Monday, May 9th, 2011 | Connecting the Dots, Parenting on Track
What a day.
Let’s just say that the amount of crying that went on this afternoon was stunning, and that was before I told the kids that the (old) dog had (easily, I hope painlessly) died this morning. I have had better days. So, I guess, had she…
But (so I won’t start crying) back to the crying.
I told the kids this am that I would bring them home for an hour before soccer. We take Lily’s friend B to soccer, so that would be B, too.
But then Caddie died. And I didn’t want to tell them, and then expect them to go to soccer. Plus there was the B factor. She didn’t need to be here for that. So–change of plans.
Lily does not like changes in plans.
Lily howled, kicked, screamed, threatened, cajoled and demanded all the way from her school to the bakery where I planned for us to get a before soccer snack, while B looked on in shock and awe. She issued ultimatums. She declared that she would die if we did not go home. In short, she LOST IT.
And I did nothing.
I wanted to do stuff. I wanted to scream back, stop the car, punish, punish, punish! This was disrespectful! She cannot act this way! She will think she can always act this way and never ever get anywhere in life or make friends–look how B was staring at her! She is SIX! Unacceptable! But there was B. And Rory and Wyatt had soccer, too. And Caddie, I might add, was still dead, and if we went home in any way, even as some sort of call Rob and get him to take everyone else to town and to soccer kind of way, there would be that to deal with. My options were pretty much: a) lose it myself, then get on with afternoon as planned and b) ignore her totally.
Fortunately I found a radio station playing Fascination (that 80s one, all techno and retro–“and so the conversation turned…until the sun went down…etc.). And I managed to completely pretend it wasn’t happening. For twenty minutes. When we got out I asked if she would like to put the money in the meter. She would. And that was that.
I probably wouldn’t have managed to do nothing and let her have it out with herself, except that I was forced to. But it was excellent practice…because Mimi gave Wyatt a ride home in her car with Wy’s buddy T, and all the way home–please note that B was still in the car–Rory screamed. “I want to go Mimi car! I want to go Mimi car! I …WANT…GO…IN…MIMI’S…CAR! (If I could make that last CAR! even bigger, I would.)
It was way harder to do nothing now. I did let her know I got her–you know, I hear you, it’s hard to let Wyatt ride in a friend’s car, it is disapointing that you didn’t get to go—because this is different, Lily’s was pure tantrum. At least Rory had a reason to feel bummed.
But it was another 20 minute ride. And this time I didn’t want to punish. I just wanted her to STOP. I wanted to pull over and say, fine–find Mimi’s car, then! Ok, you can’t, right? so just stop SCREAMING! I wanted to refuse to go until she stopped. I just wanted to bang it into her head somehow that no matter how may times she said it (I estimate 127) it WASN’T GOING TO HAPPEN! It wasn’t even up to me. There was nothing I could do. And Mimi and her car were long gone! Fury, Fury, fury. I have always hated their illogical tantrums the most. Lily’s made twisted sense, I could have done what she wanted, I just wasn’t going to. But this–THIS IS CRAZY!
But I didn’t. Not one word, not one shout.
Lily said “Mommy, Rory’s not behaving nicely in the car!”
And B just kind of sat there, stunned.
Tomorrow pretty much has to be better, right? But I’d feel so much worse about today if it had gone like this day. So there’s that.
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