Leenie has been testing the waters of late. If we tell her not to push the button, she has to push it just... one... more... time. I try to ignore it and think that it will pass. It doesn't. Until the button gets pushed. Then it does. And the arguing. Oh, the arguing:
"Honey, please eat. It took you six minutes to eat that last bite."
"Actually.... it took me ten minutes."
Literally, I think my head started to spin.
"Leenie, it looks like it's going to rain all day today. We'll have to find something fun to do indoors."
"Actually... it's not raining right now." She says as the cats and dogs fall from the sky.
Saturday, we were going to Chick-Fil-A. This is a Saturday tradition where mom exacerbates all of her tender patience to get the kids dressed so that they can run around the playground for two hours between bites of chicken minis and sips of Fanta. It's a relative calm, meaning they are constantly coming and going in bare feet from behind the sound proof glass to eat, ask questions, or tell me something. Whatever. It gives me a chance to breath and feel like I am doing some good in getting them out of the house.
Leenie would not get her shoes on. My patience finally broke. I yelled. (ding ding ding went the alarm) Magically, those shoes she could not reach were within striking distance and on her feet. We are off to play.
Hours later, I pull her next to me and we talk about patience. And a lot about how hard everything is for me right now. I apologized for yelling over something silly like shoes and got to the bottom line of, "If you try harder, I'll try harder." Somehow- those words resonated with her and her attitude evolved into something acceptable. She was sweet with her sister. She gave me hugs. She was polite. It was such a welcome change.
Sunday was not quite as beautiful as Saturday afternoon, but she was trying- and so was I. Slowly, her argumentative side started to come out.
"Church lasts an hour."
"No it doesn't."
"Actually Daddy- Zaxby's does have cheese dip."
On and on, more and more... until finally the gauntlet was thrown down. One more time being argumentative after the promised threat of an early bedtime- off to bed. We had hit maximum capacity. Husband follows the screaming and crying five year old down the hallway to help her get ready for bed and see to it that she actually went to bed.
She climbed between her sheets with Husband sitting next to her, prepared for a little chat.
"Honey, do you know why Mommy said supper was over and it was bedtime?"
"Because she doesn't have a lot patience?"