Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rocks and Cars Don't Mix

I'd like to say that I'm a cool, calm Mama.  The truth is, sometimes I lose my cool.  I react too quickly.  I'm not always patient.  And I'm often wishing I had handled a situation differently.  But I learned a good lesson this week, one that I want to share with you.  

Hubby was leaving for work the other day.  He kissed me, hugged the girls, and left.  Two minutes later, I get a text from him with pictures of some words carved into my car.  I assumed it was neighborhood kids, as we sometimes have issues with toilet papering, dog poop lit on fire, and food all over the outside of our house.  Yes, apparently people still light dog poop on fire.  At least I was smart enough to not step on the bag, thanks to a few movies I saw as a kid.  They were probably hiding behind a bush, laughing. But I was thinking, "Suckers.  You had touch dog poop, put it in a bad, and walk it down the street to pull this prank off."  It wouldn't have been worth it to me.  Come to think of it, I hope it was dog poop, because if it wasn't, I don't even want to think about the alternative.  But anyway, I digress.  Upon further inspection of the text, I realized the words read, "Love you.  Dinner."  Who would take the time to carve that into my car?  

I went outside to see if Hubby was still there.  He was, and he did not look happy.  I walked over to the car and looked at the damage.  Yikes.  It was much worse in person.  I was still confused, until my husband cleared it up for me.  He said, "I think E (our oldest daughter) did this."  I thought for a second and realized that yes, she did it the other night when I called them in for dinner.  She didn't do it out of anger.  She did it because 1. she was hungry and 2. she loves me (probably for finally getting dinner on the table).  My girls usually write on the car when it's frosted or dirty.  We've never had to tell them not to write on the car with rocks.  It never crossed my mind to teach them that.  

Hubby was mad and wanted to punish her.  He wanted her to know what she did was wrong.  I get that.    I was just having a hard time with that because I felt like she didn't know it was wrong.  I thought we could accomplish the same goal by simply talking it out with her.  I reminded him that we have to react appropriately, especially in these younger years, so that when she's older, she'll be able to talk to us about anything.  If she can't trust our reactions with the small things, why would she come to us with the big things.  Kids gauge our reactions and can determine early on if they can trust us or not.  Look at your facial expressions in the mirror and pretend to have a conversation with your children.  What does your face look like when you're upset with them?  That's what they see.  

Here's the lesson I learned about myself this weekend: I understood my husbands initial reaction.  Somehow, I'm pretty calm when the situations are more serious.  But I thought about what my reaction would have been if I had seen her with the rock in her hand, carving into my car.  I would have said, "E!  What are you doing?!  Why would you do that to my car?!"  I hate to admit it, but I wouldn't have been the most patient Mama at that point.  I need to chill out, take a step back, see things from her point of view, and not react so quickly.  That is going to take time and practice.  Maybe that will be my  next 30-Day Challenge *wink*

Here's why rocks and cars don't mix:

"Love You"

Do you like Hubby's distorted body and small, Beetlejuice head?  

I apologize for the poor quality of the pics.  They were taken with an old cell phone.  I'll be taking the car in next week to see if it can be buffed out.  My heart says, "Yes, it can!"  But my mind says, "Don't be ridiculous.  Those scratches are too deep."  Only time (and money) will tell. 

Thanks for stopping by,

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