My five year-old has been in her room crying for the last fifteen minutes.
She has been told to stay there until she's ready to eat, even though she's barely eaten anything since six o'clock last night, and is now complaining of a headache.
Because I made a difficult parenting decision.
Cinderella didn't like last night's dinner. After an hour of ignoring her complaints, after an hour of forcing her to sit at the table until her food was gone, I finally sent her off to bed early. The only condition we set on her not finishing her dinner was that she'd end up eating it for breakfast.
Breakfast came. And breakfast went.
She ate a few bites, declared her "dinner" was still yucky, and put it back in the fridge.
That was over two hours ago.
It has currently been fifteen hours since my daughter has eaten anything. And while it breaks my heart, I know I need to stick with my decision.
It's not unusual for Cinderella not to say she doesn't like her dinner. We still make her eat it.
It's happened several times before that she eats her dinner for breakfast the next day.
This, however, is the longest stretch.
She knows I'm not going to cave in. I know I'm not going to cave in.
Part of me wants to, though. Part of me wants to fill her tummy and send her outside to play.
The other part of me, the larger part, wants to ensure that she learns her lessons. Lessons she needs. Lessons she knows, but that, apparently, she still needs to be reminded of.
Lessons in obedience, consequence, and gratefulness.
It's a hard road, growing up.
It's an even harder road, parenting.
Am I a mean mom? Yes. Am I a loving mom? Yes. Do I want the best for my children? Most definitely, yes.
Am I going to make her eat her dinner? Yes. Because I'm mean? No.
Because I'm a mom.
Here she comes...