We should have stayed at home.
Her pain was (literally) off the chart on Friday. At The Hospital, they teach the kids the basics of a one to ten scale for rating their pain using little faces that range from zero (smiley face, no pain at all) to a really sad face with tears (ten, it hurts so bad I'm crying). She has been running eights, nines, and tens for the last three days. As a result, Twinkle hasn't been sleeping well either; She was tired, and therefore a bit *crankier* than usual. One might even say that she was "testy". OK, let's just be honest here; one should say that she was teetering right on the brink of 'Tween Bitch, because that's where she was.
That's fine; everyone is allowed to have a bad day every once and a while, and God knows that this kid has smiled through more than her share. So, I tried to ignore it. I really did.
I want to be clear on this. I tried. Really, really hard.
Then, it finally happened. She pushed me too far. I don't really know how, or why; maybe it was the tone of her voice, maybe it was the fact that I had already told her four times that I was not going to spend that kind of money without consulting Daddy first*, maybe it was because I had just had it, up to here.
I snapped. Right there, in the store, I told her (as my grandma used to say) How the Cow Ate the Cabbage. In no uncertain terms.
It was no different than any other parent scolding any other child. I didn't raise my voice, nor did I raise my hand to her.
Of course you have to remember that Twinkle was, at the time, sitting in her wheelchair. I was standing in front of her, and telling her (using my best Mommy Voice®, patent pending) that it was NOT going to happen, not tonight, probably not this week, and certainly not until Daddy and I could discuss it*. Period. End of Discussion.
She's not happy, but she knows we are done with the topic. I turn, only to find a handful of people staring at me reproachfully. I can see it in their eyes, on their faces: How dare you scold the pretty little girl in the wheelchair? What kind of monster are you?
I am not a monster. I am a mother, with a child who just happens to be in a wheelchair at the moment.
Oh, we have heard it before. "How can you be so mean to her?" or some variant thereof. The implication is that we are being bad parents, because we aren't spoiling our kid rotten. From total strangers, no less. She will be begging us, trying to weasel her way into or out of something that The Wrench and I have already closed the books on, and some well-meaning do-gooder will come along and start laying on the guilt. It's a wonder that Twinkle isn't Veruca Salt on wheels.
What these tender-hearted souls never consider is that when we discipline Twinkle, we are treating her just like she is a "normal" child. It's one of the few times in her life when she really is like every other kid.
And I am like every other Mom.
And we are as "normal" as everyone else.
*No, we are not living in the "Dark Ages". One of the time-tested rules of our house has always been that we (The Wrench and I) never spend more than $100 on anything without agreeing on it first, with the obvious exceptions of birthdays and Christmas. Say what you will, but this silly little rule has saved us countless arguments over the last 18 years of marriage.