Yesterday was no exception. I did what no parent should ever do - I had well checkups for both girls at the same time. BIG MISTAKE. BIG. H-U-G-E. At first everything was going fine - then we got called into the exam room. Addi refused to put on the gown. Then she yelled because she wanted her paci and her juice box, both of which were in the car. Then she just yelled to yell. Doctor Becky finally had to put Addi in time out twice (and even that didn't go well) and we finished the appointment after a LONG 45 minutes. And after that, mommy needed a cocktail.
We headed home with strict instructions to focus on Addi sleeping in her own room and listening, using time out and consequences as reinforcement. The paci and potty training could be put on hold for a few weeks to get this little monster’s behavior under control. And none of this was rocket science – read any childcare book or talk to any parent and it’s a no-brainer. However, THINKING and DOING are two very different things, especially when you tend to cave out of per exhaustion.
Once we got home Addi and I sat down and wrote out a list of her new rules. Then we went over the consequences for not obeying – she gets one warning and then it’s time out.
Her new rules:
- No hitting
- No pacis until bedtime
- Use your words (no whining)
- Have good listening ears
- Hug Mommy, Daddy and Sami everyday
- Sleep in your own room
After repeating these to me, Addi asked for her own paper so she could write her own rule down and put it on the fridge next to my rules. She scribbled a line and when I asked her what her rule said, she answered, “No time outs for Addi.” OK, whatever!
The rest of the night was frustrating. Lots of time outs, her dollhouse got taken away, and Jay and I were exhausted. But we had one success – she slept in her room the entire night.
I definitely don’t call this a victory yet, but hopefully we are on our way to a more peaceful home.