Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Days of Repetitive Parenting: Day 20 "That's the plan."

Since Darlin' was a tot, she has been a social butterfly.  Everyday she would ask who she was going to play with and where she was going.  Considering, she and I are very much alike in this regard, I never minded keeping an active calendar for her from a very early age.  We were part of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), playgroups, music groups, church activities, dance lessons and more.

Darlin' in elementary school.
The day after her birthday, she would start planning for next year's party theme, games and guest list.  Mind you, this started around 2!  As she has grown, she has continued to always want to be planning the next get together.

A true extrovert, she thrives around other people.  Like mother, like daughter.

All grown up!

Early on we realized that we needed to tread lightly around our Anne-of-Green-Gables-type-drama-queen, who would fall from the height of expectation to the depths of despair, should any of her plans be thwarted.

We make her no promises.  We've learned the hard way.

Our pat answer to Darlin', should we be planning any kind of event is, "That's the plan."  I once tried using the phrase, "Lord willing," which only ended up opening a Pandora's box of all the possible tragedies that could occur beforehand.

Lesson learned.  Parenting is all about trial and error.

In the past we have erred in promising to go on trips, have a friend over or go get ice cream only to have things canceled or changed at the last minute due to various reasons.  Despite things being out of our control, we would still hear the resounding accusation of, "But you promised!"

Many times nothing had been promised but Darlin' had gotten her hopes up or caught up in the excitement at the prospect of an event.

In an effort to keep her from mistaking a probability for a promise, we have tried to keep reminding her that it's just a plan and not set in stone.  Even so, there were still times which she ended up devastated at a turn of events and tears may have been involved.

Darlin' is mildly obsessed (along with the rest of our family) with Harry Potter.  As huge fans, we had planned to take our teens to the midnight show of the final film on opening night.  Darlin' was devastated when she realized that she would be away on a mission trip when the film debuted.  She was even more disappointed to discover that Bud would get to go, because, well, we had promised.  Fortunately, when she returned, we got to take her opening weekend to see it on IMAX, which was even more spectacular!

Before Cupcake was born we made sure to tell Darlin' that we "might" be having a girl.  The ultrasound had indicated a girl, for about two seconds, and we just felt that we couldn't count on that prediction with a 100% percent accuracy.  So we prepared her for the possibility of another brother, just in case.  Believe it or not, Darlin' actually asked for a mathematical estimate, so we guessed about 75%-80% to appease her.  Thankfully, Cupcake came out a girl and we didn't have to deal with any disappointment.

Even as I write this post, Darlin' is in the midst of trying to plan an activity with friends next weekend.  In an effort to avoid any possibility of things falling through, I will hold out til the last moment before giving her the go ahead.  It's just too risky to put anything in pen on our calendar.  Penciling things in just seems to work better for us, although from Darlin's perspective if it's written down than it must come to pass!

Hopefully, now you can appreciate what we're dealin' with here.  Precisely why it is vital for us to stick to the plan of repeating, "That's the plan."

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