When I picked up Janie from school yesterday, she was in a horrible mood, as she often is (usually because she needs something to eat) — even refusing and throwing a fit about walking to the grocery store to pick up dinner ingredients. To say she was freaking out would be putting it mildly — there was a lot of tears, a lot of foot stomping and even jumping up and down, and a lot of screaming. I told her she was being selfish — that just because she didn’t want to walk to the store, didn’t mean that the rest of her family shouldn’t have what we needed to make dinner. When I called her selfish, I wasn’t exactly sure if she knew the true meaning of the word. She insisted that she was not selfish, but I wasn’t really listening to her, telling her we’d could discuss it more when she was ready to stop screaming at me.
Backing up a bit, apparently there was some confusion with her yearbook order and she told me that she didn’t get one in class yesterday. We did a little investigating after school and the librarian was certain she’d sent one with Janie’s name on it. I told Janie I’d send a note to her teacher in the morning to see if it was somehow overlooked in the classroom, but this morning, when I was writing the note, Janie told me, adamantly, that she didn’t want a yearbook after all, which I knew was far from the truth, considering she spent all last summer coveting last year’s edition.
At that moment, I happened to be cleaning out her backpack (to make sure there weren’t any stray toys going to school with her…) and came across a sticky note with her name on it — one that was likely on the yearbook she received in class yesterday.
I realized quickly that she did get a yearbook and asked her to tell me the truth about what had happened.
At first she lied, telling me that she didn’t get one, but then broke down, admitting that she did, but that she gave it to a friend who hadn’t bought one.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I realized that not only was I so proud of her for being selfless enough to pass along her yearbook to a friend who didn’t have one, but that I was sick to my stomach about calling her selfish yesterday.
Deep sigh. Another parenting moment and life lesson to think about… courtesy of my not-so-selfish seven-year old.
(PS. I sent her with money this morning to buy a new yearbook for herself in the office. Fingers crossed that they still had some extras.)