Well, nobody except for my calm, reasonable and maddeningly rational husband. And he didn't exactly say "no", although I think the word "divorce" might have been bandied about. Actually, he gently and calmly reminded me that buying a horse for a ten year old child is not a great idea IF you are trying to raise a child to grow up to be a productive member of society who understands that one must WORK for what she wants.
Then I talked to Kami, the gal from whom we currently lease a horse and my go-to gal for all horse-related questions. She told me that she thought it would be best to wait, because the rider that Anna is now is not the same as the rider she will be in a couple of years. So if we bought a horse to suit Anna's needs and abilities now, in 2-3 years we'd be looking to replace it with, say, a barrel-racer or whatever.
Somewhat coincidentally (or maybe not) my friend Jennifer mentioned in an email how her first-born child is driving her mad because he is lazy and doesn't want to have to work for anything. In fact, he can't be bothered to get his driver's license because it's "too hard" and too much work. That does sound a lot like a certain 10 year old I know. And I'm smart enough (barely) to know that we want to nip that behavior in the bud right now.
So yeah. I knew that I had to go home after work and break my daughter's heart, because I am a BIG FAT IMPULSIVE DUMB SHIT who got her hopes up and basically said to her "Nobody is going to tell us what to do! Let's go buy a horse!"
As soon as I got home, I sat her down and had the talk. I explained it all to her, why it was important to wait, both Kami's argument that she will grow and change as a rider a lot in the next couple of years, and also how I realized (without implicating Davey as the bad guy) that one of my most important jobs as a parent is to teach her the value of working toward something. How it will actually be a lot more satisfying for her to earn it and she'll appreciate that lesson later in life....blah blah blah.
And then the crying and wailing and sobbing and thrashing and gnashing of teeth commenced. She was, as expected, disappointed and heartbroken and I felt like the worst. parent. ever. I knew I was doing the right thing, I was just so mad at myself for getting her hopes up. I held her for awhile while she cried and then she wanted me to go away. At one point I checked on her and she had pulled the hide-away bed out and was under it, crying and "working on something". I figured it was a note of the "I'm running away from home" sort, but I should have known better. This kid expresses herself through drawing. Eventually she came out of the room with a smirk on her face and handed me this:
For a split second I was devastated, but then I couldn't help but burst out laughing. This kid knows how to WORK it, doesn't she?
I went in and said "So this is how you see me, with glowing red eyes and big fangs?"
"AND A BIG NOSE", she made sure to point out.
Then we laughed and hugged and she was all better.
Why didn't anyone TELL me parenting was so hard? I HATE having to be the grown-up. Luckily I have a pretty great kid, with a big, beautiful, forgiving heart. Sigh.