Meet my daughter, Delaney- sporting a St. Patrick's Day head band and hiding behind a place mat. Super silly GOOFBALL!! SHE is where the Daily Dose originated from- the inspiration behind the name of my blog. She is so kind, happy, funny, silly, creative, confident and most importantly--> FREE SPIRITED! I started taking pictures of her and posting her crazy, mismatched outfits on FB several years ago and it just evolved from there. Now I have people tell me daily how much they love my Daily Dose of Delaney posts! Well, I happen to love doing them so I am glad people enjoy them!
This is going to seem kind of random so stay with me here...
Have you ever had a hairdresser that you just adored? I am talking REAL FEELINGS here people. Feelings of admiration, appreciation, platonic love. If not, I am sorry to hear that and I gotta say- I ADORE my hairdresser! I met her about 4 years ago through a friend and what a gift of friendship I received along with the best cut and color I have ever received! I mean- someone who KNOWS hair-color like no one else AND has a degree in Christian Counseling. Holla! I LOVE my visits with Merritt and she is someone I really TALK to....and most often heed her advice! I remember early on talking to her about my son Brooksy Bear. Brooks is highly intelligent and very literal minded and in his early elementary years, I worried INCESSANTLY about him. Would he make friends? How can I teach him to interact better with people- to read them better and respect boundaries? Merritt had met him multiple times as she cuts my kiddos' hair, too. I am lamenting to her and wringing my hands one night as I sit with color in my hair and she says to me "Tracy! There is nothing wrong with that boy! He is delightful! You wanna know what the problem is?" My reply- feeling a little scared of what she was about to say-LOL- was a small "yes". She proceeds to tell me that I am the problem. That I need to stop obsessing over him and let him be a boy- that he is fine, he is normal, yadda yadda yadda. I TOOK her advice and she was correct. He is a normal kid. A little quirky sometimes, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, either! I really felt like a weight was lifted off of me that night...
Well, tonight I got my hair colored sans kids and I couldn't WAIT to talk to Merritt about my little Wooby (AKA Delaney). It is something I have been wanting to get her advice on for WEEKS, but the last few times I have had "tune in Tokyo" with me (AKA Brooks...or "he who hears all").
My issue: I have really been struggling with being hard on Delaney recently. I know, I know. I am the PARENT, not the best friend. And when it comes to discipline and following through with a threat or a punishment- I am good. I can set rules and stick to them. I can tell them to do something and put the hammer down if I need to. However, I cannot yell at her unless she REALLLLLLY makes me mad. I find I am always trying to KINDLY explain things and not be stern-voiced. I know I need to be harder on her. Don't get me wrong. I know she is a GOOD KID. She is very kind- I mean genuinely loving and kind hearted. She is in 3rd grade and I can honestly say she does not yet engage in catty, mean-girl b.s. yet. She tries to include everyone. HOWEVER, she is very confident and opinionated and stubborn, too. She has an idea on how things should be done and she does not take suggestions- even when an explanation is provided. If we are doing something she has NEVER done before- like sewing- as her mother I should be able to say "Delaney, this is how it is done. DO IT LIKE THIS." and she does. But she DOESN'T. I have this battle in my head- don't kill her spirit and don't scar her for life.
So I share this inner battle in my head with Merritt and here is what she says to me. "So you don't want to yell at her. Did your Mom yell at you when you were younger and you hated it?". Oh boy.
(***Now I am going to put the disclaimer out there that I had a great childhood and my Mom and I are super tight to this day- this is not about my childhood or my relationship with my parents.)
Well, I cannot truly confirm whether my Mom really yelled at me a lot- but I know for a fact that I HATED IT WHEN SHE DID. I do remember crying and telling her not to yell at me (when I was old enough to be stupid enough to talk back). Merritt and I talked about the fact that I am being too empathetic and projecting MY feelings about being yelled at onto HER and it is truly holding me back from doing what is best for Delaney. That by using different modes of discipline with her I am not going to kill her spirit, but I am STEERING her spirit. Then she says to me "It's one thing to have the confidence- it's another thing to be humble". Then a light bulb went off in my head. She might be cute TODAY, but when she is a teenager some of these qualities will be not so desirable...
Why do I share all of this?
BIG CONFESSION COMING--->
My daughter has HORRIBLE eating habits. HORRIBLE. There are about 6-8 fruits and vegetables that she will eat and will not budge on this. She has gotten so upset in the past over trying one stupid blueberry (or insert a different new food) that she proceeded to cry and then throw up after putting it in her mouth. She DOES have a super sniffer with food- I put about an OUNCE of almond milk in her regular milk one night and while at the table she says "I smell peanut butter". I played dumb and when she took a sip of milk you'd have thought I was trying to poison her! Because of the bionic nose with food and the throwing up on occasion when pushed I have toyed with the idea that maybe she has sensory issues. However, when I really think about it, I don't REALLY think that is the issue at all. I think it was my excuse to not deal with the storm that is coming.
After a family dinner at our house with one of my besties and her kiddos she calls me out on it and tells me basically that Delaney has ALL the power at dinner time. Yup. She said it...and I shamefully agreed. I needed a little reassurance, but in the end, I did agree. So grateful to have such an open, honest friendship with this gal- unconditional love and acceptance can open up all kinds of conversations between friends! Anyways...back to the issue at hand!
How did this happen?! I remember her sitting in her high chair eating blueberries and edamame! Then one day she says to me "The only vegetable I like are raisins"!!!! SMH... I'll bet there are a lot of mommas out there that can relate to this story.
So this marks the day that Tom and I put dinner on the table, and you either eat it or you don't. But that is all you get and you CERTAINLY don't get dessert for trying 1/4 inch of a zucchini noodle! Something Merritt helped me realize tonight is she is not going to grow out of this. It is only going to get worse. As her parents, it is our job to do what is in HER best interest and that is what we are going to do. Wish us luck!
I will keep you updated on how it is going. Please subscribe to my blog so you can receive emails when I post.
Cheers to better health and happiness!