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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Follow through

Oh, those teachable moments. Those moments where you and your child are both about to learn an important lesson. Your child will learn that you mean what you say when you issue an ultimatum. You will learn that patience may be a virtue but that it is also in short supply at eight in the morning as you head out of the door on the way to school drop off.

The girl was a little edgy yesterday afternoon. She wasn't listening. She was testing the boundaries. She was yelling a lot. By this morning her edginess had transformed into full blown craziness. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

Standing on the front porch she told me she wanted to climb into the stroller while it was still on the porch. I told her I wanted her to wait until it was down on the sidewalk. Her response: a long, deafening scream. Long. Deafening.

I snapped. I picked her up and took her back into the house. I said if you are going to talk to me like that they you won't be going to school. I explained that we don't scream and we do listen. She cried. She promised she wouldn't scream. She swore she would listen. Okay, I said, you can go to school today but there is no more screaming and you have to start listening.

Outside we went. The husband picked her up to put her in the stroller. No, no, I want mommy to put me in the stroller she yelled. Followed by a long, deafening scream. Long. Deafening.

I wanted her to go to school. I wanted to take the boy to playgroup. Instead, I picked her out of the stroller yelling and screaming and carried her into the house. The husband brought the boy back inside. School was officially cancelled.

Here's the thing about those teachable moments. Sometimes they suck. Sometimes you don't know if you are doing the right thing. Sometimes you know you are doing the right thing but you really don't want to do it. Sometimes you want to look the other way and pretend that screaming at your mother is okay even though it isn't. Sometimes you don't want to follow through when it means all of you will be staying inside the house together.

But you have to follow though. So I tell myself. And I dream about the day when the follow through will involve her baking me a dozen cupcakes. And watch me eat them.


  1. I feel you. Parenting can put a total crimp in your plans for the day. But it sounds like you were pretty reasonable, under the circumstances.

    Also, mmm...cupcakes!

  2. The most important thing is to be consistent and you followed through with it! Next time she might not push it so far because she knows mommy is serious. Three was a tough age with my daughter since turning four it has been so wonderful I have to say! Your day will come soon with cupcakes and all!

  3. You did the right thing. Just so you know the SAME thing is happening at our house. It's nice to know we're not alone!

  4. 3 is definitely a challenge. They seem to want to push as every single little boundary to make sure it's solid. Every. single. one. A few times. It is exhausting. Good for you!

  5. Oh WISE and STRONG momma!! I sometimes give in more that I should...I should learn from you!! Who would have ever thought that NO SCHOOL would be a punishment! :D Last night, while I was doing the dishes my 3 yo decided that RED MARKER would look good on her FACE and legs and her little bros FACE and legs and the walls and the bed...sheets included!! Thankfully it was the Crayola washable marker and came off of the walls and faces easily...we will try again today for the legs!! I KNOW that was a "teaching moment", but I am not sure if I handled it well. She had to clean the walls and herself...I did the little bro and thankfully controlled my temper to beneath volcanic decibles since the big sis, dad, and grandma were already in bed!! I did swat her bottom as she was walking to the bathroom, and she STILL turned around and SASSED me!!! AHHH 3 year olds!!

  6. Doesn't it suck to have to draw a line in the sand and defend it when you don't even care about that particular line? Sage has asked me if she could do something that was only a minor inconvenience and I've said no without even really thinking about it. Then when she starts to pitch a fit I can't change my mind because she'll learn that fit pitching gets her what she wants...

  7. You said it in the title, follow through. Sometimes it can be horribly tough.

    I'm pretty proud of you~

  8. I've given in more than I should have in the past due to tiredness, and oh, am I paying the price right now. Sigh.

    Good for you following through, I'm still working on that.

  9. I have a very vivid memory of when I was younger and being removed from a restaurant by my father because he'd told me if I did whatever I was doing one more time we were leaving. I did it (whatever it was) and poof, he asked for the bill, paid for our drinks, and we all left without dinner. Never again did it happen. Lesson learned. Follow through is key...I hate seeing people make empty/ridiculous threats.

  10. 2 words: Strength and Patience
    I'm sending you a supply of each, along with a dozen chocolate cupcakes - virtually, of course.