"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."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sowing and Reaping

The last few days have been bleak, frustrating, and full of ennui. It's been hard to write, because I don't want to say nothing but complaints about how boring and useless Princess's tantrums are. Add to that the frustration level of the other children. Buddy's crabby in general and far less tolerant of Princess. Peanut's anger is quick to flare. The other day she told me, as I closed the door on her time-out, that she was going to call 911 to report that I was a "shut-up face."

Good thing there isn't a phone in my room.
Crap. I left a phone in my room.

Open door. Take phone between 91 and 1. Wonder if I should call 911 to warn them the may get a call from a five-year-old because her mother is reportedly a shut-up face. Decide against it.

And Amiya threw and dead on copy-cat tantrum because I made her come out from under the desk where Jorge was hiding. Dead on. Packaged complete with pinching, biting, kicking, slapping, "you're hurting me," "I have to go to the bathroom SOOOO! BAAAAAD!," and "I have an itch." Very disturbing, but I kept trying not to laugh. I don't know why.

Yesterday it was about some pennies of Princess's that Peanut had apparently taken four days ago. They suddenly became of the utmost importance, and getting them back could only be done by throwing things and screaming. From what I could tell.

Early on, before she escalated, I asked Princess to sit down with me.

"Princess, there's something people say sometimes: you reap what you sow. It's about planting stuff. So, if you plan flower seeds, you get flowers. If you plant prickers, you get prickers. It's also about people. If you plant kind things, you usually get kind things back. If you plant mean things, you get mean things back. You've been planting a lot of mean and not listening. So I'm not surprised that your brother and sister don't want to help you and say yah yah yah instead of listening to you. You're getting back what you planted."

This is where I see progress: this kind of stuff is starting to sink in. The tantrum didn't happen right away. I revoked my help problem-solving after the first lie; from there on out my help consisted of: "have you been planting listening or not listening? Have you been planting truth or lies? Have you been planting throwing things or gentleness?" and, believe it or not, she'd turn around and try again. The tantrum happened, but it was very delayed.

Unfortunately, Princess mistimed the tantrum and ended up with no time to put on her bathing suit for swim lessons. Additionally, she and Buddy had a prize to redeem on the way there. I was geared for a rage in the car, but Princess was able to take a warning and stay in control. Well, excepting a slap or two. But who's perfect. As if that weren't enough, I heard a mumble from the back seat directed at me. I said what. Silence. Then,

"I'm sorry I was rude to you, Mommy."

I told her I forgave her, and, though the rudeness hurts me, I love her all the time.

Then I steeled myself, because we hadn't redeemed the prizes yet. I was fairly sure the apology was a way to get me to let her go in and get the prize. Buddy went into the store. Princess said nothing.

The apology was real.

I said to her, "you know Princess, lots of girls sass their moms. Sassing isn't the big problem. The tantrum is the big problem. Instead, you could say to yourself: 'wow, I shouldn't have said that. I guess I'll take my time out,' and NOT have the tantrum, and be done with it."

On to swim lessons. Princess sat next to me and watch. And we

talked! About

BOYS. Gah! Boys!

She asked if we were in a high school (yes) and asked if the kids who went there could have boyfriends or girlfriends (yes, because they can drive cars to go on dates). Princess then informed me, to my shock, that she had a boyfriend, which is ok because she can drive the tractor. I asked him if he knew, and she said no, so I wiped sweat from my brow. She likes him because he can run faster than her, which is a good enough reason, I guess.

Then she said, "Mom, I said sorry real quiet because I was nervous."
It's almost too much for one day!

And that was the afternoon. All morning the children worked together cooperatively on an art sale. They hung a sign on the mail box stating they'd accept checks or dollar bills. Buddy was furious that I wouldn't drive him around to post the signs.

So really, the worst parenting moment yesterday was when the Cuddle Bear asked me why Tyrannadons didn't drive cars. I automatically said, "because they don't have thumbs," (my standard answer for why whatever animal doesn't do whatever), then kicked myself because it would have been so much funnier to explain that the fuel that makes cars run is made out of dinosaurs, so they would have been socially opposed to car ownership.

Josh claims it's just like me to be mad for hours for missing a chance to be more of a smarta$$.



  1. Sounds like my house this week.... melt downs followed by itching and bathroom requests cause its better than doing a time out, or listening... I like your reap what you sow talk ..I'll remember that one I'm sure I'll need it sooner or later... Bip told me he was calling 911 cause I made him do to many laps for something he did..i handed him the phone and said go for it... the smile on my face just made him even more mad at me... and smarta$$ answers are my joy at the moment...lol

  2. We've had the "reap what you sow" conversation, but gave it a different name. I told my daughter she'd "taught" her little brother the behaviors she was complaining about. We talked about how she used to pinch, poke and tease him and now he's doing it to her. Made her furious that sometimes she'd get in trouble for his behavior. Probably couldn't have done this with my adopted kids, but biodaughter was able to learn from it, and I like to believe it lessened some of her negative behaviors, particularly toward him because she knew she'd get in trouble too if he copied her.

    Mary in TX

  3. I;m alkl about the progess if it is only little tiny bits at a time.

  4. oppps maybe I should have that cup of coffee before I start reading and responding in the morning, I meant to say "I'm all about..."