Wednesday, May 31, 2006

2006, 05/31 - Blathering

1) Don't even bother trying to Google "preschooler tantrums" or "preschooler whining". Just don't. Because this is what you get:

A. "The other night, Bunny was being rambunctious, throwing things around her bedroom while I was trying to get the girls ready for bed. I warned her that if she kept it up she would not be allowed to bake cookies with me once my toddler was asleep. She then picked up a tube of diaper cream, and when I asked her for it, she threw it at me (so tired of the throwing!). It hit my toddler in the face making her hysterical. I sent Bunny to her room, told her she wasn't baking cookies, and that was that. When I went to check on her 10 minutes later, she was asleep." Oh, she fell asleep! Great! That solves everything! "Hey, Munchkin! Stop whining! Go to sleep! Need help? Here's some vodka!"


B. "[Another morning,] as my husband walked out the door to go to work, he bent over to give the girls kisses good-bye and Bunny turned her cheek and ran away in a huff. He said, "Papa's leaving. Can I have a kiss?" She replied, "No!" So he walked out the door. Well, of course, that set her off. "Waaaaah! I wanted to kiss, Papa!" I explained to her that Papa didn't want to be late for the bus, and that she had two chances to give him a kiss. We talked about why she was being so grouchy (she couldn't find her other shoe), and that if she needed something to "use her words." Next time, you bet she will give him that kiss." "You bet"? "You BET"? Just like that? "YOU BET"?

and this from Dr Benjamin Spock:

C. "Many children whine at only one parent, not both, although some are equal-opportunity whiners. In this case, whining often expresses not simply a habit or a mood in a child but also an attitude toward, or a slightly disturbed relationship with, that parent." "Disturbed relationship"? Between ME and MY MUNCHKIN?! You go to HELL! You GO to hell and you DIE, DR SPOCK!

1b. I already know whining is usually related to hunger or tiredness. We have practiced the "Avoidance Of Fun Things For Mommy To Do Because It Is The End Of The Day And Munchkin Is Tired And Won't Be Any Fun But If We Just Go Straight Home And Eat And Go To Sleep Everything Will Be Fine Although Boring" technique for years. As recommended by my still-beloved-though-a-little-less-so-than-last-week Dr Sears. This technique is starting to suck, because, hello, I have decided I would like to have a life now? Munchkin is five years old? I am not getting any younger? I am single? I need to get out of the house and make friends now? Okay, so example "A" above does not impress me. Tired children have tantrums. I know. Hungry children have tantrums. I know. (This is why the back seat of my beloved car is covered in crumbs. "Eat Cheerios and be happy, Child!") Example A, you are nothing to me. Thanks.

1c. Now, example "B": The whole "You created this situation when you..." and "Why do you think this happened..." and "How do you feel when blah blah blah..." does not work with Munchkin. I'm sorry. It doesn't. I laughed my ass off reading example "B". Munchkin is stubborn. She'd decide never to kiss Papa again. This is the girl who starves herself if you put the wrong plate of food in front of her. This is the girl who turned around, laughed, and claimed, "That didn't hurt!" when I once made an attempt at spanking. This is the girl who went all day long without using the restroom at her new school because she did not want to talk to the teacher to find out if she needed to ask permission to go--and continued holding it all day long for several days, until we asked for her. This is the girl whose halo is really, truly, held up by horns. She is going to rule the world someday. But first she is cutting her teeth on breaking me.

1d. And, Dr Spock, that was just mean.

1e. But I know I created this situation myself. Munchkin is a strong personality, but she is also my first child and therefore my experiment and I don't really have a mother and I don't actually know what the hell I'm doing and I know this is just a phase brought on by the finalization of the divorce and my dating and whatnot but still oh my god I just don't know what I'm doing and this is crazy and I should have done SO MANY THINGS differently with her and now I have to start being more firm with her to undo some things I unconsciously taught her she could get away with but this isn't even fair because it's all MY fault; children don't raise themselves and why did I think that just because she is a genius she would figure out socialization and respect all by herself...

2. She hates that I am dating. She hated when I was married to her own father and he and I would even dare try to hug each other. I dropped everything of myself for her. I did not want to be a selfish child-hater like my mother. I went overboard. I let the marriage suffer (although not me alone, by any stretch). I never went out. I never did anything except take care of her, and read, and play on the computer, and cook. This was wrong. I would not do this with a second child.

2b. But Munchkin caught me so off-guard! I love her so much! I want her to have everything! I want things to happen for her! ...But I didn't have to give up my Self for her. Shit, and now I want my Self back, and she thinks my Self belongs to her... Maybe I can sneeeak my Self out of her death-grip while she's sleeping one night...

3. But! Guess what! Whiny phase is normal! Spoiled children in this town are normal! Parents making mistakes is normal! I! AM! NOT! THE! ONLY! ONE!

4. Munchkin is an AWESOME kid. Honestly. She is SO GOOD at school. She is SO SMART. She is SO BEAUTIFUL.

5. But I think she's really pissed-off at me. She doesn't understand why I don't still love her daddy. She is afraid I will love my new beau more than her, though I've told her a hundred times that she will always be my Number One Girl. I love her to pieces.

5b. I wish I could find the right thing to say. We've been having so many Talks, and I just don't know if I'm getting through to her yet. Sigh...

5c. GAWD, I'm such a PANSY! My daughter's not even AFRAID of me!

Well, whatever. Look how big she is!

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