Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just when you're ready to lose your mind...

...they do something cute.

Two days ago, in an effort to get the Goober to lay quietly and be still during nap time (sleeping is not required, though 90% of the time if she manages quiet and still, she falls asleep), I started playing hardball.

I took away stuffed animals.

She sleeps with four of them, but only one (Scabbers the stuffed rat) has been with her since childhood. The stuffie I took away, Dolly the dolphin, had only been with her since last month in Florida. I told her I'd keep taking away stuffies until she was quiet and laid down for a while. After the loss of Dolly, boy howdy, she quieted right down. I don't know what I'd have done if I'd gotten down to Scabbers as her last stuffie... probably wussed out and given her chocolate.

Why does 90% of parenting seem to suck oozing rat ass and leave you feeling guilty as all hell, for one reason or other?

Anyway. Tonight, after another really long, difficult day (though she napped without losing any stuffies), we were getting her ready for bed. She rubbed the husbeast's beard stubble and said "oooh, Daddy, I like your pointy face."

Pointy face for beard stubble. Heeheeheehee. Pointy face.


Pork with Bones said...

Last week, while I was working late, my mother couldn't get Acorn (my son, age four) to settle down. It was approaching ten o'clock when she took away all of his stuffed animals. Ten minute later, when he was still moving around, she went back into his room.

"If you don't hold still and be quiet, next I'll take away..."

Then she had to come up with a threat she could follow through on, if necessary.

"...your blanket!"

Talk about a threat that makes you feel like a heel. I think his blankets — not a special blankie or anything, just the fact of having a blanket to snuggled under — must be Acorn's equivalent of Scabbers.

Leonie said...

Hey at least you started with the small stuff, my husband regularly forgets and brings out the big guns at the beginning and then has to follow through on it rather than starting with the small stuff and working his way up. Oldest is 5.5, husband is still learning.

Leonie said...

hey check out this version of "Scream"

Emily said...

I read a column the other about the under-recognized difficulties of parenting, when I came to this line: "And if you do it successfully, at some point you'll be rewarded with, 'I HATE YOU! YOU'VE RUINED MY LIFE!'" and so on. My favorite (not) was, "Please don't walk near me in the mall. I don't want anybody to know you're with me."

For me the hardest thing was that some situation I had never imagined would suddenly demand an instant response, and there was no time to think rationally. With my granddaughters it's easier; I'm seasoned now.

It pays to remind kids, as you did gently with the animals, that you hold the Supreme Power. For one thing you'll need them to believe it later when the challenges are scarier, and for another they need to feel safe. I think you're doing just great!

Pibble said...

My son, just turned 5, has, unfortunately, figured out that he has a gazillion stuffies and doesn't blink an eye when the non-favourites are taken away. There's just the two on his bed that he considers to be worth behaving for. He loses them quite regularly, but we have a system where he can earn them back with good behaviour, which helps teach him what we expect of him, and really helps with the Mommy Guilt.

Alwen said...

Bah, sometimes it seems I go through days and weeks of nagging and yelling, and what a heel I feel.

My mom used to say, "A mean mom is the best kind." Now I understand!