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)