Working on this one… I think I am doing quite well, when it comes to my kiddo, anyway. Not so much with other drivers though. I AM doing better at not verbalizing the slanderous curses that pop into my head when some jerk cuts me off with only half a car’s length of space in front of me going 45 miles an hour just because he didn’t get over into his lane in time to turn. It’s not my fault he’s a moron. I did call him a “dipsh*t” which is a new one for me. I don’t think I’ve ever said that before. My go-to phrase was always “dumba$$”. I think in my attempt to not cuss at drivers, my brain is having to come up with new things to say. I just have to rewire it to think things like “you cotton-headed ninny muggings” and “you scruffy looking nerf-herder” instead of “you %$@#* %*&@#$”. More along the lines of Chevy Chases’ rants and a little less of Robert Deniro.
Last night, my house was the epicenter of a Hurricane Riley Melt-Down like no other. Everything was pissing him off. His supper choices (all of which he liked), the cat scratching on his 4 foot cardboard Mater (that might make me mad too), the fact the we turned his movie off (heaven forbid!), having to brush his teeth (sooo terrible!), being denied another glass of juice/water (I don’t want to have to get up for him to pee at 2a.m.), his bedtime (not soon enough), and his pajama options (which were thrown all over his floor).
I kept my cool. Not once did I yell at him or spank him (not that I do spank him all that often anyway) all the while he is throwing himself on the ground, screaming “no” and “leave me alone!” (that’s a new one) and throwing his hands at us and running the opposite direction. My child does NOT act like this. Not ever. It was like a meaner, grumpier, turd of a little kid had temporarily inhabited Riley’s being. I had to pick his entire body up and lower it thrashing about into his bed, where, or course, he wouldn’t stay. Since Jordan has taught him he can get out of his bed in the mornings, he has quickly translated this into not having to stay in it at night either.
I heard the door knob to his bedroom turn for the 3rd time after we put him to bed. I glanced into the hallway but didn’t see him. I figure it must have been something else. Twenty minutes later, I see his Mater box in the living room moving. I count the cats. One, two, three. All accounted for. It’s got to be Riley.
Yup, sure enough, he has snuck out of his room and hidden in the Mater. His little eyes were peering at us from under the cover of Mater’s hood. We were putting up laundry in the bedroom, so if he had played his cards right, he might have just been able to stay there all night.
I walked him back to bed, threatened a spanking if he got up again, and went to bed smiling at his goofiness. He slept all night until Jordan woke him up at 8:15 this morning.
So… I was patient with him all night, talked softly, was encouraging… all the while he was a disaster with a capital D. But today after school, he was an angel. Didn’t argue about anything. Was good at WalMart. Very talkative and friendly. Ate his supper. Brushed his teeth without complaint. Picked up his toys the first (okay, second) time I asked him. Not one temper tantrum, even when I gave him a time out for playing in the cat water.
See what good I have done? My patience has paid off. 🙂 I am a Zen master of parenting.
Wait, did I just hear the door knob turn?