Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

A Hard Week at Home

The last week of parenting has been trying. On Monday afternoon, the 30 minute Suzuki violin practice with the 6 and a half year old took 90 minutes to complete. Tuesday morning, I turned into my usual morning version of Mr. Hyde (as in Dr. Jekyll and) to get her onto the bus on time. This morning, I discovered that the 8 and a half year old has been lying – again, for the last two weeks daily – about eating breakfast. And it’s sneakier now, as she leaves a bowl with cereal remains in it on the counter AS IF she ate something. I love being a mom, but this week, not so much!

For those of you who don’t know the violin story and might be thinking that I am some kind of over-achieving, push-my-kid-into-every-activity-imaginable kind of parent, Megan started talking out of the blue about playing violin when she was 2 and a half. Really. Right after Christmas of 2003, she started talking about asking Santa for a violin the next year so she could learn to play. She also started identifying instruments on an orchestra placemat she had by saying, “There’s a flute, there’s a drum, there’s a bassoon like Aunt Dawn plays, and there’s the violin I’m going to learn to play…” We thought it was cute, but didn’t pay much attention. After all, she was 2 and a half years old and no one we knew played the violin. We figured she’d seen it on Sesame Street or something and was momentarily obsessed.

Six months later, she was STILL talking about learning to play the violin. We decided that there might be something to her interest, so we explored our options and ended up at the Western Reserve Suzuki School in the fall of 2004. We’ve been there ever since.

Now, Megan LOVES to play the violin; she just doesn’t usually like to practice. And Meg has the Schinker family charm in spades. Ever heard the saying, “She could sell snow to an eskimo?” That’s Megan – and the side that most people see most of the time. As a result, very few people believe that she can throw a tantrum (and I mean the throw-yourself-on-the-floor-and-scream-at-the-top- of-your-lungs type of tantrum) to rival ANYONE. And that’s what she did Monday night for the umpteenth time.

And Emily and breakfast – argh!! She started getting up half an hour earlier so she’d have some quiet time to herself in the morning and more time to get ready for school. As a result, she eats breakfast by herself I usually get up 20 minutes or so after her). After eating oatmeal and nothing else for breakfast for literally years, she decided last fall that she didn’t like oatmeal anymore. Totally understandable to me! So we went to the grocery together and she picked out a new cereal – the ONLY thing she found that she wanted for breakfast.

But somehow, she doesn’t like that cereal now, can’t find any others to try, and refuses to eat anything but toast with cinnamon and sugar. Even THAT wouldn’t be so bad (though I am generally against lots of sugar for breakfast on a regular basis), except that the child likes no dairy except Nestles chocolate milk and one slice of cheese in her lunch. Letting her eat cinnamon and sugar toast with chocolate milk for breakfast every morning seems wrong to me, but I am coming to think that it might be better than the alternative of no breakfast (which I haven’t let here do), the return of Mommy Hyde, or the lying that I suspect is arising from her determination to NOT eat food she doesn’t like and still avoid yelling mommy syndrome.

I have worked – and continue to work DAILY – at being a patient parent, but this week I am definitely behind in the count. It’s a good thing Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend…(-:

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