OY! This 4th child is a humdinger. Actually she is ALOT like the second child but with much more drama. Poor Phoebe can only see injustice in her life due to all the fun, cool things her older sibs can do and all the things they get. This leads to so much drama in her life and in mine, not to mention in her sibs.
So Phoebe has been asking for dance class. Lela struggled for a long time to find her thing, and it can’t be just a thing it had to be her thing and her thing only. We ended up with a Chihuahua for this reason until she realized she could not claim the dog for herself and the dog would go to other people, fail. Same with the Beta fish, fail. But now she has her horses and it is her thing and it makes such a difference in her life and in ours. So I started thinking maybe dance would be Phoebe’s thing. No one else does tap or jazz so why not. We have looked at studios, talked about types of dance and tried to find a place we liked and would also fit in to our schedule. Alas we found a place. Now for shoes etc. During this whole process Phoebe has been relentless in her asking about when and where.
Today was the day finally to go and get Phoebe her tap shoes. So we go to the store and get the shoes. The big girls know that we don’t buy things just for the sake of buying them, if there isn’t a need or a very strong want we don’t buy. Phoebe doesn’t get this. So as I am standing in line to buy the tap shoes and tights, she starts screaming at me because I won’t buy her some other shoes. Then she starts hitting me and screaming more. It gets worse. I am the epitome of calm and deserve a medal. I am doing my best to diffuse the situation without running out of the store. If this was two kids ago I would have just left but I only have so many hours in the day and this was the ONLY hour I had to get the shoes.
Phoebe took it upon herself to go back to the shoe section and get some shoes. Then she came to the front of the store and demanded that I buy them for her, I said no and to please put them back. She swung them as hard as she could and whacked me in the head. OMG, is this happening? All the while a Grandmother is in front of me and two first time moms (established by the grandma who asked) were staring at me, I am sure they were horrified. The big girls had gone outside because no one that is 7 or 10 wants to be embarrassed like I was being at the moment.
I was wishing the Grandma in front of me would hurry the heck up so I could get out of dodge before it really got bad. I finally got up to the till and bought the shoes and tights FOR PHOEBE. Then I left the store. But the fun wasn’t over yet. She decided to continue to yell at me about how she didn’t like me and was not going with me because I did not buy her the shoes she wanted. I had to take the other girls to the car and go back for Phoebe. By now the Grandma was leaving the store and Phoebe was actually running from me and shouting. I almost lost it, I wanted to snatch her up and spank her butt, but I had to catch her first. I did catch her and haul her to the car. Only to be rewarded with more shouting about how horrible I was along with kicking of my chair. I calmly put on Little House on the Prairie for the bigs to watch and put in my ear buds hoping that I didn’t crash the car in to a wall on the way home to spare us all the misery. About halfway through the 40 minute drive home (we had just been in Scottsdale for horseback riding) the remorse set in.
This was the way it happened with Lela as well. In fact Lela was bawling her eyes out about 5 minutes after leaving the store (hence the distraction of LHOTP). Lela remembers being so upset that she called me names and said horrible things and she remembers how badly that made her feel. She was reliving those moments and was feeling regretful:( Anyway, Phoebe apologized and then shouted that she still wanted the shoes, so apparently she wasn’t quite remorseful YET. She progressed and by the time we were home she felt shame and regret and promptly went to her room to play by herself. After about 30 minutes of that she came out and said she was sorry for the way she acted and that she loved me.
We talked about consequences for her actions and I asked her if anyone else deserved an apology and she said yes. She apologized to all her sisters. She will be making it up to them in different way such as cards and pictures. I will make her atone for her poor behavior by being kind to those she hurt.
Lela has turned out to be an amazing and compassionate person so I know that Phoebe will get there. I also know that Landis understand why we can’t have everything we want and why we choose to spend our money and time on those things that we genuinely love. So I know it is right around the corner for Phoebe but I swear if she punches me one more time I might become start carrying wine in my sippy cup:)
Thank you to my children for teaching me humility, patience and gratitude, I just hope it doesn’t kill me:)