now i get it!

For the haters in the group, I will admit to having a pretty perfect kid. No real tantrums, and that handful at age two were weak, at best. We talk about things; there is rarely a need for a timeout; I believe my toddler to be a reasonable little person.

No longer.

I understand how you can want to slap your kid - after tossing the evil dwarf across the room and into her bed.

Last night she decided she'd sleep with us. We did the usual 'comfort Rio and discuss irrational fears and read her a story and everyone goes to sleep' routine. Except. Last night she decided she was having none of it.

"I sleep with you. I don't sleep in my bed." and that little gem was repeated 20 or so times. It was replaced, at midnight, by "I CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN'T SLEEEEEEEEP IN MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED"!!!!! at the very top of her lungs for just over an hour. Thoughtfully, she repeatedly brought the insane monkey show to the foot of our bed in the unlikely event we couldn't hear her histrionics.

I calmly took her back to bed about 30 times. I calmly picked her up off the floor and managed to get that elastic-arms-straight-over-head wormlike body up and into her bed again and again. I calmly blocked the fade left/shoot right move she used to try to get by me to the more malleable Bear. (She completely telegraphs, by the way, and always goes left fade/right run. Dumbass.) I calmly, and wisely, put one earplug in and put her over that shoulder so I'd be able to hear today. Bear and I snipped at one another because it's not okay to take things out on a child. I laughed at her absurd anger and cried at her frustration. But I held the line.

***

Parenting is hard. It is one thing to imagine your child pushing against the imaginary bubble of her world; desperately needing that bubble to remain solid so she can focus her energies on exploring the unknown - safe in the knowledge that her world is secure. It is quite another to stand in the face of that category 5 storm and hold that line for her.

I'm proud of myself today. I didn't give. All the shingles blew off but I kept the damaging rains away. I hear her now, just awakening, and she's singing.

***

If she pulls that shit again today, watch for her on Ebay.

12 comments:

Sarah said...

For what it's worth, I think two year olds get a bum rap. Sure, they are learning the power of "no," but I don't think they come close to the pure evil and obstinancy of the threes.*


*This opinion does reflect that of the management. No children were harmed in the forming of this opinion, but the mother may never recover

Tuesday Girl said...

I have had those days and nights. Every child is different and they all are difficult sometimes.

hungry heppo said...

go YOU, nita girl! you did the best thing you ever could. chances are, she will not attempt that again (or, not many times if she gets the same results she did last night).

i've always said (in my infinite - NOT! - wisdom) that kids are constantly testing boundaries. and the boundaries are ever-changing. too many parents wait to tighten the reins a bit until ages where kids really need a little freedom.

just me said...

man, you're a good mom.


when a kid does that around me, i just bribe him with donuts.


(kidding)


(maybe)

piglet said...

bravo, i'm feeling you on this. i have to pick my battles. usually by night time, i'm exhausted. their jobs are to test us for the rest of their lives. oh joy :)

kate said...

You're doing good. Hang in there.

(Just remember to add the "as is" clause to the Ebay listing. ;-) )

Sally said...

You did great!

I've heard horror stories about one of my cousins keeping her whole family awake every night. My uncle got fed up and locked her in the garage (just for a few minutes!) he was at his wit's end! She grew up to be the most headstrong yet stable of his daughters.

nita said...

*sarah: i was warned, but ignored that warning. now i'm learning the power of 3

*tues: i know, i don't usually complain but sometimes....

*hh: i can tell if i'm doing the tough thing cuz i want to hold her all the time. the struggle is recognition AND execution

*just: okay, i changed my mind about you babysitting!!!

nita said...

*piglet: the better we do our jobs, the easier it is for them to leave us. what a fucking system.

*kate: 'as is' isn't as important as 'absolutely no returns'!!!

*sal: garage. hmmmm. interesting...

aliastaken said...

I had a few nights (ok, a week) of the screaming to get out of her room at night (Emileigh slept in a toddler bed from age just-under-two on). I had no problem with her sleeping with me, but I wasn't in bed when this would occur. I finally put up a baby gate and let her scream her head off at the door. (Once, I did put her on the porch for a few minutes. It sounds bad but was better than putting her through the wall.) Once she fell asleep on the floor by the gate, I would remove the gate and put her in bed. She routinely got up at three am and crawled into bed with me (for like, a year or two), but that was ok with me. I won the battle at the door. Mommy must win certain battles or baby will never learn to follow rules.

nita said...

alias:
i check your blog all the time. write, wouldya??!!

Beth said...

We're all for threating to find "a roving band of gypsies." They're always looking for fresh kids for quick sale. Of course, we know we'd get top dollar for Kitten, having blue eyes and all.