Katrina is not the easiest child to parent. She is not easy-going. She is not particularly flexible. Like Jon, she has clear, detailed expectations of how things should be. Like me, she is impatient and easily frustrated. Don't get me wrong, she's also got a lot of stellar qualities. When she's good, she's very, very good...but you know the rest.
But you know, sometimes I get impatient and frustrated (see above) that tears, whining, and even screaming ensue if some little detail does not live up to her expectations. In fact, managing Katrina's expectations is an essential part of parenting her effectively (or, really, of surviving the day without tearing out my hair).
Unfortunately, one cannot always predict the unpredictable. Last night, Jon made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. One of Katrina's favorite meals (mine, too). The gravy didn't get as thick as usual, though. After Katrina took her first bite of mashed potatoes, the gravy spilled out of the little well in the middle of the potatoes. It spread across part of her plate. Mind you, it didn't actually flood adjoining food. It just escaped its bounds. The crying, it began. And the annoyance, it began. We had to talk her down so that she could eat HER FAVORITE DINNER.
The best part is, she ate everything on her plate and then asked for more potatoes and gravy. And when the gravy AGAIN did not remain where she wanted it? More tears. Followed by eating that helping and again asking for more.
And about that time, I flashed back to this post on Dooce's blog, which I read mere hours before the Great Gravy Flood of 2007. Skip the first few paragraphs if you're in a hurry, but do not miss the lollipop story. I laughed and laughed, because I have been there. I've felt the tension as I wondered if some small change of plans would be accepted or lamented with a wailing that would put professional mourners to shame.
You know the cliche...it's funny 'cause it's true. Not for every kid, but certainly for mine. And Dooce's. And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is why I read mommy blogs.