Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Will it ever end?

For a while there it was Thing 1 who was having trouble in the mornings. Lately it’s been Thing 2.
This morning I was asking Thing 1 if she wanted toasted waffles for breakfast. I swear she said she didn’t, and when I clarified by saying “You do NOT want a waffle?” she got all mad at me and said “I told you I did!” I was trying to explain to her that “wonnawunnawaffle” sounds an awful lot like I don’t want a waffle, when Thing 2 wandered off and started playing with her DS. She was having trouble plugging it in and started calling from the next room for some help. I called back that I don’t have time in the morning for stuff like that, especially mornings l like this when we’re running late. Please come and get a plate. She got more upset. I decided I was going to talk sweetly, even if it got syrupy sweet, but I wasn’t going to raise my voice.
Before long I’d called out five or six times that no, I’m not going to come work on her DS, Thing 1 has already started eating, would she come now and eat too. Thing 1 said “I’ll help her,” and started up from the table. I told her no, we’re late, you don’t have time to help her either. She sat back down and ate.
When Thing 2 finally came to the table she was grumpy as a bear, yelling at me, and came over and started taking swats at me. Of course she’s not hitting very hard, but she’s making sure I know she’s angry and trying to hit me.
I told her that trying to get a good breakfast down her is not reason to start HITTING me. She continued to sulk and whine and humph, and a few moments later still hadn’t sat down to eat. I sat her down (gently), and put her fork in her hand. She cowered like she thought I was going to slam her around, but then started up arguing and grumping at me. Whining that her fork was sticky. Finding anything she could to grump about. I got her a new fork. She got up and angrily marched one back to me. Grump grump whine and grump.
After a few minutes of this, I finally snapped. I was gathering their homework to put in their respective backpacks and slammed a book on the counter. This did shut Thing 2 up. Then I said as nicely as I could that breakfast was hers to eat or not, but to stop whining about it.
Of course she burst into tears, sob sob sob. Thing 1 starts whining that she can’t eat with Thing 2 being so whiney. I shushed Thing 1 and told them to both eat. Thing 2 got out of her chair, and started following me around crying and demanding to be hugged. I hugged her, whispered I love her in her ear, and walked slowly back to her chair, hugging and holding her, and sat her gently in her chair and asked her to eat.
She started whining that I’d given her an angry hug… it’s Completely Pissing Me Off just to write about this… she got up again and came over to be hugged. I repeated the process, picked her up, hugged her gently and carried her back to her chair where I sat her down and told her to eat breakfast.
I feel like I deserve a million points for self control.

I don’t know what to do with her. She misbehaves, whines, and carries on. Then when I’m about ready to snap, she either starts crying and demanding a hug, or she “wounds” herself, thus “legitimizing” her crying, and needs a bandaid and a hug. Either way I’m much more ready to tear my hair out than give her a hug. If I do snap, she immediately escalates her sobbing into screaming and thrashing around on the floor, and her demand for a hug goes up too.

This morning, after I sat her down she did start eating. It’s kind of a blur but I think things went smoothly enough. We were late enough that the first bell was already ringing, so rather than make them trot through the ice to school (I can just imagine the slippings and trippings and tears that might result) I drove them to school.

When I came home, I stopped at the curb to get the garbage cans left out from yesterday, only to find that the LOSERS didn’t pick up the trash. I KNOW it was out there because Hubby put it out Sunday night, and looking up the street I could see in the next block a trash can knocked over. I checked my neighbor in the other direction and theirs wasn’t picked up either. They just skipped our block. It just added to my misery and I nearly cried as I wrestled the 400 pound full trash can up the ice and snow at the end of the alley, and dragged it back up to our driveway.

Not my best morning.

- later –

Thing 2 and I had a very nice afternoon, lunch at McDonalds, and running errands. She is a wonderful little companion and I am going to miss the heck out of her when she’s in full day school.

Though it might indicate wild mood swings on someone’s part, mine or Thing 2’s, it is nice that a horrible morning can swing around so nicely to a very pleasant afternoon.

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