Last night my daughter wanted to walk across the street to go to the drugstore and get a poster board to finish her school project that was due to be turned in this morning. It was around 8:00p.m. She got up from the computer and announced that she was headed to the store.
Me: Who’s walking with you?
Her: Nobody. I’m going by myself.
Me: Not at this hour.
Her: It’s only 8 o’clock. It’s not even late.
Me: But, it is dark outside.
Her: Mom, why do you let me go sometimes and then change the rules other times?
Me: You heard me.
She was upset but knew not to push any further at that point. She is only a few days away from the last grounding for something said or done that was out of line so, she was not taking any chances. She called her cousin to ask if she would walk and eventually got one of them to come and go to the store with her. After coming home and working on her project for a moment, she walked into my room and as calmly and unconfrontational as possible she comes to talk.
Her: Mom, why is it a problem for me to go across the street sometimes and not a problem other times? You have me go get you ice cream almost every night at this same time.
Me: Do you want to fight?
Her: No. You have the power to not get upset, mom. I just am asking.
Me: I don’t have the power. I am sure to get upset if you keep talking. I had you go get ice cream at this time when it didn’t get dark at 5:00p.m.
Her: But, it is just across the street and I am old enough.
Me: You want to know why? Because I want grandchildren. I want to see you graduate from college. I want to see you walk down the aisle with a beautiful man and I want grandchildren. I don’t want some crazy person who preys on people like you who are walking across the street by themselves at night stuffing you into a car in the parking lot and taking you. What would you do when he takes you and gets all the way to the city and dumps you into the Bay before I would even know you were missing because I would just think that you were at the checkout. What would you do then? (I’m yelling, not mad, just point-making loudness)
Her: You can’t ask me what I would do, mom? (she knows I’m crazy)
Me: Yes, because you could do nothing and I could do nothing. All because you walked across the street all by yourself. You have anymore questions?
She walked out, defeated but, feeling loved.