ruining my hard work

The Kidling has had a rough few days. The tiniest things set off whining, fits, complaining, and the throwing-about of a certain someone’s tiny body. She is self-propelled, I promise.

As you might guess, The Mama has been in similarly less-than-stellar form. Parents, you know the story (Non-parents, shove it. Go pee in peace or do some other smug, non-parent thing).

By way of illustration, we have the events of Monday evening. Alice never watches television in the afternoon. I don’t know why, but we simply don’t. But Alice has had The Mama so tuckered this week that I actually suggested turning the television on. That never happens. Ever.

As all good(ish) parents do, I gave Alice the “last call” warning when Curious George came on PBS (Non-parents, this is an insurance policy against temper tantrums. It doesn’t really work, but we all do it). Curious George is a two-shows-in-one show, so I told Alice she could watch the first one, but then it would be dinner time.

When the time came, I told Alice to turn the television off. This, as you might expect, did not go over well. At all. The Kidling threw an outsized fit, yelling and screaming and writhing about. I let her blow off steam for a few minutes before trying to talk with her. Just as she started to settle down and move from fit mode into pout mode, I made my move. Swooping in to perform the firm-but-kind routine, I began by gently wiping away Alice’s tears.

Big mistake.

Alice was positively incensed, and growled at me, “Hey, don’t wipe away my tears! Now I’ve got to start whining to get some tears.”

Sigh. How many more days of this?

About The Mamahttp://kidlingville.comProfessional talker, editor, emailer, problem solver, adjunct lecturer, blogger, and mother to the brilliantly absurd Kidling.

18 thoughts on “ruining my hard work

  1. You had me at: “Go pee in peace or do some other smug, non-parent thing.” Reminded me of “smug married couples” in Helen Fielding’s, Bridget Jones’ Diary. Brilliant, my friend. Brilliant.

    Perhaps the next time Alice doesn’t want to stop watching Curious George, you could just tell her, “No, you don’t want to see this episode. Curious George dies in this one.” I’m never gonna get to meet Alice, am I?

  2. I am truly sorry that you and Alice are not engaged in the happy dance right now, but I can’t help but marvel at Alice’s self-awareness. I know smug and not-so-smug grown ups who wouldn’t articulate that they know the power of their tears. She continues to amaze – even when she’s feeling tantrum-y. I know – easy for me to say…:-)

    • Oh Mimi. Thanks. The truth is that the book of alice helps me handle the real Alice’s crabby/bratty/rude days. It is a potent reminder of how fabulous she really is, and it helps me be patient with her. Goodness knows this parent needs all the help she can get in that regard!

  3. How many more days of awesome kids pushing the boundaries of their parents?! Let’s see… 15 years x 365 days = a whole lot more episodes of Curious George.

    • Wow. That is a whole lot of George. Please, please do not tell her that is possible. She wouldn’t rest until she watched PBS Kids from now until she reached the age of majority.


  4. I’d like to tell you it gets better, but my experience has been different. The last two weeks have been a fiasco of 7-year-old screaming tantrums and fits. Good luck!

  5. It’s hard to know where the line with kids. Had I refused to turn off the TV, I knew there would be a hand with my face’s name on it. That doesn’t make hitting kids a great idea but I also see parents with a soft touch get so much sass back from their kids that it sort makes me want to yell out “hit them… do it. I will even lie for you if the cops show up.”

    There has to be a happy non-violent middle ground, right?

    • Of course there is middle ground, and I think most folks take it. I hear The Kidling’s sass, but I most certainly don’t listen to it. I either patiently wait for her to cut the crap when she sees it isn’t getting her anywhere, or I send her to time out/her room to throw her fit. She comes back when she’s gotten it out of her system and she is ready to act as she knows she is expected to.

      I firmly, vehemently believe that hitting (like yelling) is about parental anger rather than children’s behavior. There is no lesson in being hit, except that the person who is supposed to support and protect you no matter what happens will… usually… except when they don’t. That is not okay with me.

      Now, parenting is highly personal. We all make decisions based on logic, emotion, intuition… and for the most part I agree that the freedom to parent as one sees fit is what makes us individuals. Even, if I dare say it, what makes us human. That said, I personally draw the line at physical and verbal abuse. I don’t think it is ever acceptable. Ever.

      I know you aren’t advocating physical punishment, Posky. That said, since I write this silly little blog, I do think it is my responsibility to make my own point of view on controversial issues clear.

      (And for what it is worth, Alice DID turn off the television. She just screamed bloody murder about it…)

  6. While situation was a total downer for y’all to deal with, I can’t help but be impressed with Alice’s big personality and awareness. She is such an intelligent litlte one!

    Baby Eli just turned 2 and is now entering the tantrum stage. It is such a challenge! It’s amazing how our bright, beautiful children can melt into a less than fun to hang with ball of frustration.

    I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass….and if it doesn’t, just don’t tell me about it. 😉

    • Thanks, Mama Cravings. Her personality is huge and her self-awareness waxes and wanes… as does mine, so I can’t criticize for that, I guess.

      I do think I will try to revert from referring to crabby Alice as “a crab” or “Grumplestiltskin,” to referring to her as “less than fun.” It is so much nicer.

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