Family Fun Time Gone Bad
Every time I plan some special family fun time with my daughter, it all goes wrong. I buy ingredients to bake a batch of cookies
and imagine an afternoon of domestic bliss; she flips out because the dough makes her hands sticky. I plan a trip to the zoo because she's never seen an elephant; she throws a massive tantrum and bites me when we run out of tickets for the rides and have to go home. Every time I organize an extra-special outing that I think she's going to LOVE, she gets cranky and throws a tantrum
. Honestly, I don't know why I bother, but I keep on doing it. Again and again and again.
Last year, my husband and I decided it would be extra-special to go to a tree farm and cut down our own Christmas
tree. No Home Depot tree for our little Princess! I imagined how thrilled she would be. I pictured the photos we would have. Her little face turned up to me with sheer joy emanating from it. What a special family memory we would create. I was excited! I just knew I was going to make her the happiest kid on earth. Boy was I wrong.
We drove out to the farm, my husband sawed and hacked his little heart out to cut down the tree and the minute it fell to the ground, my daughter started screaming "Ut-oh tree!" over and over. She was inconsolable. How was I supposed to know she's some future environmental activist? The tantrum of the ages ensued. We figured maybe Santa would cheer her up, so we hiked back to the lodge for some hot chocolate and ho-ho-ho time and he freaked her out even more. She was wailing like a banshee while we tried to tie the tree to the car. In the only picture we have from the trip, my daughter is red-faced and crying her eyes out. Not the happy memory I pictured. (Needless to say, this year we're going to Home Depot.)
The minute we got home, bored doing nothing, my daughter was happy as can be. So much for family fun time. Grrrrr.
Honestly, all she wants to do is putter around the house playing with her plastic animal toys. I don't know why we even bother trying to do anything special. I keep thinking we're making memories, but it feels like all we're making is misery. Maybe she can't handle the pressure or the expectations? I don't know. Maybe I should just stop trying, but I guess I keep hoping next time will be different and we'll finally get that stellar family time for the memory bank. That moment she'll look back on and think, "Wow, I had such a great childhood."