I am pretty sure God is up there laughing at me right now — getting a real good giggle at the child He gave me. You see, He gave me a little me — a spitting image of her father and yet the same stubborn, free-spirited sassiness of yours truly.
And do you know what it is like to try to raise someone like that? Bless my poor mama’s heart because I am not sure this mama is going to make it.
Just the other night, with two (yes, two) of her favorite meal options available for dinner at our family get together, she decided she wanted eggs. Eggs were not one of the two options. And for the love of all things good, we get so sick and tired of catering to each kid’s palate nightly that we recently decided to start only offering what is made. No, we aren’t “supporting childhood obesity” and making them finish their plate, but come on, at least try it! Especially if I know you like it and are just being plain stubborn.
Instead, for nearly an hour, my Reagan chose to sit at the feet of my family underneath the dinner table. She refused to eat anything offered and would only comment with her desire for eggs. Like a puppy dog, she made her rounds under the table as if someone was going to magically sneak her an egg under there.
And do you know who cannot resist puppy dogs? The same woman who raised me in all of my stubbornness! Oh, the irony when my mother tried to talk me into letting her make Reagan an egg. She could not stand the fact that this poor child was being neglected.
Clearly, she blocked out my childhood. How quickly she had forgotten all the tricks of the resilient young. Mesmerized by the sweet tone in Reagan’s voice and innocent eyes staring up at her, my mom even went as far as to say that it was her fault that Reagan wanted an egg because she offered it to her. One would have thought I was starving this child who undoubtedly had snacked less than 30 minutes ago on some sort of sugary item she had sneaked from my mother’s infinite stash in her house.
Fully aware of this child’s unbending behavior — I have mastered the stubbornness — I finished my dinner and left the room. Part of me was pretty sure once I was out of sight my mom would succumb and make that deprived child an egg. But she must have had some flashbacks to my younger years which kept her from it, or she didn’t want to test my own adamancy to not give in.
Still, she sure didn’t refrain from calling out the situation: “Stubborn child, meet stubborn mother.”
Oh, we have met. We meet daily! No, you cannot draw on my cabinets with nail polish. No, you cannot wear a tank top in the winter. No, you have to wear a coat, and a hat, and gloves — and shoes! No, you cannot color on my walls with marker. I do not care if it wipes off. No, you cannot jump from the 10th stair onto the pile of laundry at the bottom. No. No. No.
However, there is one thing that outweighs my stubbornness, my Achilles heel, and that is exhaustion. While I am fully aware that giving in is fueling her little headstrong fire, sometimes I just get sick of telling that child no. I do not want that to be all she hears out of my mouth.
You know what, go ahead and rock those brown sandals with socks and a black dress. You want to wear your coat backwards, have at it. Still want to jump on the bed and free weight face plant on your pillow after I have warned you of injury? Eh, what the heck. We have insurance.
Mama is tired.
And she knows she can get me like that — sometimes. But other times, we go into full blown last man standing headstrong war over something as silly as an egg. And she is one strong-willed soldier. Ah, but so am I.
She didn’t get her eggs that night. Surrendering to her superiorly stubborn opponent, or just sick of hanging out under the table, she finally came up and happily scarfed down a bowl of GG’s infamous rice, one of her favorites.
While I am well aware that our war of perseverance throughout her childhood has merely just begun, this victory was mine. And, petty or not, I couldn’t help but relish in my ability to out stubborn my child.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.