Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tough Lovin'

It must be the full moon. 

Lots of squabbling in our house lately.  Friday, the volcano erupted...and it was a  huge blow!

There are those moments in life when it is actually almost unbearable to be a good parent.  I'm talkin'...the pain in your heart that makes you want to cry and give in...

....the kind that wants you to play the "good cop" and graciously allow your husband to play the "bad cop"...

...the kind that you hear the "specialists" always talking about on Catholic radio....always making it sound so easy.  In reality, it is so toughMmmmHmmm...that kind of tough love.  You may know what I'm talking about.

This smilin' face made her mama earn a gold star in that mama didn't really care to take any enjoyment in.

We had been planning for and talking about going to the movies to see Toy Story 3.  Going to the movies is a really special treat in our house.  We do not go that often and so we prepared by watching Toy Story and Toy Story 2 the night before and had watched the movie trailer over and over filling ourselves with anticipation.  And then the volcano erupted..., small, tiny fist unfurled its' fury and landed squarely on an older sister's bottom lip...and there was blood.  And that, my friends, has never, ever happened in our house before!  We were horrified to say the I'm laughing typing this. 

It happened hours before we were to go to the movies.  She was sent to her room.  She could only come down for lunch...and boy! was she quiet at lunchtime.  Before we were to leave for the show, I went up to her and told her how disappointed I was, etc, etc...and then reminded her how much I love here. 

The chin quivered.  I reached in for a hug half expecting her to push away in anger.  Instead, she hugged me back and I could feel her little body silently spasming.  I pulled back to look at her face and she had tears just flooding down her cheeks.

And I knew she was sorry.

She tearfully, fearfully asked if she could still go to the movie.  I lovingly said no.  And that is when both of our hearts broke.  It was so painful to stick to my guns. 

David insisted that she learn her lesson.  I agreed in my head...but that darned heart of mine....

As I pulled out of the driveway I saw her little hand on the window, sticking through the blinds, all five fingers spread open...and I wanted to just cry my eyes out because I know that is what she was doing..  I phoned David to tell him that she'd need some extra lovins'.  He was already on it.  That big tough guy...he has such a soft heart. 

That, is tough love'! 

Then there was yesterday...another full moon...another smaller eruption.

Looking at this face... find it hard to imagine that he could be any trouble at all.  Right? Wrong.  Being all boy, he could not NOT get into trouble yesterday.  It was a little more serious than normal.   I told him that our planned trip to the public swimming pool was not going to include him.  I could not stand seeing the look of utter disappointment in his face.

Isn't it difficult to stop what you are really feeling inside from appearing on your face?

 Right after the crushing blow was delivered, David phoned to tell me he'd be a couple of more hours with a customer. 

When I told Stan we'd have to come up with another could just see the flames of excitement whipping up behind his dark-colored pupils.  He really want to shove his fist in the air and give a loud, "Yahoo," but you knew it was taking everything in him not to do that.    They do know what they are doing!

I mentioned how much Stan just loves Root Beer.  Well, last night after Mass and dinner, we made awesome Root Beer floats.

 Stan's punishment...and this is one taken directly out of Dr. Ray's playbook...Stan had to stay at the table and watch us eat our dessert.  He didn't get any. 

Ugh!  As I type this morning, my heart is nothing but mush!  Mabel and Stan have both recovered and fairing quite well compared to me.  Tough lovin' is so hard

P.S.  Mabel stayed home from the movies and hung out with David on the front porch playing hangman with sidewalk chalk.  I told Stan I'll make Root Beer floats again some night.


  1. I am so excited for motherhood... but this is one thing that I am dreading!

  2. Oh! I was in tears reading about Mabel because we've been there, too. But, she did get in some "daddy time"!

  3. I was in tears too! I so feel for Mabel and for you Patty (and Stan of course!). We have had those heart wrenching tough love moments too and I tend to cry then too...such a wimp, I am.

  4. Between this and her pet dying...poor kiddo needed some extra lovins'! I've finally recovered from the tough lovins!

  5. It is tough and you're right it does sound so easy on the radio!


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