"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."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taking Turns

My girls take turns. Isn't that just super nice of them.


Yesterday was Therapy Day, and Princess was being pretty pleasant, playing a game with me while Peanut had her session. Princess went in for hers, and Peanut selected a book for me to read. After a few, the Cuddle Bear brought her favorite look and find book over, and I read that, too. This is pretty much our Princess-session routine. However, this time Peanut wanted to change it up a little. Peanut wanted to be the boss of the Cuddle Bear's choices, as well as her own. It did not go over well.

Now, of course, I know it was not about the book. Or even about being in charge. It was about Mrs. B being gone and Peanut having a full-time sub.

Peanut sat in grouchy silence for the 45-minute drive home. As they were coming in the house, some combination of Princess tripping and Peanut trampling Princess got Princess upset and I said these war-starting words:

"Please check on Princess."

Pretty controversial, I know. So Peanut went nuts-o. I told her that I could see she was not ready to check on Princess, no problem, I had plenty of time to cuddle her while she got strong enough, and I carried her to the sofa.

Every time Peanut screamed at me to shut up or tried to tell me what I was going to do, I kissed her, telling her I was giving her mouth some extra sweetness. This did not make her happy, apparently. I saw what was coming and had a split-second to decide what to do, but I was not exactly prepared for the skill, speed, and accuracy she seemed to have developed in Loogie Spitting. I have no idea where she learned it or when she practiced, but it was a good one. So, inwardly retching and trying not to vomit, I rubbed the disgusting hunk of five-year-old saliva into my face and neck, telling her in detail how I was so glad she did that, because now I would smell JUST LIKE HER! And mommies always smell a lot like their babies. Isn't that great?

It was and it wasn't. It totally broke Peanut down. She started sobbing instead of screaming, and eventually calmed down. I told her she'd need to pay me back for the time she spent screaming; she could choose a quiet rest in my bed or straightening the entryway. She chose the entryway. Apparently, she was still a wee bit disregulated, however, because she trashed the entryway like it had never been trashed before. I said, "hmm. You made some extra work for yourself, didn't you. That's ok; I know you'll take care of it."

And she did. While I furiously and furtively scrubbed my face raw with antibacterial soap.

Meanwhile, Princess was gearing up for her turn. Shortly before dinner she disappeared, and didn't come down when I called her for dinner. Eventually she joined us and said, "Mom! I put the window back up and cleaned up the Easter grass from my tantrum!"
Me: "You, um, did that this morning, honey."
Princess: "Yeah! And I did most of my laundry! I only have to do my shirts now!"
Me: "Ugggghhhohhhh." Because "Me" knows what's coming next.

We finish dinner. I do the dishes. Princess said,
"Mom? Can I have my treat now?"

There it is.

"Princess, three days ago I told you if you wanted a treat you would need to finish your laundry by dinner time. Three days ago."
(Immediately escalating)"But! But! But you said (something I didn't say)! You said (something different I didn't say)! Wait. No. You said (a third thing I didn't say)! SEE! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!!! NOW I'M CONFUSED AND YOU!!!!!! WON'T!!!!! TELL ME! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

By this time I was in the middle of giving Peanut a shower, so I told Princess that she seemed to need some extra Mommy Time, so to go ahead and get on her pajamas and brush her teeth. Which she did not do as she preferred screaming "I'm not going to bed" at the top of her lungs, and throwing over a shelf full of toys.

I laid down with her and sang to her and did all the Mommy Time stuff, and then I said (well, sang to the tune of Rock-a-Bye Baby, but no one really wants to hear that), "hey. I know you don't want to go to bed right now, and you're probably not tired. So when I tell you good-night, be sure to get out of bed, stomp your feet, and scream about not doing stuff you know I want you to do. And, you've got lots of time to pay me back tomorrow, so you should probably dump over shelves and throw the toys, too." No sarcasm. I knew she was going to do it, so I was simply letting her know I knew.

Only here's the thing: she didn't do it. There was moderate moaning after I left the room, but that was all. This is unprecedented. The times, they are a-changin.

Which means it's almost Peanut's turn again.


  1. Kerrie, I just want you to know that I'm out here reading and thinking how much some of your daughters' behaviors are like some of my daughter's behaviors. I am thankful that the Lord has given us the grace to get through these episodes (mostly) unscathed...our girl is 15 and has been home with us for nine months. She is not like this all the time, but when she is, it is quite traumatic for me, a first-time mom, for my husband, a first-time dad, and for our other daughter, who is 14 and was adopted at the same time. We continue to pray for her and see some encouraging growth, and I am so glad for you all when you see some, too. I am not writing about our life yet, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to, but I am encouraged by you, and I will pray for you all. Thank you for sharing!

  2. It's not for the weak-kneed, that's for sure!

  3. Loogie Spitting- didn't I see that during the Olympics?

  4. I complain that mine take turns, and then they both go at the same time and I realize I much prefer taking turns!

    Mary in TX