Ardyn and I had an interesting conversation today. (Are you shocked?)
Marek and I were busy today and I had a headache and took a short nap with the baby. Marek had a big breakfast and at about 2:30 I realized we hadn't eaten lunch. He had a banana and a cereal bar at home before we took Ardyn to school and then after a Wal-Mart trip he had pancakes and sausage. After picking Ardyn up, I texted Evan and said I would bring a happy meal home for Marek if he wanted one because we forgot to eat. Ardyn insisted that she needed one too (despite it being 3pm) because she was STARVING and would DIE if she didn't eat her supper right this minute.
I ordered two cheeseburger happy meals with plain cheeseburgers.
We got going down the road and Ardyn opens her happy meal. She ate all her fries, and about halfway home (5 or 6 minutes out of town in the country) she starts crying HYSTERICALLY because she discovers that her cheeseburger is NOT, in fact, Plain. She was positively LIVID. Which really is ironic. Because I never used to get them plain cheeseburgers. They like ketchup and mustard. But they are messy and sometimes they overload them with ketchup, so I just started getting them plain for convenience sake when we are in the van.
So anyway, she is screaming and having a crazy meltdown like a toddler. I could tell from her voice and her situation that she was tired. This is the case a lot lately because it's light so much later that instead of a 6:30-7:30 bedtime they are STILL Awake and chatting at like 9pm because it's light out. So they are going from their usual 11-12 hours of sleep to an average of 9 hours a night, which is a big deal.
Meltdown continues. No, correct that. It ESCALATES. I'm getting things like
"THEY did this on PURPOSE! They are so MEAN! I don't like those McDonald's people! They are just MEAN."
To which I respond, "I know it's frustrating, but everyone makes mistakes. They are just people too." (while secretly thinking about Zack and our "second drivethru lane" conversations, because of COURSE that's where I ordered)
Then she's even more hysterical. "They did it on PURPOSE!!!! They are MEAN mommy! I can't EAT this!? I will NOT EAT THIS. Now I'm gonna be starving!"
I try to be calm and diffuse diffuse diffuse. "Ardyn, they just made a mistake. Just take the pickle off and put it in the bag. You don't have to eat it."
"But MOOOOOOOOOOM There's KETCHUP and it's EVERYWHERE and it's (sob sob sob) touching my CHEEEEESE! (wail, snort, sob) They Did this on PURPOSE!!!!"
So I try to bring God into the picture, because often times that seems to solve things for her. Call it part of Christian Schooling, call it comforting, call it religious, call it a darn good explanation for right and wrong. I don't care what you want to call it. "Ardyn, you need to calm down. People make mistakes. Jesus says that all people make mistakes and we are supposed to forgive them. Jesus forgives and we should forgive." (i'm feeling pretty proud of myself now. I'm getting better all the time at applying reasons that she can understand to everyday situations.)
Ardyn wails "We haven't learned THAT in school!!!" and I say "But it's true!" and she says "We haven't learned that at my school yet" in a tone that CLEARLY states that scripture which is not directly taught to her at school is null and void. (This is the part where one of those really"GOOD" Christians would just off the cuff recite a bible verse complete with location and the child would instantly be overcome by peace, joy, and an angelic glowing face. At this I miserably fail.)
Eventually she decides that she can't eat ANYTHING near that cheeseburger. I get "Mom! You should have TOLD them I wanted a plain cheeseburger!!!" and I said (still in firm possession of my calm and patient mom voice) "I did tell them Ardyn. I ordered two plain cheeseburgers. They make mistakes." (And if it wasn't for the drive back I swear to you I would have drug my child into McDonalds with snot and tears running down her angry red face and let them deal with her "YOU DID THIS ON PURPOSE" situation. Well, the drive back and perhaps looking a little like the mother of Veruca Salt.) Then she goes on to say "NEXT Time mom you need to SPEAK CLEARLY and LOUDER." (second drivethru conversation, second drivethru conversation.... why didn't I record this to play to Zack??)
Once she realizes I am eating MY cheeseburger, and ignoring the devastation caused by hers... she gives in a bit and declares that she CAN in fact, probably eat the bottom bun, untouched by contaminating condiments. Then she declares that she THINKS that she could eat the burger but that she has to peel off the cheese because the ketchup is ALL OVER the cheese. Then a few minutes later I hear "Hey Mom! This Ketchup is REALLY GOOD!!!!!"
And then as we turn onto our street "Mom, Next time can you order me a cheeseburger with Ketchup that's NOT plain?"
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you - Ephesians 4:32