"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."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wedding Weekend

We left Friday to attend a family wedding six hours away. I adore Josh's extended family and was really looking forward to being there, but I bet, if you try, you can imagine some of the trepidation we were feeling.

It began by Buddy asking to have the seating arrangement changed. He was very polite and reasonable, and he has been back there getting smacked up for a looooong time, so I granted him his "break." Unfortunately, the Cuddle Bear cannot manage her seat belt herself, and I will! not! have Princess in the middle row until she's done screaming in the car, so that left Peanut having to go back there. Which is the most volatile child-child combo in the family. And which led to some interesting conversations like "why can't Iiiiiiiii sit in the middle row?" (because, Princess, it's unsafe for the driver when you are screaming in his/her ears and kicking his/her seat. He/she may get distracted and cause an accident), and "but why do Iiiiiiii have to sit by Princess?" (because, Peanut, someone has to and Buddy has been doing it for a long time and needs and deserves a break).

But, really, the trip there went better than could possible be expected. There were disagreements and incidences aplenty, but hammering the visitor/daughter choices and privileges actually kept her on track and diffused a surprising amount. We continually pointed out the "family privileges" she was receiving by doing the family work- getting to go into the restaurant instead of waiting for her dinner in the car with me, treats, swimming in the pool instead of going to bed- and things stayed fairly stable.

The pool. We didn't get to the hotel until 9:30, way, way, waaaaay past Princesses bedtime. But I was pretty sure a swim would be worth it, and so we went. She hit the wall with the hot tub. All the kiddos wanted in, but we sat ourselves in it and only let them dangle their feet. Three of four children asked why and then stuck their feet in. Princess stomped around behind us claiming it wasn't "fair, because Daddy and Mommy get two pools and I only get one." We explained (once) that is was, indeed, "fair," because when she was a grown-up, she could choose two as well. Then we let her be, because she was clearly intent on being miserable. After a while, Josh said, "we'd better get her back in the water," so I swooped her back into the pool and sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat over and over and OVER while Mommy and Me swimming with her. She groused mildly the whole time, but I could tell she liked it. We went back to the room (suite! oh blessed suite! suite that comfortably sleeps six instead of four! suite with a DOOR between rooms! oh how I love you, dear suite!), and I laid down with her and she went to sleep. I went into the other room (I love you, suite!) and kissed Josh and said, "that..was a combination of a miracle and some fantabulous parenting, my love!"

And the whole weekend went pretty much the same way. Oh, there were times. Princess had a thing on a run to Wal-Purgatory and ended up required to hold my hand in the store (family work = family privileges!). When she started stomping her feet, Josh and I, in the very same milisecond, stomped along with. And it finally happened. I'm surprised it took this long, actually. Buddy turned around from pushing the younger girls in a cart and hissed, "Mom! We're in a store! People are going to think you are crazy!"

I do wonder why I'm the only one who got hissed at. Dad was doing it too. It's not faaaaaaaaaaair. But I digress.

And there was a big one. Josh and I just happened, unbeknownst to the kiddos, to be discussing getting ice cream on the way back from Wal-Prison, when Princess hauled off and clobbered Peanut. Josh questioned out loud whether Princess should be invited to ice cream, and I said, "no. Princess and I have been doing a lot of talking about family work and family privileges. She knows she wasn't doing family work. And she knows she's not going to get the next family privilege." Hard, yes. Loud, yes yes. But I do believe the point got across. When Josh dumped us off at the hotel (no ice cream for me. Now, if you want to talk "faaaaaaaair," that is not, and believe you me I pointed it out), my sister-in-law and nephew happened to be outside, so Josh invited Nephew to take Princess's place. Oh ho ho. You can imagine how well that went over. Then I added, "you know Princess, I'm feeling a little tired. And I bet you are too, because fussing takes a lot of energy. This will be a perfect time for a rest." She kicked the curtains. She crabbed. She flailed and tried to make it look like my perfectly still body was hurting her. She tried incessantly to argue with my closed and fake-snoring mouth. But she did. not. scream. She didn't. Maybe it helped that there was an entire wedding party outside our door when we went in, but that wouldn't have necessarily made any difference in the past.

I think she is really trying. We may be working with plain old habit now. Most of the weekend, she was completely delightful.

Now if I can summon enough energy to keep on top of her today, we'll be golden. For today.

1 comment:

  1. LOL! You must have a really big van for all the seating!
    Poor thing, no ice cream. You, I mean. Stinks!