One of the gifts we got for Christmas is a box/game of questions to be asked during dinner time. Essentially you take a card from the box and it is intended to spark conversation around the table. I have actually really enjoyed it and have noticed recently that the girls look forward to the questions too. I think they like having their moment when they receive undivided attention from everyone in the family.
Last night's question:
Who in your family are you the most like?
Daddy answered along something like this - "I think I'm the most like Ellie because she thinks and does things that I remember doing when I was her age. I think Mommy is a lot like Addie because it doesn't seem hard for her to be nice to everyone she knows, but I find it difficult sometimes to remind myself to talk with a patient voice to those who I love."
I believe this sunk in deep for Ellie as it was interesting to watch her body language. She started with a realization of "Yes! We really ARE so much alike!" and it moved to a relief in knowing that she wasn't the only one who struggles to be nice sometimes, and finally moved to a sort of sad look on her face. She sat with a certain somber look on her face, deep in thought for the rest of the meal.
I wonder if it hurt her feelings. Daddy's comment IMPLIED that Addie found it a lot easier to be really nice to other people than Ellie does, which COULD in turn imply that Ellie isn't as nice as Addie. Only Ellie knows what she was thinking but I could tell by watching her that her mind was churning.
I'll be honest and say that we've struggled a lot with 6 year-old Ellie recently. In some ways it feels like we've been living with a 6 year old teenager recently.
I could be wrong, but I think it was that somber moment of thought that led to an incredibly lovely evening AND morning with both Ellie and Addie. I hope just the right level of honesty without long lasting hurt feelings was achieved, but as with any parenting moment... you never really know.
Behind every great child is a parent who thinks they're screwing it all up!