“I’ve Got This Thing Down Pat”…. Said No Parent Ever

I had a moment of weakness. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe it was after a needed glass of wine. Or maybe I just lost it entirely. But I uttered those words. I’ve got this . I practically patted myself on the back.

I jinxed it. That’s what I really did. How dare I even think of that phrase, let alone whisper it for anyone to hear. I know these kids have bionic, selective hearing. That must be what happened; they heard me. crap.

It started out with me losing it one night because my daughter took it upon herself to turn into a sleep-deprived lunatic when we were putting her to bed. All while her brother slept in his bed in the same room. I’m sure she’s not the only one who has thrown such a fit, but just in case, let me set the scene. She’s screams for for me to be quiet and it’s not fair while kicking and hitting everything in sight. Throwing toys, books, etc. Even mattresses do not escape her wrath.

Apparently, the nightly ritual of reading, lullabies, and cuddling are far from enough when we were almost 2 hrs past her bedtime. How do I fix this frantic lunacy that is occurring right before my very eyes? I argue and yell louder than my 6 year old, obviously. I will gain the upper hand and show her how a parent should behave! All while my son is peacefully dreaming of heroes and cars 6 ft away from me.

Parent of the year contender right here.

After numerous tears and hearing my daughter tell my husband in a separate room how she doesn’t want to see me anymore tonight, I, of course felt like crap. Guilt. Damn you.

Fast forward 2 days later: a calmer approach. Once again, the evening hours become the witching hours. I restrained myself and talk to her calmly. No more yelling. But it didn’t work. She thought I was bluffing when I said I was taking things away. I continued talking calmly. Instead we were down to no privileges (tv,kindle,games,etc) for over a week before the sun dawned on her and she realized I wasn’t kidding.

I don’t blame her for putting up that big of a fuss. Our track record for following through with punishments for an entire day is far from stellar. But things began to change. We told her she would get privileges back if she made good choices. She ended up whittling it down to 5 days (from 8 days).

In the middle here is where my mind let go. This is where I pulled my shoulders back, slapped a smile on my face and uttered those words. I’ll be damned if that night she proved me wrong. She got all of her 8 days back after another tantrum before bed.

I jinxed it. Screwed it all up. For seconds, I thought I had it figured out. I thought I knew how my daughter ticked. I imagined only happy days filled with mother-daughter moments. No more arguing as our identical personalities got in our way. No more stubbornness.

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Reality hit me right in the face as she screamed at me to be quiet; ripping her blanket off of her bed; throwing her pillows to the ground.

Never again will I faulter. I will never think for a second that I have it figured out. But I’ll try to keep my voice down. After all, I do remind her how I’m the parent. I’m sure as she gets older and hormones take over, we’ll be fighting another up hill battle. I’m so grateful she’s only 6.

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