I know that I am not supposed to compare my kids. I keep telling myself that. But it is getting really, really hard not to these days. Maggie is our sunshine girl. Every day is great. All new things are adventures. Any time she does get down, she rallies quickly and is back to her optimistic, smiling baseline.
And then there is Negative Nelly.
Morrigan has never been the pure force of smiles her sister is, but these days, we feel like a teenager came in and took possession of our eldest daughter. Every morning starts with the litany of reasons why this day will just be the worst. Among recent scapegoats:
Not swimming. I hate swimming.
Today will be terrible - I have Spanish.
Tuesday is awful. I hate Minds in Motion. It is boring and makes me tired.
Not Friday. Now it will just be the boring weekend.
And so it goes from there.
I hate my clothes. There is nothing I want for breakfast. I don't like the choices for lunch. My book bag is too heavy. My coat is too hot. I don't like sitting in the middle (or back) seat. The car door is too heavy.
Then a break while she's at school and someone else gets to enjoy her rants. After school, she's right back at it.
School was boring. I don't want to go to swimming/piano/Tae Kwon Do. We don't have anything to do today it will be boring. I don't like what's for dinner. We don't have any good dessert choices. I don't have any free time. I don't have any new books to read.
And on. And on. And on.
So here's the question (rhetorical Mother, you don't need to email me), can we change her? There's a big part of her that reminds me of myself as a kid. I was Negative Nelly. (My brother Dominick was our Sunshine Maggie and let me tell you, as a child, his sunshiny ways pissed me off.) In many ways, though I think I have vastly improved, I still can be that girl.
Where does that leave me as a parent? I've been trying to teach Morrigan that, no matter how hard it may be, to try and approach everything with a positive attitude and it is more likely to end up positive. Like a GOOD self fulfilling prophesy. And, you ask, does this method meet with success? Yeah, not so much so far. That is where the cocktails come in. I know they work.