I'm apparently a very bad mommy.
That's the general consensus at my house after a big fit was thrown last night about what we were having for dinner.
It all started when we decided on pizza for dinner with my mother. My mother, who watches Lila after school while I am at work, called me (at work) and told me that Lila doesn't want pizza for dinner. Instead she wanted me to take her to Moe's for tacos. I told my mother that I wasn't planning on going out for dinner and that pizza is one of the 10 foods Lila will eat so she would be having pizza for dinner. Dinner is always an issue when we eat with my mother because my mother generally makes whatever Lila wants for her. This is often because I live upstairs from my mother. We eat with her most nights and so Lila is used to getting whatever she wants for dinner. Before you start in on me, Yes. I have attempted to tell my mother that this isn't working but then I come home from work and Lila is already eating something other than what is being had by the rest of us. "She was hungry," my mother tells me. It is pointless to try to argue with this.
I hung up the phone. Yes. We would be having pizza for dinner.
But when I walked in the door after work Lila started in. "Could we go to Moe's? Pretty please?" "No," I told her. "I don't feel like going back out in the cold and besides Grandma ordered pizza.
Then the tears started. Lila told me about 14 times that I was mean and I always tell her no when she wants to go out to dinner (not true at all. We probably go out to dinner at least once a week). She cried hard and for a long time. After about 15 minutes of listening to her tell me how she was starving and didn't want to have pizza I gave her a choice. She could eat the pizza or she could have a sandwich. I was not going to take her to Moe's. Well of course she didn't want a sandwich either. I told her that if she was really hungry she would eat and if she chose not to eat it would be her choice. I told her that going to bed hungry wouldn't kill her and she would just wake up extra hungry in the morning.
This is when it turned into something else. "You never listen to me" she started. "I wanted to grow my bangs out and you made me get them cut!" I had no idea where the hell this was coming from. We last got her hair cut while we were in Florida. My brother paid for her to go to a nice salon for a haircut as a treat (we usually go to Supercuts). She never said she wanted to grow her bangs out. I told her this and she swore that she told me all the time.
You see, Lila doesn't seem to remember things the way they really happen. Very often when she is having one of her fits and she gets mouthy with me, I will tell her to stop being mouthy or to stop yelling at me and she will swear (crying the whole time) that she never did get mouthy or yell when she had just done it seconds before. How could I expect her to remember something that happened a few weeks ago?
Anyway, I told her that if she wants to grow her bangs out, she can but she will have to wear a headband to hold her too-long bangs back until they grow out. Still crying she explained that she would NOT wear a headband. She would simply push her bangs off her face and she demonstrated by pulling her bangs apart in the middle and smoothing them down to her head.
"That will look terrible," I told her. Then the dam really opened. "You ALWAYS tell me I look terrible!" she screamed. Again, I have no idea where this is coming from.
"When did I tell you that you looked terrible?" She didn't answer. She just sobbed uncontrollably.
So now I have a kid who believes I never listen to her and that I always tell her she looks terrible. This is a problem. It doesn't really matter if it's true. It is the way she sees things. It apparently doesn't matter that I tell her almost every day how cute she looks, especially when she picks out her own outfits or brushes her own hair.
She started crying and begging to go to her father's house. "I want my Daddy!!!" she exclaimed. "I wish I wasn't your daughter!" she threw at me. "Well your father would never put up with you throwing such a huge fit over what he was having for dinner," I told her.
My mommy guilt started to kick in. How the hell could I convince her that I did listen to her and that I don't tell her she looks terrible? What was I going to do in a few years when she didn't want to come to my house anymore because I am mean and don't listen to her and always tell her she looks terrible? At some point she is going to make her decision clear. That time will probably be around the age of 13. I am dreading this age because if she is such a bitch now then she is going to be impossible to handle at that age. Would I be relegated to seeing her every other weekend? Would her father listen to her wishes and try to get full custody? Would I have to listen to her wishes?
I know I did the right thing in not giving in to her demand to have Moe's for dinner. In fact, after her little fit was over, she had a sandwich without complaining. She was back to loving me and cuddled on the couch to watch some TV before bed.
"Do you still wish you weren't my daughter?" I asked her. "No. I was just mad at you," she said.
But I still kind of feel like the worst mother in the world.