Parenthood Lesson #35,305

I am chomping at the bit to get outside and play every day. And every day after school, all Hadley and Bode want to do is chill out and unwind. Who can blame them, really? They’ve just spent eight hours holed up in a veritable prison of lunch ladies, algebra and spelling tests.

I’ve tried to give them space and time, even though it’s not in my DNA. I always need to be doing something and it drives me nuts to be stuck inside the house.

Hadley, in particular has been resistant to it. Or rather, she’s the most vocal about it. Even if Bode doesn’t want to do something, he’ll reluctantly do it because he’s a pleaser. Hadley? She’ll do what she wants and only when she wants to do it. They’ve both had these personalities since they came out of the womb.

So, I’ve been careful with my words. I don’t want to demand too much of Bode because he’ll always do it but it should never be unfair to him. And for Hadley, I try to limit my requests to things that need to get done because I’m frequently greeted with resistance or “WHY?”

My friend Lisa recently called me in a panic to pickup Hadley’s bestie Alex from school. No problem. Hadley was out on the trampoline and knowing this would be something she’d be excited about, I tested the waters to see how she’d respond without first knowing what I asked of her.

“Hadley, I need you!”

“OK, Mom.”

“Wait. What? No ‘what do you want me to do?’ Or ‘I’m busy right now’?”

“OK then. What do you want me to do? Can’t you see I’m busy right now?”

Lesson learned: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

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