The follow through
"If you don't stop whining in three seconds!"..... Is usually followed by the first threat that comes to mind. I know, I know, keep the warning realistic. Don't even say it if you can't follow through. Yeah, yeah, I'm doing my best over here! Sometimes an empty threat is enough release to save me from kicking a hole in the wall. Very mature, yes. It's pathetic what pretending to be a firm disciplinary does for me. But you know Scarlett can smell my bluff from a mile away. So I've been doing the whole "follow through" method. Man, that can be tricky.... Yesterday a humongous tantrum followed a long day of play dates. We had a good, exhausted kicking and cry session as I pried her from behind a friend's couch. Heaven forbid she should have to go to that torturous place called, HOME. After finally getting my exhausted and devastated little girl into the car and apologizing for the scene to my sweet friend, the words came out... "You are going straight to bed when we get home!" Mind you it's 6:30 and the sun is still completely out. Scarlett is a total night owl. No matter how tiered she is, she usually falls asleep (after playing with dolls in her bed and reading a million books) at about 10:30. Crap, what have I gotten myself into? She hasn't even eaten dinner. Screams and cries are going to shake the house for hours. I debated taking back the threat on the drive home. Scott had a work dinner so there would be no help following through with this one. She cried and apologized and begged for another chance while walking her up to her room. I wanted so badly to cave as I looked at her swollen and sad little face. I'm not a sucker - I can tell when my girl is genuinely sorry and when she's just trying to get her way. Last night was a little of both. When she hugged me tightly as I put her in bed, she said things like "Please mommy, I'm sorry! I want to be nice and come down stairs with you. Don't leave me here forever!" (she watches too many Disney movies with evil step mothers who lock their princess daughters in towers). I wanted to give in.
The crying wore her out and to my utter shock, she was out cold by 7:30.
Holy Hannah! Who knew following through with threats was so exhausting, even for moms as mean as myself? But I guess I am a bit of a sucker. I snuck her up a drinkable yogurt as if I wasn't the one enforcing the lock down and was actually the Robin Hood feeding the prisoners.
She woke up a happy and forgiving girl in the middle of the night (1:45am to be exact), bursting into our room asking if one of us would strap on her tap shoes. Never threatening bed time before 8:30 again...
On a lighter note, Welles crawled three steps yesterday! Wooohoooo! That's a big deal for our little Wellesy boy. He hasn't done it since, but it's thrilling to know he can.