A couple of Friday’s ago my mom got the idea to invite my brother and I out for a nice relaxing dinner at the local pizza place. The only problem with that is with 6 kids between us, no dinner with my brother and I is ever nice and relaxing. To be honest though, this was one of our more relaxing dinner’s. This particular restaurant has paper place mats that the kids can color on, and I was smart enough to bring a huge bag of crayons to help alleviate any arguing over colors.
Dinner was proceeding in its normal chaotic fashion. The nice thing is that since all of our kids are getting older it is getting easier to take them out to eat. They don’t need nearly as much attention or assistance to get through a meal. On this particular night the only assistance my kids needed was to have their pizza cut up for them since it was piping hot when it was served.
Matt and I each took one of our kids plates and started cutting. I started with Cameron’s and Matt had Brendan’s. I was cutting Cameron’s as fast as I could but Kaylee, who was sitting next to me, was not very happy about having to wait and was bugging me to get to her piece of pizza. Matt finished cutting Brendan’s piece first and reached over to grab Kaylee’s and begin cutting it. Kaylee was furious that daddy was cutting her pizza, despite the fact that seconds before she was unable to wait even a second longer for me to get to it.
I don’t remember exactly what it was that she said to Matt, but it was basically that he was doing it wrong and he shouldn’t be cutting up her pizza. She wanted me to do it. Matt didn’t feel like arguing with her and I was done cutting Cameron’s pizza by that point anyway so he handed over her plate so I could finish cutting up her pizza.
I wasn’t as willing to let the situation go. I told Kaylee she had been rude to her daddy and that she needed to apologize to him. Not surprisingly Kaylee didn’t like being lectured and her face puckered up into an immediate pout. Thankfully I have learned to be impervious to her pathetic little pout, and was able to hold onto my resolve that she should apologize to Matt for telling him he cut her pizza up wrong.
Realizing that her pouty face wasn’t going to be enough she turned up the heat a little more. Tears started flowing down her cheeks, which was enough to melt daddy’s heart and soften mine just a little, but I was still able to stick to my guns. So, she pulled out the big guns. With a loud wailing sob she turned to me and said, (in her most pathetic voice) “but mommy, I just want you to be proud of me.”
Well that did it, as everyone at the table burst out laughing I put my arm around my sweet princess and told her I was proud of her. And, for the moment at least, I let her off the hook for apologizing to Matt. The rest of the meal proceeded without incident (unless you count two spilled cups of soda, which I don’t…with that many kids I would expect that plus some).
Before we left the restaurant I made sure Kaylee knew that I hadn’t forgotten about her interaction with her dad, and (realizing that crying wasn’t going to get her anywhere a second time) she finally told him she was sorry for being rude.
It may have taken a while, and she may have thought she won, but ultimately mommy won out in the battle of wills. Though if that night is any indication we are in sooooooo much trouble. Our sweet little princess knows exactly what is needed to win over both mom and dad. And she’s quite the little actress.