"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Prescribing the Nonsense

I love prescribing the problem, especially for tantrums. I adore any win-win situation: even if your lovely daughter has the tantrum, you still win, because you told her to. The tricky part is that you really have to be on your toes, and you have to have a good idea when the storm is going to hit. Your radar must be well-maintained, and I'm afraid mine has been known to collect some dust.

I got it out and brushed it off the other day. I took the kids to a movie, and movies tend to be lose-lose concerning Princess. Movies are probably too intense for her, she doesn't cue me when she's disturbed, and the content likely whizzes past her. However, I can't very well take the other children and leave her with a babysitter, not unless she begs to be left behind, which she would never ever do. So.

On the way home from the movie, Princess was holding up ok. She almost always has a tantrum somewhere between 6:00 and 7:30, and I was pretty sure it was a given that night from the stimulation of the movie. But I struggled, because, well, what if she didn't? In the end, I decided to prescribe. As she was getting out of the Suburban I said, "when do you plan to have your fit tonight: before dinner or after?" She looked at me, then shrugged her shoulders and started to move on. I intercepted her and said again, "when do you plan on having your fit: before dinner or after?" "I don't know." "Well, let's hang out here together for a minute while you think, then."


"Ok. We'll plan on bedtime at 7:15. That way you'll have plenty of time to have your fit and be settled down by 8:00."

Right then, I knew it was the right choice, because a foul look passed over her face and she started fussing about having to go to bed first.

"Oh, did you change your mind? Before dinner then?"


"Honey, it doesn't matter to me when you have it; I just like to know ahead of time so we can plan to make it as comfortable for you as possible."


"Ok, then we'll just stick with after dinner. Not a problem."

She stomped inside and appeared at the table with said foul look, and ate dinner. When Josh started her bedtime instructions, she began to fuss about going to bed, and I called up to her,

"Right on time! How about that? Great planning, Princess!"

(Silence. For the rest of the night)

See? Win-win.


  1. Behavior prescriptions are the bomb. Love'em and couldn't live without'em.

  2. *snort* I love that! Honestly I even have fun with it. How sad is my life that that passes for fun!