Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Save the drama for your Mama

AH, four year-olds. And DOUBLE AH, four year-olds with a spunky, obstinate streak. Julia's moods can fluctuate so wildly, in an adult I think she might be diagnosed as bipolar. Yesterday we had a lovely day much of the day. In fact, I was told, "Mama, you are the best Mama in the world and I am never going to send you away." That's quite a compliment coming from a four year-old... though this begs the question, was there ever a doubt in her mind that I was going to stick around?

However, by day's end, demon child emerged. The demon child decided she didn't want to eat her salmon for dinner (she LOVES salmon), and when her Daddy asked her to take a bite, she turned to him and in a very surly voice shouted, "N, O, NO!" and dinnertime turned into time out, tantrum, throw body weight against the door, take away television privileges for two more days on top of the four days lost previously in the week, lose the CD player in your room, no stories or books before bedtime time. GOOD times.

The thing I don't get is this: Dave and I have been VERY consistent in doling out the consequences. When I say something is going to happen, you can be pretty damned sure it is going to happen. If I say we will leave the playground if X happens again, we are leaving the playground kicking, screaming, biting, and dragging a melting down child 20 blocks. So I don't understand - the testing? WHY would you test me when I say, "Julia, throw your weight against that door one more time and you will lose your show for another day" or "you won't get books this evening" WHY WHY WHY do it again? It never ends well, it's never reinforced, so SERIOUSLY, why drive your parents crazy and lose privileges???

Dave says we should honor who she is - that is is spunky, strong-willed, opinionated, and fiercely independent - all things that will translate well into adulthood. It's not that I don't honor her and love her for who she is - she's tremendously entertaining and loving and sweet. However, all of those head-strong qualities make for a VERY challenging four year-old... and cause Mommy to drink more than her fair share of pinot grigio.

1 comment:

  1. My question to you is WHY even try to answer that question! It's hopeless........