The other day I blew up at my daughter after I asked her to pick up a few things off the floor of her room and she told me with some attitude that she hadn’t made that mess and therefore should not have to pick it up. I couldn’t take it anymore. We had an exceptionally great day together up to that point but I had suddenly found the end of my rope. Suddenly my blood boiled and I went on an oral tirade that I regretted later showering on little ears. I had visited her at school earlier that day because she had forgotten her lunch and we had lunch together and we marveled with smiles at the special chocolate treat I’d put there. Later that night I fried up some shrimps because they love to eat the stuff that mommy is allergic to when she’s not there for dinner as she was working late. We even ordered pizza and watched a movie and it was a school night and I let them eat dinner in the living room! Then it all unraveled at the end of the day when I should have been kissing them goodnight. I had just finished reading three books to the kids with a fair amount of dramatic panache for after nine o’clock at night. Then on the way out of my daughter’s bedroom I noticed a few things on her floor and asked her to pick them up and she acted bothered and said she couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t take it anymore. And when my wife asked me later how it went with the kids I had to fess up to my fit but she seemed to understand why I was so upset. And why was I so upset? I told my daughter that she needed to just do what she was asked to do by her father, her mother, her teacher, just do it, don’t complain, don’t hesitate, just say, Yes, and go on ahead and do it, because we have your best interest at heart and we are not going to ask you to do anything unreasonable… These were the sort of things that popped into my head at the time of yelling at her and yes I was upset that she did not follow my commands, but it’s about more than that. Reflecting on that moment I think I was most upset at her ingratitude for all that I had done for her that day. For all that her mother and I do every day for her. And here I asked her to pick up a few things from her floor and she refuses and acts like I’m asking too much… Ingrate! That’s what I can’t stand! Why can’t our kids appreciate all that we do for them? Why bother doing anything fun for them when all I get is continued disobedience and heartache in return, I mean, why bother? At the same time I know it is hard for them to understand all that goes into taking care of them. I mean, do I really want them to be painfully aware of all the sacrifices we make for them? In some ways I don’t want them to worry about all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. But on the other hand I do want them to be aware that people are doing a lot for them and they should be thankful for that, it seems like an important life lesson. I feel like if I can teach her some thankfulness for those who take care of her then she won’t be so quick to disobey them. This is a hard lesson for a five year old to learn, to be sure. Looks like I need to continue learning that hard lesson of patience.