Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Medium

I so want to be one of those women who blog everyday and people CANT wait to read what you have written. BUT I AM NOT. I JUST DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. LOL! I was thinking about a sermon at my church. It basically was the idea of not letting anyone or anything define you. Not your job. Not your temper tantrum throwing two year old at the grocery store. NOT YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTERS BEHAVIOR, AHEM. Nothing. Nothing other than God. This sermon just made me think. And think. And yes, think some more. This subject is really on my heart. I feel being defined by things isn't necessarily bad. It is who we are right? It made me realize that I wasn't understanding the word. Nothing should define you. I would be standing next to Morgan throwing an absolute fit over not getting her way in public. A feeling of complete embarrassment would hit me. A wave of worry about what other parents or people thought about my parenting hit me like a ton of bricks. So about a month ago, before this sermon, we went to Old Chicago for dinner with some friends. In the booth across from us a child (maybe a four year old) was SCREAMING! Demanding his way. Yelling at his mom and dad. Where I was irritated was when looking at them, they did nothing. NOTHING. I was sooooo angry that they would not get up, take their child to the bathroom or the car. I was irritated that they sat there and made the rest of us listen to that crap. My children saw that behavior. I ended up being irritated at the child's behavior but more so at the parents for not PARENTING. Where I am getting with this is that definition, "Happy Medium".

So a few weeks pass and we go to church. I listen to this sermon on letting nothing define you.
This is how I ended up using that sermon:

We were at the mall and I was ready to leave. Morgan CLEARLY was not. Morgan got mouthy. She loudly and disrespectfully stated she wasn't going to leave and that I was being rude in leaving when she wasn't done shopping. People were looking. And NOT JUST AT HER. So I decided I wasn't going to be defined by her behavior. Should I go to mommy jail for what I did next?

I looked at Morgan and just as loudly as she did I said. "I have had it with your disrespect. YOU ARE TALKING TO ME LIKE THIS BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE HERE WATCHING YOU. SO IF YOU WANT THEM TO WATCH YOU BE A BRAT, THEY ARE GOING TO WATCH YOU GET IN TROUBLE FOR ACTING THE WAY I HAVE TAUGHT YOU IS WRONG." Morgan at this point in an embarrassed voice said, "mom!!!" under her breath.

I continued just as loud, "I am sorry, are you embarrassed to be being yelled at in a mall in front of LOTS of people? HMMMM.... that is kind of a sucky feeling. SO... here is what we can do. You can QUICKLY grow some respect and walk with me to the car... or continue with your disrespect and I am walking to the AT&T store here at the mall and turning off your phone. After which I will be leaving the mall with or with out you... and here are lots of people (as I pointed to everyone watching) that are witnesses to the fact that I have informed you that we are leaving and you have REFUSED to leave. So you can come with me now... or have a police escort to come with me and lose your phone." I continued but a bit louder, " I WILL NOT BE ONE OF THESE PARENTS THAT ALLOW THEIR CHILDREN TO ACT LIKE THIS OR LET THEIR CHILDS BEHAVIOR DEFINE ME AS A PARENT. YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE.... ARE YOU COMING?" and I started walking. Guess what, she followed. I thought my husband was going to die, but it worked. The best part.... she said NOTHING all the way home. Well maybe the best part is actually that she won't say anything rude in public to me again, out of fear that I will lash out again.

So I wasn't the parent that did nothing at Old Chicago. I wasn't the parent I used to be who worried what people thought of ME for not acting a certain way.... I just used HER behavior to parent HER. I did not let her behavior define me. And you know what? It felt awesome! I heard clapping from other parents... but just in my head... not for real. I found a happy medium for her, me and the unlucky folks that had to see that. AHEM. :)

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