Mookie is learning about consequences tonight and it’s making me miserable.
She and I were going to watch a movie, but she wouldn’t hand me the remote and wouldn’t hand me the remote and demanded that I go get the remote and finally tossed it to me. I’ll be charitable and say “to me” instead of “at me,” but it hit me on the hand, and besides, how rude. So, no movie. Later she tried again, and started to lose it when we said no, no movie tonight, remember? I didn’t have a lot of sympathy with that situation, and when she screamed and cried I said there wouldn’t be a movie tomorrow night either if she was going to be that way about it. She got herself under control. That wasn’t too bruising.
But bedtime . . . I could hear every word of the drama that unfolded. After story time, which was sweet, and lights-out, when Joy usually snuggles with her until she falls asleep, Mookie would not stop talking. Joy gave her a couple warnings, finally saying that if she kept talking, Joy would leave and she’d have to fall asleep on her own. More limits testing. Joy left. Then ensued much crying to melt an iron heart. I can stand firm when my child is screaming about how she wants to watch Shrek, but when she’s crying and saying over and over, “I want someone to snuggle with me,” I just about have to be tied down to keep from going in and wrapping her in my arms. She just wants to snuggle! Waaaaah!
I stayed steady. I brought her Doggie, reminded her why Mommy had left and assured her they’d snuggle tomorrow, threatened to close the door if she was too loud, and gritted my teeth and ignored her. She cried for about five minutes and fell asleep. Who am I kidding?: she cried herself to sleep. I feel like an ogre, and not the cute green animated kind. But I know she is perfectly capable of meeting our perfectly reasonable requirements, and she is just being ornery. She has been extremely ornery over the past few days, ordering us around, griping about everything, speaking in a downright nasty tone, and we’re determined to nip brattiness in the bud. She’ll be glad one day that we did.
And I’m getting a sterner backbone despite myself. This morning she kept arguing and talking instead of telling me what she wanted for “second breakfast” (she’s eating like a horse–a growth spurt that might partially explain the grumpiness spurt–and every breakfast has two helpings), and when she kept at it after the warning, “If you don’t tell me what you want in three seconds, I’m not making you anything,” I kept my word. After some more storming and raging, she got herself her own breakfast, and became quite cheerful over the course of the many trips to get a bowl, spoon, cereal, and milk. Wow. Not a bad outcome at all.
ETA that this morning (Thursday, Feb. 7) she didn’t even want me to make breakfast, but said “I can make my own breakfast” and did it again. Glad to see the grumpiness transmuted into independence.