with Addy yesterday and am feeling so bad about it. We went to the circus (will have to post more about that later) and were having such a great time. Of course, prices were high for everything -- $16 for admittance per person, $3 for cotton candy, etc., etc. so I was already a little frustrated and anxious.
Then during intermission they were having elephant rides, pony rides, jumbo slides, pictures with a bear, and more. I was my idea to see how much the rides were but when I went to the ticket stand I was overwhelmed -- the enjoyment would cost a whopping $8 per person. Not wanting to disappoint the kids but also worried about all the cash I was dishing out for this circus adventure, I became totally perplexed. "Please mom, please. I really want to ride the elephant," were the pleadings from my kids. Well, of course this tore at my heart strings and visions of my youth when I wanted, so desperately, to ride the elephant but knew not to even ask since there was no way we could afford to ride.
So, after about 5 minutes of contemplation I gave in. Then the guilt took over $32 for my kids to ride of less than 2 minutes on an elephant. Was I totally CRAZY!?!?! So, agitated with myself for giving in I put on a happy face and watched my kids have the ride of their life. They were laughing and smiling and cheering. I just knew that they would be set -- not wanting anything else. Well, this definitely was not the case. Immediately after getting off the elephant all I heard was "I want to ride the ponies...I want to slide down the slide...I want a light up sword...I want nachos...I want to take pictures with the bear...I want a balloon." "No, no, no, no, no...." the never ending "No" was my answer to them all. "Sorry kids, I just spent a tons of money on the elephant and we have no more money left for anything else." Immediately Addy started crying. With big crocodile tears she kept repeating, "I want a pony ride. I want a pony ride." She just wouldn't stop. No matter my explanations and discussion of being thankful for what she was able to do so far, she didn't care.
So, my plan of action -- take the kids to the car and tell them that we were going to leave unless they became grateful for everything they had. The way to the car was teary and full of moodiness. My anger was BOILING up inside me. "Have I raised my kids to be completely selfish and bratty?" "Why do they think they need everything?" "What can I do to make this situation better?"
Reflecting back on the situation I picked the wrong way of "teaching." Well, actually I didn't teach at all. I was ornery, frustrated, impatient, demanding and just plain rude to my kids, especially to Addy. I totally lost my cool. It is times like this that I feel too terrible -- why can't I come up with smarter ways to teach? Why can't I just be calm and patient all the time? Why didn't I just stop, breathe and pray for direction?
Last night I made a resolve to do just that -- I will take the time to ensure that I made the right "teaching" decisions with my kids. Instead of losing my cool, I will be try to be calm and WISE! I am also learning that I need to teach my children the value of money and have them help pay for the adventures. Wish me luck -- I sure need it.