The Worst Day of Her Life

Lucy informed me this morning, between choking sobs and wails, "This is the worst day of my life." And I had to admit, it was looking like a pretty bad day. We sat on the couch at an impasse: I'd told her she was going to wear the shirt and skirt she'd promised to wear the day before, or lose TV for the rest of the day. She'd told me she would wear the shirt under a dress as a jumper, but would NOT wear the skirt.

I picked the wrong battle and I am sick about it. Here's what happened: she explained that she HAD to wear a dress or else. Or else what, I wanted to know. "Or else the girls will make me be a queen or a prince when we play princess — only girls who wear dresses get to be princesses." When I heard this, I dug in. I told her that nobody could tell her what to wear or what to do (except me and Dad), and she had all these new clothes and she'd told Dad yesterday she would wear this outfit today and that was that.

The morning dissolved into hysteria! Threats! Rage! (And this was both of us.) She pleaded, demanded, negotiated and pressed her proposed compromise to wear the new shirt UNDER a dress as a jumper, but I did not budge.

I won, but it was no victory. She went to school, her chest still heaving, wearing the @#$%ing skirt. Poor kid. She tried so hard to find a compromise. I should not have forced her to go to school wearing something that made her feel so miserable or would make things on the playground unnecessarily hard merely because I said so.

How humbling when the little person is the bigger person.