"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, May 14, 2010

That Went Well...

So Princess gets home and she tells me she's going to go to the bathroom. Good start. She comes out, and I say, "ok Princess, time to get on your pajamas and brush your teeth."

"WHAT! But it's not bedtime!"
"No, it's not, but I know getting your pajamas on at bedtime is very, very hard. I love to help make things easier for you, and practice usually makes things easier. So you get to practice getting your pajamas on without fussing earlier when you're not so tired. When you get really good at it, we can make it a little later."


I guess she still needs practice.

After a lot of stomping and wailing and threats of defiance, Princess came back downstairs, wearing pajamas. She came into to kitchen and looked at the fridge. The following conversation was in a relaxed, cheerful tone with lots of hugs and snuggles and kisses and massages. On my part. I can't quite say the same for Princess.

"Where's my homework card?"

"Oh. I threw it away."
"Well, I did a lot of thinking last night. A lot. And I realized that I care about your homework more than you do. And I care about you getting prizes more than you do. And that is just WEIRD!" So I decided to let go of having to care more about your homework than you do. I'm not going to do that anymore; it's too much work and frustration for me.

So. Starting tomorrow, you will have 30 minutes of homework time at the table. If you don't care about getting the points at school, you don't have to do homework- you can look at the books I put there or write in a notebook instead. You decide whether to do homework. If you decide not to, you decide what to do with the time at the table. If you decide not to sit in your chair, I will sit with you and give you some extra attention. Then you decide whether to have a tantrum. Don't worry about me if you decide on a tantrum; you can pay me back with peace and quiet or by doing some of my work, whatever sounds good to me. But I will only be caring about your homework as much as you do, not more."

"But that's toooooo loooooong WAAAAAAAH!"

"No Princess! It's shorter! Isn't that GREAT! I love to make things easier for you, because I love you."

And this is where things got a little weird. She paced the house like a caged animal- for HOURS. She alternated by going into one of the designated scream areas to scream and clamping her mouth shut against the screams, which continued the zoo animal theme. THEN, she began to gnaw on one of the wood dining room chairs. That one was pretty alarming. But I reminded her that we do not chew on chairs at our house, we bite carrots instead. I set a carrot near the chair she was biting. She ate it. She didn't bite the chair again, but she was very, very, VERY disregulated until bedtime.

And as I was writing this, I realized that she has never, never been that disregulated for that long. Why? Because she always escalates into a rage. So although this was all HIGHLY disturbing to watch, I think it actually signifies progress.

Which makes me think: what the heck kind of crazy bizarro-world do I live in where THAT is progressive?

Scary, isn't it.


  1. It is the crazy-bizarro-world of parenting. And it sounds like you are incredibly creative and quick on your feet. I agree, it actually does sound like progress.

  2. Yep, progress. If it held off the wango tango it is probably good.

  3. It just disturbs me on so many levels. I would much rather furniture eating any day over a rage, so that's good, right? Armadillo does it too.

  4. Progress indeed! Welcome to my planet. Or should I welcome myself to yours....hmmm...
    You are doing a great job Kerrie. I have used the same "I care as much as you do" technique with my kids. It really helps keep me sane. Miracles do happen.

  5. You are so incredibly smart! Handled it brilliantly yet again.

    Next time out-crazy her to just see what happens. Lick the floor (I'm sure your floor is spotless!), the curtains, or something else equally insane. "oh darling...thank you for letting me know you want to (insert bizarro behavior). I think I'll join you...I've been really wanting to (insert your bizarro behavior). Gets my girls every single time. :)

    You are so good at this. Truly you're a natural. :)