Throughout my life, every now and then I meet someone that makes me think "Wow. I wish I was more like that!" And then, to some extent, I am a little more like that. Not in a stalkerish single white female kind of way (at least I hope not) but more like I feel like I'm a better person for having known this person kind of way.
I have also found the reverse to be true. I've been around people that, for one reason or another, make me hope that I don't come across that way to others. But I have the same hope out of being around these people, too. I hope that knowing people I don't want to be like helps to make me a better person too.
Lately, I've been reading the archives of a fellow TopMommyBlog blogger. Her name is Kris and she writes Pretty All True. Here's the link - http://www.prettyalltrue.com. Her blog is just awesome. She is just awesome. Now I don't actually know her, but reading about someone's daily life gives me the impression that I do. And one of the ways I'd like to be more like her is in the way she deals with her kids when her kids are angry.
S is in what I hope is a phase of tears, anger, tantrums, and civil disobedience. On our trip to NC and back, when she'd get mad, she'd unbuckle her seat belt. The last five hours on our trip down? This happened a lot. Ideally, I realize that the solution to this problem lies in part to pulling over immediately and buckling her back up.
She can buckle herself and when we are hurling down the highway at 70 miles an hour in the dark, I strongly feel that my requesting that she buckle her seat belt should be a sufficient prerequisite to S buckling her seat belt.
S? Did not agree. And it's not that I'm unconcerned about the safety of my kids, that is my main concern. But I also was not going to pull over on the side of the highway every minute or two to climb out of the car and rebuckle a seat belt that could be rebuckled without my assistance. What if the van was hit? What if I was hit getting out of or into the van and my kids had to watch that?!!? What if they got hit and I had to watch?!? But I also stayed calmer than I could ever have thought possible for a really long time. When I did pull over (safely at an exit into a parking lot) I fought the urge to yell since that never really helps anyway. We were all tired: tired of being in a van all day, tired of travel, tired of each other... just tired. I climb in the back of the van, buckle her up, start to climb out and she unbuckles her seat belt.
Me: S. You have to be buckled up in the car. You HAVE to.
Me: You have to. It's the law.
S: completely unconcerned about law "NO!"
Me: rebuckling "S. Young lady, keep this seat belt buckled!"
S: NO!!!!!!!! (unbuckles)
Stop. Breathe. Reboot. Count to 2784
Me: S. Why won't you leave your seat belt buckled?
S: I don't WANT TO
Me: I know. I know you don't want to. You're tired.
S: I NOT tired!
Me: You're tired of being in the car, right?
S: Go away Mommy. Go away and buckle your seat belt.
Me: (thinking this will make an interesting blog entry) I'll go away when you buckle and stay buckled. Don't you want to go see Grammy and Papa?
Me: Then we have to buckle up.
S: NO. NO BUCKLE! NO NO NO NO NONOOOOOOOOOO
Me: Okay. No buckle.
I walk around the van and start to get in the drivers side. Then I think about it for a second, walk to the back of the van, open the trunk, grab a blanket out, close the trunk, walk back to the driver's side and get in, putting the blanket in the passenger seat.
Me: Well, since S doesn't want to buckle up, we'll just have to spend the night here in this parking lot. T? Do you want to get in the front seat since it leans all the way back?
T: YES! and he climbs up into the front seat and leans it back all the way.
Me: S, you can lie down in the seat, okay?
S: NO! I don't want to. I don't WANT to!!! I'm not lying down in the SEAT. I want to GO. I want to GO!!!!
Me: I know, honey, but I can't drive if you aren't going to keep your seat belt buckled. So we'll just spend the night here.
S: NO!!! I WANNA GO!!!!!! (Lots of wailing and crying and whining)
Me: (after waiting her out) The only way I'll know you mean it is if you buckle up. Let me know when you're ready or if you need help.
S: NO NONONONONONOOOOOOOO!!!!! NONONONOOOOOO!!!!!!!
More wailing and crying while T pretend snores.
silence and then? click.
I look at T and raise my eyebrows. He sighs and gets back in his seat and puts on his seat belt.
And off we go. Within 5 minutes? S is sound asleep using the blanket as a pillow and a cover.
Thank you, Kris. Without your blog, I would have handled this a totally different, less productive, more frustrating way.