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Monday mornings are always hectic in this house, what with Judo club at 7.45am and 2 school drop offs to complete. Today didn't go well.
Yesterday evening, my daughter had been to a bowling and laser quest event with her youth club. I had given her £10, on the understanding that the evening would cost £6 and the change would be mine. On requesting the change this morning, it would appear that only 20 pence was left in the purse....
I knew that this wasn't a conversation for 8.10am on a Monday morning, but I continued regardless. When I began to question her actions and a very garbled set of excuses came out, I completely lost it.
Not only did I lose my temper but I completely lost any shred of respect that she may have had for me. I behaved like a child when I should have been the grown up. Sometimes it's hard to be the grown up when everything within us wants to kick, scream and shout: "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" And on this occasion, I didn't manage it. I returned home after a very silent journey to school and a mumbled "goodbye", with a pit in my stomach and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. Disappointment in myself for losing it, for not setting a good example, for not managing to control myself.
I spoke to a friend about it and she put an arm around my shoulder. A gesture which said "I know, I understand, we've all been there..." And this is why I'm sharing my rather pathetic attempt at parenting today: we all muck up, we all feel inadequate at times, we've all 'been there'. My friend also encouraged me to focus on the 'making up' and that this is where a parent can shine.
So when I got home, I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and I wrote a letter to my daughter. I needed to clear the air but not being able to talk to her, this silent effort seemed the closest I could get. Will I give it to her? I don't think so. Tonight I will talk to her, when things have calmed down. I will say that I am sorry for losing my temper and ask if she has any ideas for how we can prevent this from happening another time. I hope that we will hug and it will all be ok. Children can be forgiving little souls, if only we allow them to be.
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