and all that.
They have of course twigged on to the fact that there are stickers and this morning there was a barmy of note. Daniel opened his lunch box to find the (biggest on the sheet) happy face sticker on his snack and immediately proclaimed that he didn’t want the sticker. In my mind I went What the fuck? and I mentally rolled into a little ball of self-pity. We then had the whole conversation of why there are stickers, that they are simply something nice for them so they know we love them and so on, but Mister was having none of it, the sticker had to go. So, the sticker went.
2 minutes later he is back: he wants a butterfly sticker. No, sorry, no sticker for you today mister and we have thrown the other one away at your instruction.
Another 2 minutes later he comes back, big crocodile tears and demands to have original sticker back.
At which point I had a choice (besides feeling very manipulated). I could either cave in and give the butterfly sticker or stick to my guns and not let him have any sticker.
So I dug out the original sticker out of the bin.
As you do.