Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Did I mention Saturday morning?

She's a tiger all right. Saturday morning was a battle with a little tiger. Greeley had been extra cranky and feisty for a few days. (Hindsight, as always, proves it was probably due to the impending stomach virus. At least, that's what I tell myself to feel better.) Saturday morning was when Greeley's recent discovery of her own identity butted up against my and Rich's insistence that she follow her parents' instructions.

Greeley and I were at the dining room table when I told her no to something. I can't even remember what it was. Isn't that always the way? She responded with a gracious toddler fit, screaming and throwing everything in front of her on the table onto the floor. "Greeley, no. We don't throw things on the floor. Pick it up." "No!" "Greeley, pick up the erasers and the pencil or you are going to time out." "No!" Off to time-out she went. Screaming "No!" the whole time.

Rich wakes up to this. This was about the point where time started to slow down for me. Rich claims the whole scene only took about half an hour. It felt easily like an hour, if not longer. She refused to pick up the erasers and pencils. We gave her opportunity after opportunity to do so. She kept refusing. At one point, she picked up the erasers. But the pencil? That was a sticking point for her. She absolutely refused. Back to time out, again and again. It kept occurring to me that this entire battle was over a stinking pencil. I know, as parents, we are supposed to pick our battles. However, Greeley picked this one.

At one point, Shea came slinking up the stairs quietly. He was ever so nonchalant as he began to pick up every pencil he could find on the floor. "Shea, are you picking up all the pencils?" "Yes. I just wanted Greeley to stop crying." Ever so sweet, but overruled by tyrannical Mom and Dad.

At another point, the crying coming from timeout was no longer a toddler's cries. She sounded like a helpless infant, crying out for me. No words, just cries. I had to go outside. I came back in and looked at Rich, doing the crossword puzzle at the table. "Really? It really doesn't bother you? You can listen to her cry like that and not want to go to her?" "Yes, because it's more important that she learns to listen to us."

In the end, Greeley picked up the pencil. I know we broke her fierce little spirit just a little. But it was necessary.

15 comments:

sheila said...

Oh, the fun tantrums. lol. Good luck with that.

Vodka Mom said...

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the pic on your header!!!

Vodka Mom said...

and I hate to be the bearer of bad news- but Bitchy STILL throws an occasional tantrum. and she's 19.

Small Pines said...

Heck, I still throw the occasional tantrum, and I'm 41. Of course, I do pick up my pencils. You're surely a warrior - this stuff always sounds incredibly tough.

speedymac77 said...

I feel for you. Mine had a tantrum at 25,000 feet. I think we were above Georgia. Being on a packed plane without a time out place (or a baby changing station) isn't fun. I gave in. But, you did the right thing!! Husbands can ignore anything - except with you mention food or beer.

Monique said...

You really must go and look at this web site, and listen tot he song, Psycho Mom and Dad....

http://simpleandtrue.homestead.com/momdad.html

You are not alone! Not that that makes it any easier...

Monique said...

That "Psycho Mom and Dad" web address, again, is:

http://simpleandtrue.homestead.com/
momdad.html

Don White is the artist, singer and song writter and just funny man.

Patioboater said...

Did speedymac say, "pizza and beer?"

the mama bird diaries said...

The tantrums are the worst. I hate listening to my kids cry.

speedymac77 said...

Patiobpater - exactly!!!

ADKMac said...

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Katrina said...

Hi, Give you lots of credit for patience. Keep up the good work. LOL.

Betsy said...

Oh, I FEEL your pain. I also have one who chooses the punishment ALMOST EVERY TIME...

Sometimes you have to be the parent (even when it stinks!!)

And, if it makes you feel better, I would have made her pick up the pencil, too. :-)

michael in dc said...

The last line was very poignant. I think this must be part of parenting that most people never think about and it sounds like one of the hardest. I guess we have no choice but to believe that they will be better off in then end (and surely we all know stories of indulged children who are horrible).

michael in dc said...

I also love the "possibly psycho" photo of Greeleytiger at the top of this entry. "You wanna test me? Hunh? You wanna?"