Athena and I had an altercation tonight. We've already had plenty. And I'm sure we have plenty more in store. But for some reason, this one seemed really IMPORTANT.
I don't know why. It is just a gut feeling. Like tonight will actually set a tone for us.
Athena is not a very good listener. She, like her mother, is very selfish about 80% of the time. The other 20%, she would literally offer a stranger one of her kidneys. It's black and white with us... no gray. Give or take... no compromise.
It took me a very long time to learn to think more of others, and I still suck at it compared to many people I know. But I do know it about myself now and can monitor my behavior accordingly. Athena, on the other had, has no idea.
So naturally, I feel very strongly about teaching Athena how important it is to listen, be respectful, and freaking share a toy once in a while. We are also in a bit of a money pickle at the moment, so when she destroys something or wastes something, it sends me over the edge.
Tonight, I gave her one of the expensive little character Band-Aid tattoos because Marcus needed one and she wanted one too. She has been VERY good about not asking for Band-Aids for every little scrape, so I coddled her and gave her one. While I was putting Marcus to bed, however, she went in and took another one and applied it herself.
I noticed the open, out-of-place box and asked her if she'd taken another. She admitted it. This is where it gets hard for me. Do I punish her for directly disobeying me and taking the Band-Aid? Or do I reward her for telling me the truth and not trying to cover it up. I chose the former, with a little of the latter thrown in.
There was much fussing and crying. Only her... I assure you. But I did finally sit down with her and have yet another talk about listening and respecting. The conversation seemed to actually click with her for once, though I'm not placing any bets on that. I do like that she's getting old enough that we CAN have a conversation. Hopefully I don't completely damage the relationship before she enters Kindergarten.