Dear Baby Princesses,

I'm still not entirely sure that we did the right thing. 

Last night we went to Disney on Ice.  I will say that I do not regret it, because you both LOVED it.  You wore your Elsa and Minnie costumes, BP1 sang along and BP2 applauded constantly, even though it pretty much started at your bedtime.  So the event itself went great.  It was the rest of the day that was a struggle. 

Yesterday morning the two of you went to the dentist.  (Yes, the appointment was yesterday, not Monday, which was when I originally tried to shepherd the family to the dentist.)  So.  Daddy came home on Thursday night, and we told you -- BP1 -- that if you were good at the dentist, we would go to Disney on Ice Friday night.  This was, of course, a classic parenting mistake, because the event was not really something that we wanted to take away.  I had also promised you a special treat breakfast if you were good, since the appointment was at 7am and I had no intention of feeding you beforehand.

A little background, BP1.  You hate the dentist.  This is not especially surprising, because you have a lot of my physique and I hate the dentist too.  It's one of those things that people who have no issue with the dentist have a hard time understanding, but we both have a bad gag reflex and what one dentist recently pronounced a "shallow mouth."  Many of my dentist appointments end in tears as well, but the difference is that I'm an adult, so I just make myself do it.

Yesterday, you were psyched up to do it.  We had been prepping you for months, you said you were going to cooperate, and you walked in and climbed into the chair without incident.  But as soon as the chair went back, you were hysterical and it was all over.  I eventually sat in the chair with you and held you down while the dentist did the cleaning, which is usually what ends up happening, though last time it was so bad that they didn't even bother doing the cleaning.  Daddy's arrival coincided with the start of your tantrum, so he was relegated to the baby room with BP2, which infuriated him and didn't help the situation.  All of us, with the exception of BP2, left the dentist on the brink of a total emotional breakdown.

I don't know how old you'll have to be before you decide to just sit through the appointment in spite of being afraid, but apparently 5 is not that age.  And to your credit, you knew exactly what you had given up - you told us right away that we had to go home for breakfast and that you couldn't go to the show.

(In one of the most surprising twists of the day, BP2, you were actually incredibly well behaved.  You laid back and let the dentist clean your teeth with essentially no complaints.  I did not see that coming.)

So, once the appointment was over and everyone had gone on to their normal daily routines, Daddy and I calmed down and started talking.  Were we really going to take away Disney on Ice?  We knew what we should do.  We should follow through on what we had said, because otherwise, how would you learn your lesson?  Well, no big suspense here, based on how I opened the post.  After debating it truly ALL day, we decided to take you anyway.  Ultimately, I don't think that any one parenting decision determines how kids turn out, and I doubt that it would have had any effect on your behavior at your next dentist appointment anyway.  But, I do think you need consistency, and you do need to know that Daddy and I are serious when we set consequences for negative behavior.  So, as I said, I'm still not sure we made the right decision.  But we talked about it with you at length, you understood that your behavior was not okay on any level, and you did lose out on breakfast out and you understood that was a punishment. 

So I'm not sure what my point was here ultimately, except to think through this on paper, and to let you know that if decades from now you a problem employee or something then it's probably our fault.  But ultimately, we love you both, we want to give you everything but we also want to make sure that you grow into responsible and well-adjusted adults.  Know that we struggle with decisions every day, and that we are always trying to do what is best for you.  But sometimes we will miss.

That's it for now, sweet girls.  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  As always, I love you very much.



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