Thursday, June 29, 2006

Parenting ins't for cowards

I have five beautiful daughters. We have boxes of Barbies, Ponies, and Polly Pockets, pony tail holders and hair brushes galore. Having dealt with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers every day for the last several years, I have a pretty good idea how to handle the tantrums and traumas that occur on a daily basis when you have a house full of girls. Unfortunately, my older girls are no longer in the "infant, toddler, or preschooler" age group. They are entering the hallowed halls of adolescence.

Even though I grew up in a house full of girls, and I am a girl (well, ok; a little older than a girl), the finer points of leading girls through the traumatic transition to young woman is foreign to me! That became very clear today when my husband traumatized our oldest daughter by killing a bee.

The bee came in through the screen during lunch, and was looking for a way out of the house, without success. Each time the bee passed over the table, all five girls would scream and cower. Finally, deciding that the bee wasn't going to make it out on his own, my husband took action to care for and protect his daughters. He grabbed a notebook, took a stance like he was ready for a tennis serve, and waited. His first pass totally missed, and almost landed him on the floor. The second pass connected with the bee, sending the bee across the room before it landed on the floor. As soon as reality set in, our oldest daughter burst into tears.

Through her sobs, this girl who is becoming a young woman expressed her great distress at the senseless murder of a bee who never did anything to our family. As she ran sobbing to her room, her dad made a comment in his defense; though the bee didn't sting him, the bee's brother probably got him on the bu*t. A short time later, our oldest daughter returned to the dining room, only to reprimand her father for his insensitive comment about the bee's brother. To his statement that he was only joking, our daughter replied with the appropriate drama, "I'm not in a mood for jokes right now!" followed by more sobs.

Though our oldest daughter wasn't in the mood for jokes at that particular moment, she adjusted quickly. As I typed this, she was reading over my shoulder. At one point, we both were doubled over with laughter. This is definitely a new stage of parenting, and one I'm not sure I'm ready for. If I've learned anything in over 10 years of being a mom, though, it is most definitely that parenting isn't for cowards!

The End

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