I very rarely make New Year’s resolutions, not because I’m perfect but because I don’t want to set unrealistic goals and remind myself that I’m imperfect. My last New Year’s resolution was back in 2000 when I resolved to quit smoking. I did it, cold turkey, and I haven’t looked back. This year, after a 15-year hiatus, I am making another resolution: to be a more patient mother. I’m not convinced I can achieve this goal, but during the few days already passed this year, I’ve tried my damnedest.
When I asked my daughter to set the dinner table yesterday, she ignored me, THREE times. Last year, in response to an identical scenario, I raised my voice and harshened my tone, “I’ve asked you three times. Set the table.“
“No,” she said.
“You have a choice. Set the table in one minute or go to bed without dinner!”
Fine!” My daughter stamped her foot, grabbed her plate and cutlery and slammed it on the dinner table.
I took a deep breath to quash the steam about to flare out my nostrils like an angry dragon mother.
Yesterday, when I asked my daughter to set the table, she ignored me again. So I tested my New Year patience and said calmly, “I’ve asked you three times. Please set the table.”
“Are you going to set the table?” I asked, “or would you prefer to go to bed early?”
“I want another mother,” my daughter screamed.
For the love of God, this patience game is not working, I thought.
Again, I took a deep breath to suppress the steam about to shoot out my nostrils like a dragon mother and I said, “That’s not a very kind thing to say. How would you feel if I said I want another child?”
She paused a few seconds. “I love you. I just don’t like you.”
You tell me, is my new parenting patience paying off? Perhaps it’ll be the last resolution I set myself for another 15 years.