On Thursday, I found a little McDonald's Happy Meal toy in Madalyn's backpack. Knowing full well that I had thrown away all McDonald's Happy Meal toys in my house months ago, it couldn't be hers. Besides, I had never seen this one before. It looked kinda retro - it was a little sail boat with a Ronald McDonald in it, and I really can't recall ever seeing one quite like this. When asked about said toy, Madalyn told me it belonged to Pey-Pey, one of her classmates at preschool. So I went into my mommy teaching mode all about how we don't take things that don't belong to us and we should return it on Tuesday when we return to school. I put it in the outside pocket of her backpack, and I really didn't think anything else about it.
Until this morning.
I opened Madalyn's backpack to put her snack and lunch in and found yet another item that does not belong to anyone in my household. This time, the little thief took a door off her teacher's Little People house in the classroom. The door. What use she thought she would have from this item, I have no idea. But it just sealed my acknowledgement that she doesn't really listen to me nor care about what I have to say. My mommy speech from Thursday didn't sink in at all.
I put both stolen items into a brown paper bag and told Madalyn she would have to carry in the bag and return both items to their owners. I repeated the speech about taking things that don't belong to us, and I informed her that if I found another item in her backpack that did not belong to her, she would not be allowed to watch TV for one whole day.
Does anyone remember being spanked as a child and your parent saying, "This will hurt me more than it will hurt you." I used to call BS on this point, but this no TV for one day thing is definitely a punishment that would hurt me more than Madalyn. Because, as much as it might embarrass me to admit it, I don't know if Madalyn and I could make it through a day with no TV. I mean, the TV has become such a buffer for me. It is the only thing that drags her away from me for a solitary minute when she is home.
I really hope Madalyn doesn't steal anything else. Really.
I know it isn't a big deal, but I have to take the opportunity to teach her now when it's little. I certainly don't want to come home from Belk with a shirt stuffed down into her little purse. Why is being a parent just so exhausting? Just like the other day, I was trying to explain the word hell to David - how sometimes, it's a place, and other times, certain people use it in a derogatory manner, but it isn't a terrible word, rather it just doesn't sound nice. I need to make a chart of words and divide them into classifications - these are the not nice words, these are the bad words, and these are the words I better not ever hear you say though I have said them but not in front of my parents. AGHHHHHH!!! I ended the whole word conversation with this statement: "David, I don't really know how to explain this to you other than to tell you that it's not so much the word itself, rather how it's used. When you get older, you will better understand." So basically, I am just confusing the hell out of my kid. See - I just used the word myself. But not in front of him.
Anyways - it's just a crazy mixed up deal trying to be a parent in a world where on the radio the words damn and hell are just as common as is and the. And the songs that have the catchiest tunes talk about drinking at the club and spending money on a stripper. David will ask for certain songs to be on his MP3 player, and when I refuse, he doesn't understand why. And I just have to tell him that one day he'll understand. One day - when these words and thoughts and ideas are constantly being thrown at your kids. Or your kid comes home with a door to a Little People house in their backpack.
I know that these are the easy days, because I know things will only get more difficult the older they get. But sometimes I feel like I can barely make it through these easy days. Oh, me. Exhausting, I tell you. Exhausting.