DD is a joy, but she can be unusually attached to things going precisely her way. Oh, I know that kids generally are like that but she leaves me scratching my head quite often. What I really can't understand is when a really good thing happens, she will fixate on some small inconvenience and it just ruins the entire good thing.
1) DD loves growing flowers. We went to secure and pay for a community garden plot. They had some planting flowers for sale and I had a couple bucks in my pocket, so I told her to pick one out. Happy happy day, right? But she was disappointed that I said only one. She spent some time nagging to get more and I explained I could only buy one today. And she just had this, you know, look on her face. I told her that I was really excited to give her a flower and hoped she would be happy, but if she was going to be mad about it, we wouldn't bother. But of course she wanted one rather than none, but the whole thing just was a total letdown.
2) We decided to do a movie night on an unusual night, so it was a special treat, and she got to pick out the movie. When we got home we decided to spend 15 minutes cleaning up and then we could settle down and enjoy the movie. We weren't even asking her to do any chores, just go play a bit while we cleaned up a few things. But she was so upset about waiting it just about ruined it, you know? Plus of course we spent a lot longer than 15 minutes because we were dealing with her on top of the cleaning. She got really sassy and eye-rolling and ultimately yelling and we put her in time-out. Then I spent a long time trying to talk to her and explain how she could choose to be happy about the good stuff (movie night! yay!) or she could choose to be upset over the details (having to wait 15 minutes). I spent quite a while trying to explain it to her but either she didn't get it or she's not buying it.
There's a million examples like those but I'll spare you, you get the idea. It sounds punitive to say that we should not bother getting her stuff or planning fun stuff, but it really seems more like a natural consequence to me. If I'm thinking "oh, I'd like to get her a flower" and then I think "well, if I do, she'll find something to be upset about, so I won't bother" then that's just natural, right? Who wants to turn a decent day into a total mess by attempting to do something nice, right? I've tried to explain that to her too, but she takes it as a threat (of course) and grudgingly (but not at all sincerely) says she'll be happy (so she can get/do the thing).
That said, she is not typically a sourpuss. In fact, I am often so pleased with how she can take something ordinary and be excited about it. I've heard plenty of times that the dinner I cooked was the "best dinner in the WORLD" or that a day was the "best day of my whole LIFE" which just brings a smile to my face. But it's specifically when there is the promise of some special thing that she seems to get it in her head that it has to be exactly a certain way, and she gets so upset when it's not absolutely everything she wanted.
I would love to help her embrace Zen and just be happy with what she's got and go with the flow and let go of her detailed expectations. Thoughts?