My piece at Parenting tomorrow contains something I try not to have very much online: an opinion. I especially try not to have opinions at PARENTING. However. Sometimes you have only one Parenting-appropriate post in your head and here we are and, well, I TRIED not to be obnoxious but I'm sure SOMEONE will find me obnoxious and accuse me of posting my own positive comments and blah blah blah. And people, don't get excited, it's not like I wrote about breastfeeding. No, I'm writing about TEACHER PRESENTS.
I'm in a very Doom and Gloom sort of mood right now. I had a typical day, even a nice one, except for the part where I took both children to Mass (today: Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and also the part where I took both children to the library. During Mass I told Jack to stop doing something - making noise with crayons? See I can't even remember. And he just WOULDN'T. Even when I used my Angry Mom Hiss, even when I physically moved him away - he wrenched his arm away and KEPT DOING IT.
I thought: I should leave. I should drag this kid out of here right now and throw a hissy fit in the car and send him to his room for a million hours and basically make sure he knows that when he so blatantly disobeys me HE IS IN FOR IT. There will be SUFFERING!
But I didn't. I gave up. I hissed a couple of when-we-get-home threats, but what else could I do? We were in church and people I was damn proud of the fact that we MADE it to church! And that I was there with both kids on my own! And sitting right next to the seminarian who led the before-Mass rosary who was, without a doubt, watching me pointlessly discipline my three-year-old and feeling cheerful about his commitment to celibacy!
Then after Molly's nap we made a quick trip to the library. Again, everything was just fine until Jack started to get a little excited and took off running. Again I used the Angry Mom Hiss, the grabbing his elbow and leading him back to where he was supposed to be. But as I stood at the self check out computer he RAN AWAY FROM ME. And started dancing around the line dividers and I know I know. I should have dropped everything and marched that kid out and took him home where he would SUFFER. Where he would connect Disobeying One's Mother to ENDLESS MISERY.
But I didn't. I gave up. I finished checking out, because we'd spent half an hour finding those stupid books and it'd been weeks since we'd even visited the library and Molly had picked half of them out herself and why punish her too and and and.
I called home to complain, but ended up getting a Buck Up, Kiddo talk which was, I hate to say, sorely needed. It was just really helpful to talk to someone who 1) has done this before and 2) knows my kid really well. Because all the Time Out stuff? The talking? The choices? That stuff does not work on my kid. You know what else doesn't work? All the OTHER stuff I do. Namely the various ways that show him I I'm Really Stinking Angry, because that was what worked on ME. (At least as I recall!) I HATED IT when my parents were mad at me. But my kid? Eh! Who cares! They'll get over it!
The thing is that we DO get over it. We are big fat softies with a large helping of Lazy. I can talk myself out of almost any hard core discipline situation simply because I hate how it ruins everything. I hate ruining dinner or ruining a project or ruining an outing. It really does ruin it for me - I don't get past it easily, I feel bad about myself and my kid, it stays with me for the rest of the day.
But I feel like I need to start ruining things in order to CHANGE a few things.
It feels kind of weird writing about this because I'm actually feeling like things are going well. Like, have I told you Jack eats now? Sort of? I mean, he still subsists on white flour and cheese, but at least he eats regular AMOUNTS of those things. Sometimes he'll eat a whole apple! I used to feel like I had a kid who didn't eat, now I just feel like I have a picky eater. And as a lifelong picky eater, I can sympathize with that. (Phillip, not so much. Sigh.) And there was one day where he was super rotten, but the next several days he was an ANGEL. Like he was super aware of how upset I'd been that day and he wanted to show me that ACTUALLY he really IS a good boy! See how he cleaned up his room? See how he ate all his lunch! He will do that! He will be a nice boy!
So yeah, I guess it's just the same old same old. Kid acts out, I realize how bad I am at Consistency. BLEARGH.
Whatever. It's been a long day of not-disciplining, cookie-making and fretting about my ONE SINGLE CHRISTMAS CARD. Do you people not love me?! My IRL friends better step it up. (Let's not mention the fact that I haven't sent MINE yet. Ahem.)