A couple of days a week, Phoebie, my firstborn, ends school earlier than other days. On these days, I don’t have to rush from her school to my son’s school to fetch him, so I try to bring her somewhere and have lunch. As it is, I feel bad that she has to eat her lunch in the car on the days we have to rush, so when I can, I bring her somewhere where we can sit and enjoy lunch.
On these days where we can go for proper lunch, Phoebie likes to request for places. She has a place in mind and asks me to bring her. On this particular day, it is no different.
“Mama, can we go to this-place-that-I really-want-to-go?” Phoebie asks.
“Nope. Today, we will have lunch at this-other-place instead,” I reply.
“But, I really want to go to this-place-that-I really-want-to-go. Please, Mummy, can we go there?” Phoebie asks again.
“Phoebie,” I say, “We already went to a place that you wanted to go yesterday. So I get to choose for today,”
“But…” She tries to say, “I really want to go to this-place-that-I really-want-to-go. I will have nothing to eat at this-other-place.”
“Well, then you will just have to look through the menu at this-other-place and choose something from there,” I tell her.
Phoebie starts to whine and sulk. As I drive, I can hear her grumbling.
“Phoebie, there are days when I let you decide where we are going for lunch, but it doesn’t mean that you get to choose all the time. It isn’t always about you,” I tell her.
“But I really want…” Phoebie starts to grumble again.
“There are things that you really want to eat and there are things that I really want to eat too. Life is not only about you, and there are times when we don’t get to choose. So you will have to learn to choose from the menu of the place we are going to,” I tell her again.
“Okay, I’ll see what I can choose from this-other-place then…” Phoebie say.
As much as I love my daughter, I want her to know that life doesn’t revolve around her. Sometimes she just has to adapt and learn to deal with what she has “no choice” on.
My life isn’t always about me, and her life isn’t always about her.