Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 990 - Ripped Off

Andrew got a new, fancy book. It's a Cars pop-up book that comes with a flashlight. So when you're in the dark, you use the flashlight to create shadows with the different Cars characters. I hope I'm wrong, but one of the shadows looks like Sally is doing something awfully wrong with Lightning McQueen's exhaust pipe.

Emma still has a terrible habit of tearing things. She tears newspapers, magazines, stickers, and the heads off little animals (no larger than a vermin). So if you put the first paragraph and this paragraph together, I think you know where I'm heading (and no, Emma did not tear off Andrew's head).

I was on the sofa watching television, when I heard Emma say, "Oh oh!" On top of the coffee table was a piece of Andrew's new pop-up book.

"Emma!" I said. "What did you do to Andrew's book?"

"Oh oh!" screamed Emma as she ran to the hallway.

I went after her and asked her why she tore Andrew's book.

Emma cowered against the wall and whimpered, "...noooo...."

"You need to stop tearing books. It is not a nice thing to do!"

This time Emma flopped face down on the ground and said a little louder, "Nooooo!"

I bent down to the ground and told her she would need to apologize to Andrew for tearing his new book.

With her face still nuzzled in the rug, she then began to bawl uncontrollably.

...oh oh...


...what do i do?

Seriously. I had no idea that my reprimanding her for tearing a book was going to end up with her crying on the floor. This has never happened before. Usually this situation ends up with Emma ignoring me or her eventually apologizing to Andrew. But bawling on the floor? This is stuff I'm only used to with Lisa!

I went back and forth between comforting and scolding Emma like a bad Lifetime schizophrenic movie-of-the-week. I was tentative with touching her because I didn't know how sympathetic I should be. If you saw me touching her, you'd think you were watching a really bad zombie movie and I wasn't too sure if the zombie on the asphalt was dead or not.

Ultimately, I caved in and tried to comfort Emma. I figured she must have felt bad enough for what she did to Andrew's book and that was enough. The truly interesting thing about this incident is that I clearly saw Emma reacting to something that she knew would get her in hot water. It immediately reminded me of the time when Lisa came home early and found me in an uncompromising position with the entire cast of The Hills.

Call this entire incident a learning lesson for the both of us. Emma learned she should not tear Andrew's books, and I learned that it's a difficult call to figure out when to be the tough parent and the softy. Like right now...I think I'm going to let it slide that Emma just ripped the head off a rat. They're only this age once, after all.

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