Monday, August 8, 2011

Successes and Backfires

This weekend was a great learning weekend for Miss Monkey.  The delayed consequence of her antics at the zoo were no pool all weekend.  After being totally obnoxious and uncooperative on Friday, The Man and I let her know that she had until 1pm Saturday to pick up the playroom and put her clothes away in the bedroom.  Simple.  So, Saturday morning I had a grand time designing and finishing 2 gifts for the boys' birthday party we planned to attend that afternoon.  Miss Monkey was super excited now and then, kept asking about when we were leaving, to which we replied "We'll talk about that later."  All the while watching the clock.  I resisted urge after compulsive urge to remind, nag, insist that she must get her chores finished if she wants to get to the birthday party.  I had even surreptitiously aided a bit by picking up the baby's toys (but only those toys I knew Baby E left out).  As the hour approached my grin got bigger and bigger.  The Man asked if I would be okay, "Sure!  I'm great!"  When I asked him if he was okay a few moments later, "I dunno, it just feels so mean."  "Oh, but it's not. It's follow-through, be strong.  We can do it."
While I was in the shower getting ready to leave with the baby, I heard him deliver the news to her.  
OH, THE HUMANITY!!!  She screamed, and cried, and whined, and tried to make deals.  We were so empathetic, and I found and was able to show, for the first time, a very real empathy for her sadness.  Big hugs, kisses, and "Oh, man!  it's so, so, sad, I know.  I love you, this must be so hard for you!"  Over and over again we repeated various versions of these phrases, because over and over she repeatedly cried, whined, and tried to make a deal.

THEN, oh, my goodies-goodnesses!  I got to have a mini-yard (patio) sale Sunday afternoon.  What was it I was selling?  Why it's all the things I got to pick up for my dear daughter over the past weeks, stuff that had been taking up space in my closet that took us that long to decide what to do with it.  The story, Miss Monkey had a choice of time to pick up her room, she did not. I picked it up for her, everything is off limits until she chooses to earn it back with chores, it'd been two weeks and no chores done though we'd talked about what she might undertake.  After some discussion, The Man and I decided that as we might send it to consignment anyway, or have a yard sale, then I might as well make the yard sale a reality.  It came off beautifully.  I wish the woman that was going to purchase the watch would have followed through---she chickened out when F started caterwauling.  The woman uttered something about how "it's not her job to teach other peoples' kids lessons", to which I replied quietly, "well, I'm the one teaching the lesson, not you."  Ms. RandomNeighbor bought a child-size broom and hightailed outta here quick-as-could-be.  In the end there were a bunch of clothes pushed into garbage bags to donate (sad 'cause a lot of things in there she's worn and enjoyed and would still fit for coming seasons).  Interesting to see though what she sees as important vs. what I thought was important.  Everything was liquidation priced to sell, easy enough for her to purchase whatever she liked with her allowance money.  Lesson learned---for both of us.  Next time, us parents have agreed, as painful as it might be to give away things we've lovingly purchased, we won't go to the effort of a garage sale.

Move into Monday morning, and they've been up before us, something we'd like to avoid, but short of drugging them not sure how to accomplish this.  After breakfast it started with the dolls, of course.  Baby E wants one, F doesn't want to budge on taking turns with it.  There's screaming, and a lot of it.  "Uh-oh! Bedroom time, I love you, see you when you're sweet and calm!"  Baby E doesn't get the concept of "leave sister alone, she needs some time" yet.  And while standing too near the bed of isolation was fwapped with the blankie hard enough that I could hear it downstairs.  Feelings hurt she starts bawling.  There are scratches on her back.  More bedroom time...all in all almost an hour, then recovery time, and talking it out.  The door is still broken from exhibition tantrums a long while ago (she paid into repair from allowance).  There is no real way to separate them---though now that I think of it I could break out the baby gate again.  And here's the backfire, if she's to have the consequence of staying home, then I have to stay home as well, 'cause kidsclub at our gym would constitute a reward.  I called a couple of people who are Love & Logic versed, so that Miss Monkey might pay for the sitter with a toy.  It's a reach though, as we don't have family nearby to take advantage of, I'm stuck.  Another strategy session with The Man and we decide we'll have to eat the price of 1 gymnastics session today.  Not going to the pool when she wanted to didn't seem to affect her, maybe it did though.  So we'll delay consequences until a little later when it's time to get to gymnastics.   Currently mentally prepping myself for the theatrics to come.  Change can make things worse for a while before it gets better.

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