Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sometimes I build my kids up, only to deflate them.

We were at the food court at the mall.  One kid wanted Taco Bell and one wanted Arby’s.  I knew that going to Arby’s was going to mean drinking a Jamocha shake, so I opted to get in the Taco Bell line with my younger daughter.  Always looking for opportunities to foster independence (and make my life simpler), I gave my older daughter a few bucks and encouraged her to try going to the Arby’s counter by herself.  She could order her regular favorites of a ham & cheese, curly fries, and a shake.  On second thought, I realized that their value menu wasn’t all a dollar, so I gave her another dollar and suggested, “Be sure you tell them you want everything off the value menu.”  I didn’t want them to give her the regular sized shake or fries, because she might not have enough money.

I went back to wait in the long Taco Bell line, but she came running over moments later, needing more money; they said she didn’t have enough.  So I shelled out a couple more bucks, a little annoyed that they sold her the bigger shake, but at least she was learning to do things for herself.  When I finally turned around with my tray of tacos and empanadas, I looked over to see my girl coming toward me with a tray that was jam-packed with food and drinks.  She read my look of shock and her face immediately fell.

“Were you hungry for all that food?” I asked, incredulous.

She looked confused and embarrassed, “They said I didn’t have enough money to get everything off the value menu, so I just got these.”

It was my fault.  My parting words to her had been, “Tell them you want everything off the value menu.”  My daughter was, above all things, obedient.  I starting laughing so hard my eyes started to water.

My miscommunication cost me about four extra bucks, and my daughter’s pride, because she still thinks that the mistake was hers.  We’re going to have to have a talk this morning.  She was really proud of herself for going to counter and getting her own lunch and I pulled the rug out from under her the moment I signalled disappointment to her.  She shouldn’t feel bad, it all worked out.  We even managed to eat the turnover.

Children must always obey their parents.  This pleases the Lord.  Parents, don't be hard on your children.  If you are, they might give up. Colossians 3:20-21

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