R and I are taking a parenting class called 'Love and Logic'.
We just went to the fifth out of seven classes.
There are aspects of this method that I love dearly. There are aspects that I don't. I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind until we finish the class. I have to admit, the techniques that we've implemented really have worked. BUT - we also haven't had anything super challenging with the kids come up yet.
Until this morning. Here's how this morning went:
5:42: I wake up all out of sorts. S spilled some water on our bed last night and so I had to pull all the mattress pads off, which meant that the only thing between my back and our insufficient mattress was a sheet. It takes me three minutes to straighten up all the way so I could go to the bathroom.
5:46: I lie back down in what I hope is more comfortable position. I can sleep for 30 more minutes before the alarm goes off.
5:52: R comes in to kiss me good-bye. I'm still awake so he asks if I want him to turn on the alarm. Nah, I'm up.
6:02: S comes wondering into the bedroom, all sleepy and snuggly. She climbs into bed with me and we watch "The Andy Griffith Show" on the CW, which ironically enough mentions Winston Salem. Neato.
6:30: T comes in the bedroom.
6:30:10: The kids start bickering apparently over the fact that they were both breathing in oxygen in the same room.
7:05: We are all washed, brushed, and dressed. We head downstairs for breakfast.
7:06: S had a meltdown because out of the 40 or so spoons we have of assorted materials, colors, and sizes, T took the ONE spoon that S couldn't live without.
7:07: S sees me making T's lunch and demands a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and a packed lunch, even though she isn't going to school. (The answer was no. It did not go over well.)
7:10: T's lunch is packed, he is eating breakfast. S is throwing a hissy over my previous 'no' and flinging her Dora lunch box into everything in her path.
7:11: I have to chase S down (which just PISSES me off) to take the lunch box which is now in indefinite "Belongings Jail". Wailing and flailing results.
7:17: T has finished breakfast and goes to get his lunch box out of the car, where he left it from our park trip yesterday. S is still wailing and screaming.
7:19: I inform S that she can either zip it and apologize, or go to her room until she can be nice. This, too, does not go over well. She ends up shutting herself into our most cluttered closet and I say a quick prayer of thanks that 1) it's finally freakin' quiet and 2) I haven't lost my temper.
7:26: S comes out of the closet, all teary eyed and pitiful looking to apologize to me and T and announce that she is "stopping my too-titude". ::Snort::
7:30: I ask the kids to put on their shoes, get their backpacks and coats and get ready to go.
7:31: I decide to eat a banana before I hit the gym. S has a meltdown that she can't have a banana since her full bowl of cereal is sitting, untouched and still spoon-less on the kitchen table.
7:33: I ask the kids to clear their breakfast dishes off the table. T does it, S does not. Tantrums ensue.
7:40: I ask T to go and get in the car and I ask S, again, to go get her shoes. More tantrums.
7:41: Deep, deep breaths.
7:42: I have to go to the bathroom, so I tell S that she has until I'm done to find her shoes, get her jacket, and get in the car.
7:44: I walk from the bathroom to the car, amazed that it isn't at least noon yet.
7:45: S gets in the car, crying, jacketless, shoeless. Lucky for her, her shoes were in the car from last night. I had not remembered this.
7:47: Everyone buckled, ready to go, garage door opens to find......the special needs bus across the street with red lights flashing and stop arm out.
7:55: We finally get to leave the driveway! S is still crying and whining.
8:07: I drop T off at school after the kids fought all the way.
8:08: S cries because she can't go to school
8:09: S cries because we are going to the gym
8:13: S cries because we are at the gym, she didn't bring a jacket, she's hungry, and she's cold. I am profoundly unmoved.
8:15: S is dropped off in the childcare room where she is suddenly sweetness and light. I fight the urge to make snarky comments about how hateful she's been all morning. I do mention that if she says she's hungry, she has to wait until lunch to eat.
Now you may be wondering, as I would be, where exactly Love and Logic fit in this morning.
Weeellllllllll.... S is still alive, so that's something.
I kid, I kid.
Love and logic, in a quick summary, is about teaching your child to take responsibility for their actions - whether it's treating others respectfully, being truthful, being helpful, being responsible, etc.
So Love and Logic came into play this morning in the following ways:
I never lost my temper, which is pretty much a flat out miracle.
The lunch box she was swinging around is gone until she can prove to me she can be trusted to not mistreat her things and our things.
There was no more food until lunch. After lunch, there was no food until the afternoon snack she has when T comes home.
There was no playground trip. If she's going to be that nasty to me at home, how ever do I trust her to behave in public?
If she is going to behave horribly, she must take herself away from others until she is calm and ready to apologize. Now, in the car we are limited to where to put her because I'm pretty sure sticking her in the trunk would be frowned upon and illegal. So, mostly I pull over and wait for her to calm down without saying anything to her other than, "Go ahead and have a nice, good tantrum. Let me know when you are done and ready to apologize." And then I sit and wait. I've gotten a lot of reading done lately.
I'm happy to report that while this morning was horrid, this afternoon was pretty pleasant and virtually tantrum free.
Let's see what happens tomorrow.