Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Battle of Wills

Lately I just feel like every other conversation I have with Miss D is a battle of wills. This morning was a doozy.

Husband has his test today so he was staying home to study. Normally I am getting Miss D ready to go while he is making us coffee, etc. Today I was doing everything so by the time I got her started to go she was really dragging her feet about everything. She needed a headband. She needed some juice. She needed to use the potty. (for frickin’ ever). At this point we are running late, but of course, trying to hurry her only makes things worse. Now she needed a vitamin. I said we didn’t have time for a vitamin (because having a vitamin involves her taking it out of the bottle herself and spilling some on the floor and blah blah blah) and that she could have one when we got home. Tantrum ensues.

Husband has now come downstairs and I am refusing to give in on the vitamin- because I have made my stand dammit!- so he has to back me up. But now she won’t leave the house until she has a vitamin. I say I will count to 3 and if she doesn’t start going to the car then she can’t have a vitamin later either. The countdown ends quickly. Next I say that if she doesn’t come to the car by the count of 3 I will leave her home toy ( a toy that she gets to take to school) at home. Again, the countdown is over and she hasn’t budged. (Actually there’s probably a number of extra countdowns in there but for the sake of brevity…) Finally husband says that if she doesn’t go out to the car he will pick her up and carry her out to the car. Another countdown passes and I am chasing her around the house till he gets her and carries her out, screaming for all the neighbors to enjoy. She has grabbed her home-toy, a squishy car of Lightening McQueen from the movie Cars. (whom she calls Lightening the Queen). In anger, she throws the toy to the ground. Once in the car she screams and cries for Lightening the Queen, but is informed by Husband that she is the one that threw him and now it is too late.

Now I start to drive. She screams. She kicks the seat. She wails. She begs. She asks nicely. All to no avail. We are two thirds of the way there before she thinks to unbuckle her seatbelt. I tell her that it is not safe to have her seatbelt off (it is still across her lap) as calmly as I can. I want to avoid making the seatbelt thing a huge issue so that it doesn’t become a weapon for her in later battles. So I do not pull over and I do not yell about it but tell her that she could get hurt without the seatbelt on and that getting hurt is not going to help her get what she wants. She calms down a bit. Whimpering and occasionally breaking into tears at the thought of not having a home-toy to sleep with at nap time.

When we finally get to school, she is momentarily distracted by a very stupid thing I do* which enables me to get her into school before she starts crying again. Where I am blessedly able to hand her off to the capable staff.

These are the days when it’s just impossible to feel like a good parent.

* I won’t go into detail, but I will just say the very stupid thing involved me causing some minor damage to my car. Causing me for the umpteenth time to wish we just had a goddamn Honda and not a car that causes Husband to have a heart attack anytime anything happens to it. Meaning I have his anger and a lecture to look forward to this evening. (sigh)

9 comments:

Styling with Renee Michelle said...

I hope you'll still commend yourself for keeping your cool.
Isn't it nice to have a blog where you can blow off steam like this?

Mom said...

I don't know of any parent who has not had days like that. Some of us had more than others. Hope husband wasn't too upset.

tim said...

Poor Stef.. mornings/days like that suk ass.
After Jocelyn, I gave up thinkin' what the neighbors thought, LOL.

BTW, tell Jon to quit being a wuss and get an element :) we hope YOU are doing okay...

Dad said...

Damn daughter that was like having a flashback. I honestly don't know how I ever survived child rearing. You are a saint in comparison. Big hugs and a wishing you a Honda :)

Bernice said...

A bad day does not make you a bad parent. I doubt that the events of this day will cause permanent damage to your daughter. But it is frustrating as heck.

Pulisha said...

I will simply echo the comments above. We all have days like this, and they always suck. When J is kicking my chair and or screaming and writhing around on the floor of the grocery store (sigh), I try to picture her doing her Tinkerbell princess dance and telling me that I am the most Tinkerbell mama ever (the highest compliment one can be paid by J). Not saying that actually works, but it's always worth a try, lol. Big hugs to you!

kegz said...

Can't tell you how many times I've felt just like that. Watch Louis CK. He'll make you feel better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u2ZsoYWwJA

Anonymous said...

I will share with you a quote from Ellie's teacher, that I now use when my kids are acting up: I say "Jonas (or Ella), you are making a bad decision right now!" I have to say, her good decision/bad decision thing has really worked on some of the more difficult-to-manage personalities. Lisa

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

Wow! You wrote that really well. I was in the house with you! I don't know how parents do it to tell you the truth. All I can say is that we never had countdowns when I was a kid. Mom asked and we did. No bones about it. They never gave in and you didn't want to suffer the wrath of "when Dad gets home".