My girls and I started this tradition last spring, every Wednesday night as Cooper and Amy head to youth, we go on a mini-date. Ice Cream at McDonalds mostly but we’ll stretch out to other venues when we need to. Like last night, Baskin-Robbins had the 31 cent a scoop night.
Last night was particularly had night between me and Camber. The problem is that Camber is growing up…and I don’t like it. She’s getting to that age that she is asking for more permission to do more things without her parents and we are not allowing her. We’re mean like that – demanding to know where she is, who she is with, how long will she’ll be there and THEN we still call the parents to make sure all that info is right. And even after all of that – we still reserve the right to say no.
I’m definitely the “no” parent when it comes to the girls. Amy is constantly telling me to be open, to be softer with my no, to listen before I say no. To practice saying yes. I keep telling Amy – you don’t understand. You’ve never been a boy. I have. I know what I’m doing.
At any rate, last night was one of those nights where I said “no” and then we all had to adjust some plans and make phone calls and talk to parents until finally the “no” turned to “yes.” There were some tears and some arguing along the way. Good thing ice cream heals most wounds.
After ice cream, I asked both my girls if they were frustrated with me.
“I guess I need to explain to you how precious you two are to me. How you two are the second most important people in my life behind your mom. And I just want you to have a great life with no bad stuff and not getting harmed or hurt.”
“Yes. And that’s why I’m overprotective…or just normally protective…and why I’ll probably always be that way. Just be patient with me and give me the benefit of the doubt.”
“Dad…I know you say no at times to protect us. It’s just hard to hear no…all the time.”
I wanted to argue with them that I don’t say no all the time. Only the times that I’m not going to be there…or it involves boys…or mean girls…which I think was exactly the point.
At any rate…this just in – parenting is hard.