In the short walk home from school, we argued about pancakes. She wanted to eat them when we got home, but I specifically purchased them for breakfast, and she had already had two that morning.
"No, Madalyn... they're for breakfast."
"Well, then, I wanna eat breakfast when I get home."
"No, you can eat them for breakfast in the morning."
"In the morning, Madalyn..."
Instead, she had a bowl of cereal. Not sure what her fascination with breakfast items is all about. She played outside as long as the weather would allow her, and then she started in on me when we got inside. I asked her why she was being so ugly. Did she have a bad day? What was so wrong in her little world? My beloved answers...
"Me. It's my fault."
"Madalyn, you've been at school all day. I wasn't even there."
After a minor plastic flute throwing and breaking incident in which I maintained composure (somewhat), another issue presented itself. Madalyn's stuffy nose needed a dose of medicine, and I wanted her to come into the kitchen to take it. Ordinarily, I would take the little cup of medicine to her, but here lately, each time she takes medicine, she ends up spilling it and then says, "OOPSY!" which makes me believe it's no accident at all. The Robitussin I had dosed out for her was a deep red, and there was no way she was spilling it on my sofa or carpet. War broke out, and Madalyn was fired up. How dare I ask her to walk into the kitchen especially on a day like the one she had - one in which I ruined all her happiness and not even been in her presence!
I was in the kitchen putting dishes in the dishwasher when I heard the noise. I looked into the living room to find my lamp and two pictures on the floor beside the end table, and Madalyn picking up a pillow to put it back on the couch so as to remove the evidence that she had caused the event. In her anger, she had thrown the pillow from the couch and knocked over everything on the table beside it. I was livid. So livid that I couldn't even discipline her. It was one of the few times in my stint as a parent that the voice inside me said, "Do not spank her - you may hurt her..." And so I quietly picked her up and put her in her bed and said only these words to her: "DO NOT GET UP."
This little one... this little soul. Oh, my Lord, give me wisdom, patience, strength, and faith that you have a plan for the fire in her core. Surely there's a plan... surely there's a future direction for the vigor and life in her being.
I am happy to report that she did not get up, I did not hurt her in any way, and her daddy arrived home within a couple of minutes of the pillow-throwing incident and saw the evidence for himself still laid out on the floor. My last words to her before she closed her big brown eyes and went to sleep were, "I love you, Madalyn. Even though you were a poop-head tonight, I still love you. You can be a poop-head everyday if you want, and I will always love you. But please don't be a poop-head tomorrow - I need a break."