So. Last night, we had an epic battles of wills.
And I lost.
It went something like this:
For dinner, I made a cheesy vegetable lasagna thing, and it was pretty darn good. I guess it was like a veggie alfredo, but whatever. I decided to put some in a bowl for Aubrey and see if he would try it. He didn't. He straight up refused and began to throw a temper tantrum in his high chair. Usually I leave it alone and make him something else, but I was annoyed. He's two and a half and still won't feed himself, eats only mac&cheese, pb&j, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets for dinner, and has a meltdown if I offer anything else.
It was getting old.
So I told him that if he doesn't take a bite, ONE BITE, that he couldn't get down. It's not like I was asking him to eat the whole thing. It was one. frikkin. bite. But he refused, and so I left him in his high chair. For two hours.
Before you go on thinking that I'm an awful mother and how could I? I'll let you know that I was in the room with him, and I offered him the opportunity to get out of that high chair every 10 minutes. I even offered him ice cream and lollipops and gummies, if only he would take a bite.
At that point, I knew that he was saying "No" simply because he could, and I learned that he has the strongest will, which isn't a bad thing. When it came down to it, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do; continue letting him refuse the food and put him to bed without dinner (which was what he wanted) or keep trying to get him to take a bite.
It may sound silly, but I felt like a failure. And maybe it's because I'm super emotional right now, but I wanted give up and cry and call him a bully. I kept thinking, I can't win against one. How will I win against two?
And maybe it's not about winning. Maybe it's about learning and being consistent and persistent and doing the best you can, but it still doesn't mean that I felt good about it. In fact, a lot of the times, I feel like I'm doing a terrible job. I feel like, as a mother, I have failed more than I have been victorious. I also know that I'm not the only one.
At least I hope.
I watched this video the other day, and of course I balled my eyes out, but really it reminded me of something: Kids see the world through rose colored glasses.
They won't remember that time you yelled, but they will remember the time you let them stay up late or eat ice cream or took them to Disney World. Even after all of the screaming and crying and spanks and timeouts, Aubrey kissed me and hugged me last night and told me that I was his best friend ever.
At the end of the day, the love between a parent and a child is unconditional.
I may have lost one battle, but the war is constantly waging. I know that it's my duty to not only make sure that I raise my child right, but also to make sure that those rose colored glasses stay intact. I hope that they will always be able to see the beautiful and the good in the world.
And as a mom, I have to remind myself that my best is good enough. It will always be good enough.