Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins | Posted on 10-05-2011
Tags: behavior, flu, Gina Perkins, Preschool Mommie, rebel, rebelling, tantrums, timeouts, toddler
Come on people, what sort of spell did you cast on me? Last week I announce that I have officially graduated from New Mommy to Preschool Mommy, and you sprinkle a bunch of Toddler Voodoo over me? Just wanted to make sure I had a proper induction into the Hall of Tantrums, did ya? Well, be proud of yourselves – I have arrived.
This has been one heck of a week. DJ caught her first tummy flu ever – and man, what an experience. The worst of it it only lasted for 36 hours, which I understand makes us pretty lucky considering the vicious bug that seems to be going around. The poor kid woke up puking out of a dead sleep at 11:00 pm on Friday night, and didn’t stop until Sunday morning.
If you’ve never experienced a vomiting child, let me tell you – it’s as heartbreaking as it is dramatic. My husband and I have never felt so totally helpless in our parenting lives. There was nothing we could do beside comfort her – and clean up after her. Poor thing. Needless to say, my Mother’s Day wasn’t what we had planned it to be…..trust me, wearing DJ’s barf wasn’t high on the list of celebratory ideas.
But oh, what a difference a few days make! DJ, feeling remarkably better – and clearly suffering from pent up energy, has taken “tantrum” to a whole new level. She was TERRIBLE yesterday. Terrible. Now, I absolutely adore the pants off my daughter – but I dreamt of Calgon taking me away at least a dozen times yesterday. She rebelled against every single thing that we requested of her, and literally laughed in the face of discipline. You know it’s a bad day when your kid answers with a resounding “YES,” when asked if they want another timeout.
DJ was placed in three timeouts throughout the course of dinner. For quite some time now, she has been out of her highchair and using a booster seat. Because she was sick all weekend, she had quickly gotten used to eating her popsicles, toast, rice and applesauce on the couch – in the comfort of her favorite blankie, or our arms. Last night, she wasn’t so stoked to be back at the table – and she definitely let us (and any neighbor within 1 square block of us) know. She screamed. She wailed. She threw herself onto the ground.
The picture above is how we ended dinner. Don’t let the inability of a photograph to translate sound deceive you – she wasn’t resting peacefully, she was screaming. At this point of the evening, we decided there was absolutely no reasoning with her, and that timeouts were somehow becoming a welcomed game. Oh. My. Gosh. What do you do when timeouts lose their power? (Oh, and notice the owl fabric covering the chair? Yeah, that was my brilliant attempt at making DJ’s chair something super special that I was sure would make her want to sit in it. Lets just say this – it only inspired loud owl sounds to abound throughout the house as she stomped from room to room).
Fast forward to bath time. The words “Be careful with your vagina,” actually came out of my mouth. Seriously. As I watched DJ contort her body, and her girl parts, in an effort to get a closer look – I was half afraid she was going to hurt herself, and half relieved that she was finally, quietly concentrating on something……anything.
In the moments that followed – putting on PJ’s, reading a bedtime story (which, apparently, I did all wrong tonight), brushing teeth and getting into bed, my husband and I shared knowing looks of defeat, sprinkled in with a few giggles. I mean, as frustrating as DJ’s behavior was – it was also so totally and completely ridiculous. Was this really happening? What on earth are her teenage years going to look like, and how in the world are we going to prepare for that?
Once we finally got her into bed, I suggested we say our prayers. As I was saying something like, “PLEASE Dear Lord, take the devil out of this child,” I opened one eye and saw DJ with hands clasped together in front of her, and eyes closed tightly. My prayers softened, my muscles relaxed, my jaw unclenched and DJ ever-so-sweetly reached out her hand and clasped it around one of my fingers.
In that moment, I decided I wouldn’t be selling her to the gypsies after all.