Expectations

This morning the kids got up early (like six o'clock) so we were all ready by nine (we don't start church until 11). I decided to kill some time by making cranberry orange muffins. I finished baking the treats and was prepared to sit down and enjoy a tasty snack with my kids, until they both started howling in protest. "We don't want muffins. I want my own snack. Muffins are messy!" (I think the 'messy' thing was just a ploy to get out of eating a muffin). S-Boogie sat down to eat a granola bar while giving the muffins dirty looks. I felt disappointed because I thought I was giving the kids a special surprise, and they just plain didn't want it. Well, it was mainly S-Boogie who didn't want it and Little Dude just followed along with her.

I realized after a little while that her distress wasn't so much the fact that I had made muffins but that she is going through a very independent phase right now (well, she has been for most of her life). She wanted to eat something that she had chosen and prepared for herself. I also realized that part of my disappointment came from my expectations for the muffins. Food is one of my love languages, and when people reject my food I tend to feel rejected as well. We had entirely different expectations for snack-time: S-Boogie wanted to boost her self-confidence and independence by getting her own snack, and I wanted to show her my love by baking her a treat.

And so I'm not sure what the point of this post is. I guess there are a few morals. First of all, look at the motivations and emotions of other people when they seem to reject what you are offering them. Look at what your expectations were and why you are disappointed. Perhaps the message you thought you were sending is not the one they thought they were receiving. Secondly, I'm trying every day to figure out how to give S-Boogie the independence she craves while still keeping order in my home and helping her learn how to respect the needs of others around her. I think snacks are something I can have some leeway on; other issues, maybe not so much. I discovered this last week that she's much easier to deal with in the evenings if I can find some way for her to help with dinner. She just wants to feel involved and valuable. Most of us do, don't we? Thirdly, if someone doesn't want to eat the muffins, I should just look on the bright side and enjoy the fact that there are more for me!

Comments

Earth Sign Mama said…
It is so good that you can stand back and look at things objectively. It really helps to keep things calmer. I'm impressed at how well you do this. And, I would have eaten your muffins with you...they sound good.

(The word verfication was "blessun"--That's when you learn a lesson and it is a blessing, not a chastening. As in: "You learned a good blessun today, huh?")
Queen M said…
It is such a hard balancing act isn't it. Millie is going through similar things right now with her independance too.

I would have eaten your muffins as well.
Samantha said…
You probably already know this, but I've found that sometimes all it takes to get my kids excited about eating (and helping that independent streak along), is to simply involve them in the process. It's not always easy, but they can help read the recipe, stir, fetch ingredients and pans...

And it's wonderful that you can understand S-Boogie's needs in the way that you do.
Th. said…
.

Egzaaaaktly. The more cranorange muffins for you the better.
Dana said…
That is the tough thing...when you want to please someone and they reject it. It is sooo easy to take it personally without really thinking about what they are really rejecting.

My daughter has that independent streak, too, and the more we allow her to do things herself, the happier everyone is.
tab said…
I think you are right on the money. Expectations are really tricky. If we can remove them from a situation then we are much more likely to assess it without adding emotion. And isn't a rational approach always better. Kudos to you!
Anonymous said…
Wasn't Sunday fast Sunday?
Samantha said…
Isn't fasting a personal choice??? And no one else's business?
Seeker said…
Thanks for the post. We are dealing with expectation issues right now. I'm sitting in the hospital jumping to stimulate our baby everytime the heart rate monitor goes off and yet the thing that I'm crying about is that we won't get to show her tide pools this summer. Crazy, huh? Those darn expectations.

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