Three dollars. Two children. One kid's scoop each. No whining.
This is our usual Baskin Robbins routine but tonight is different. We're in the car with Sissa and she's treating us all to ice cream! Oh, and did I mention it's 103 degrees out? We're hot, hungry and ready!
"Can we get two scoops?" Jack asks.
"You can get whatever you want," Sissa replies.
Who knew that phrase could be trouble? Once at Baskin Robbins, they notice the menu board for the first time. So many choices--sundaes, smoothies, scoop sizes and flavors. Decisions are made and we get in line. Then, at the last minute, Jack changes his mind and orders some giant Reeses sundae concoction complete with caramel syrup, whipped cream, the works.
Katherine is next...but suddenly her two scoop order seems small and plain compared to her brother's. As the line grows behind her, she looks back up at the menu board in desperation.
"Just get what you planned," I prod her. "Don't worry about your brother."
"Get the Mega-Oreo Sundae," Jack chimes in. "That looks good."
"That seems like an awful lot of ice cream," I chastise. "I think you should go with your original plan. Just hurry up and decide because people are waiting."
So, Katherine goes ahead with her order but when it arrives she begins to cry. Now, of course, I can see how I could have handled this situation differently. I could have been more patient--pulled her out of the line to give her more time to mull over her choices leisurely. I could have said, "I agree with Jack. The Mega-Oreo Sundae looks fabulous--yum!"
But who knows? After a long, hot day, Katherine is tired. And, just like her mother, she is not a very spontaneous person. Later I talked with my mother about Katherine's meltdown. "What should I do? Is there was a way to teach her how to be more relaxed? I mean, I feel like it's my job as her mother to help her work on this."
"No," Sissa says. "I think it is your job as a mother to show her you love and embrace everything about her. She should feel safe and comfortable coming to you for support--especially when she's tired or cranky."
Wow. How'd my mom get to be so smart? I guess she gets a lot of practice with me.