It’s Sunday morning and Lucy’s sitting on the floor throwing a temper tantrum. We have a rule in our house that toys in the living room are there to be shared. If you don’t want to share something, play with it in your bedroom. Lucy frequently takes advantage of this rule by demanding that Katherine share this or that item, but right now Lucy is furious that the rule has been turned on her. Now it’s Katie’s turn to touch Lucy’s precious Princess Tiana doll, and Lucy does not like that – not one little bit!
Screaming, stomping, flinging arms, flopping her whole body on the ground… this is life with a strong-willed three-year-old. Usually we do our best to ignore the show so that she’ll realize that the tantrums aren’t as effective as using her words to ask for things politely. Katie, now thrilled to finally have her hands on the Princess Tiana doll after more than a twenty minute wait, is blithely playing with it and seems oblivious to her sister’s antics. I’m trying to speak calmly to Lucy, but I’m also getting a little exasperated – this is not even her first meltdown this morning.
In an attempt to help her calm down, I try to pull her floppy, moaning body onto my lap for a hug, but Lucy isn’t making it easy. In a fit of my own grumpy mood, I snap at Lucy: “Happy Mother’s Day!”
From across the room, Katherine looks up. She looks at me, and then she looks down at the Princess Tiana doll in her hand. Quietly she gets up, crosses the room, and then hold out her hand to the sobbing Lucy.
“Here Lucy…. You can have Princess Tiana now.”
Lucy looks up, snatches the doll, and hugs it to her chest and she begins to quiet down. Katherine gives me a smile, and cheerfully starts to walk towards the kitchen. I am momentarily speechless, and then I call her name.
She stops and looks at me from the doorway to the kitchen.
“You did that for me, didn’t you?”
And that is the memory I will treasure from this Mother’s Day.