Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What is this strange word that starts with N?

As you are all well aware, "No" is not a word that Munchkin hears very often. I am not sure, in the complete sense, that I would say that she is "spoiled", because she certainly doesn't act ungrateful or entitled. And, she is an orphan, so I guess she doesn't get everything. But, when you really get down to it...she gets pretty much everything she wants and does pretty much whatever she wants.

I have written about my parenting philosophy a lot...which is basically giving kids as much leash as you can before they get themselves all tangled in it (I went with that over the rope and hanging metaphor...you know, because I didn't want to write about hanging children). This is not a philosophy that would work with most children, or even a substantial minority of them...but it has worked really well with her. She is mature enough to handle the freedom and responsibility, so I give it to her.

That means that when she asked if she could move to the beach last summer, I figured out a way to accommodate her. And when she wanted to got to France, we figured that out, too. In addition to me, she has two other older "sisters" that indulge her, as well...and as long as she continues to be the remarkable young woman and great student that she is, she will continue to get the same treatment.

But, very occasionally, I have to tell her no, and we have run up against one of those times. Normally, she just shrugs and says "OK, I understand," and then I never hear about it again, but I am sensing a little bit more resistance this time, which I hope is not a sign of things to come.

Frenchie's family is vacationing in St. Bart's in March, which coincides with Munchkin's spring break, and she has been invited to join them. First of all, raise your hand if you are jealous? OK, I have to bring my hand down to keep typing... And I would love to let her, for all of the obvious reasons, but I think it is gonna be a no-go.

First of all, it is a long and expensive flight (because you can't fly direct, it actually takes longer to get there than it would to get to Paris). She could actually pay for it herself, but I would rather she didn't. Oh, and just in case either of those two older sisters thinks it would be a swell birthday present, consider this your written request not to;-).

Second, she will still not be 100% mobile by then. She won't need crutches, I don't think, but her foot will not be completely healed and she will still be recovering. I don't want her carrying baggage around three or four airports and then most likely being up and around and pretty active for the whole week she is there on a bad foot.

Finally, that will be about 2-3 weeks before the expected birth date of the babies. My official due date is May 4th, but the Doctors' goal is to try and get to 36 weeks, which means April 6th. Anytime after 32 weeks it becomes kind of an "any minute" proposition, which puts her vacation right in the middle of that. It may be selfish of me (actually, it is also practical) but I don't want to have to worry about having her a couple thousand miles away if anything goes wrong.

So, I gave her a preliminary "No" and am pretty sure that will be my final answer. Which I am bummed about, and she is obviously super bummed about...it will mean waiting another 4 or 5 months to see him again, which is really hard for her. But, let's be honest: if "Couldn't spend a week in St. Bart's with boyfriend and family" is at the top of your 2010 list of Greatest Personal Tragedies, then it was a pretty good year;-)


Brian said...

What a great post - I think Munchkin knows how lucky she is and will react just as any other young teenage girl with a boyfriend in France and being asked to vacation in St. Barts. Wait a minute, I'm guessing that doesn't happen often but you know what I mean.

It's not selfish of you at all to wave off the potential worry around your due date. Also, I'd like to see Munchkin actually get her ankle healed fully and properly and not have any residual effects down the road (spoken like a former college coach eh?).

Anonymous said...

I've only commented a couple times, but at first thought I'd root for Munchkin on this one :( That being said -- I don't know the extent of her injury, but seems like the perfect opportunity for she and Frenchie to see each other without either missing school and living in the northeast too, would jump at any opportunity to get out of this weather...but you're the boss!

Jen said...

I know this was a tough call for you, but I think you are making the right one. And, I'm sure Munchkin would be upset if she missed the birth of your kids.

Mrs. Adventure said...

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Exgf said...

I agree with Jen ... the absolute BEST feeling in the world was being there for both of my sisters deliveries...

Munchkin would regret it if she wasn't there.

Being an aunt rocks!!!

My nieces and nephew are such a blessing!!


Lisa said...

Your last sentence says it all, I have nothing to add