She knew it might be bad, but she hadn’t expected it to be this bad. It wasn’t like she had done it violently or without warning. Nevertheless, it had plunged her daughter into the depths of despair.
“I will never eat again!” she declared, lower lip trembling as her eyes began to redden.
“That’s too bad; you’ll get pretty hungry.”
“I won’t open my presents. I won’t come to Easter or Christmas.”
“Really? How sad. That’s a lot to give up.”
“I won’t ever let you help me!” she threw out this statement like a well-aimed spear, sure it would conquer her enemy and bring victory.
“You’re only hurting yourself, babe,” her mother deflected the spear with a shield of serenity. “I’m sorry you’re so sad.”
The girl thrust out her jaw and glowered up at her mother with narrowed eyes.
“I’m not sad, I’m angry!”
“Ok, I’m sorry you’re angry, then. But why don’t you go up to bed, honey? It’s time to sleep.”
“I will never sleep. I will just stand by my bed with my eyes open. I will never shut my eyes again!”
“Oh, really?” the woman sighed. Determination was a great trait. To be sure it had helped her daughter finish the steep, two hour hike up the mountain with her Dad the other day, chattering the whole way up. But when it was bedtime, determination to have one’s own way was a distinct disadvantage in a child of three.
“Sweetie, you can play more Reading Eggs tomorrow. I had to turn it off ‘cause it was 9:30. Now it’s 10:15. You have to sleep.”
“I will never sleep!”
The woman rubbed her head and sighed. You can’t fight crazy. She climbed into bed and nursed her baby to sleep. Eventually, the war-weary toddler climbed in under the blankets and hid. That way no one would see her eyes close.