Sunday, February 15, 2009

Life Mysteries

Does anyone know what these are? They are rubbery in texture. I just found them on my counter. Three guesses who put them there? But, where did they come from? Could they be related to this?I don't think so, but I have absolutely NO CLUE where those blue things came from.

So, I've decided we're dealing with some anger/jealousy things here with Becca (You: No SHIT, Sherlock!) She seems to get really hostile and defiant when John is out of town. A couple days ago she said, "I'm not happy because Daddy isn't here."

And, boy howdy, is she telling the truth. "Not happy" is kind of an understatement. I'd say, "PISSED OFF" is more like it. She is just openly defiant, doing exactly what I tell her not to with a very angry, almost teenaged (Godhelpme) attitude about it. I gave her some cough medicine the other night while she was hacking up a lung and she just looked at me, held it up in the air and dumped it out on her bed while staring right at me, chin tilted up defiantly. She spent a good while just kicking the wall the other day. She dumped out the water in two humidfiers, broke the blinds on her window, tipped over her bedside lamp, tipped over Andrew's bedside lamp. She spent a good while just standing in the bathroom with the door closed screaming "AAAAAAAAH!" Standing on furniture, climbing into Andrew's crib and jumping up and down, grabbing things off the counter she isn't supposed to touch (and she KNOWS), yelling "NO!" at me, etc.

She has been sent to timeout, sent to her room, toys removed, candy taken away. With NO change.

I keep blaming myself thinking I'm not giving her enough one-on-one time. Or, I figure I have gotten us both stuck in a negative threaten/punish cycle, which I am inclined to do when I'm stressed/tired/sick/cooped up, etc. And, given the fact that Andrew is currently incapable of sleeping more than 90 minutes at a time, and I haven't been able to breathe through my nose in 3 days, I'd say I am all of the above.

But, I've spent the last two days trying to be nothing but positive and giving her lots of good quality time with just us, and also lots of physical activity. We watched (part of) a movie together with popcorn, baked cupcakes, did art projects, played in the bathtub, made homeade pizza, colored, played in the sandbox, ran around in the backyard, played games, played in the leaves outside--all with just us two, No Andrew. We also went on walks, went to church, had some friends over today and she did some sports stuff at the gym. It hasn't helped very much. We will be playing happily, just the two of us, and she'll just brazenly look right at me and do something she knows she isn't allowed to do. WT-EVERLOVING-F?

So, tonight we made this:

She gets a sticker for using the potty, or for anything that an adult deems sticker-worthy. It seems to have made a difference already. I'm pretty sure she would sell her soul to go swimming. YES!

We had the big potty talk, and she promptly pissed right in her pants. Twice. So, we had the talk one more time (breaking the rules already!) and I made her promise me to start using the toilet (Not on the pediatrician-approved list! WARNING!) She said, "Okay. I promise." And she hasn't peed in her pants since. (Knock the shit out of some wood right now, peeps.) So, we're back where we were before the hideous backwards slide of last week. I put her back in pull-ups at night. Apparently we aren't ready for that step yet.

It has been a shitty week. But, Becca is finally over her virus. Tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow we return to our regularly scheduled activities--gymnastics, school, playdates, workouts, mommy-wine-sessions-with-friends. I feel a slow lifting, a tinge of light peeking through. A smile returning. I think it is that one precious thing that has been lacking this last week.... you know....SANITY. Welcome back. I've missed you.


The Quinn Report said...

Sounds like my week in a nut shell. Andrew is out of town and I'm desperately looking forward to his return so I can just go potty without any sort of disturbance.

As I am typing, I am fighting with Salem to go to bed. She hasn't had a nap today, and she keeps screaming (which then wakes up her brother and we're back to square 1.) I SWEAR TO GOD.....

Swistle said...

Hm. If they weren't so POINTY, I'd think they were flipper feet for the taken-apart swim girl.

MaryB said...

Oh, girl! I don't know what to say except that Ive so been there and it does suck all kinds of ass. But, also, it gets better. Pinky swear promise!

Up the wine dates with friends for mommy!

Anonymous said...

I am absolutily amazed, a, very good spanken at the begining when she thru the cough syrup , a big HELL-NO. Sorry , this is rediculouse , and when she hits 9 or 10? ,OMG I GOO=TTA GO , TOTALLY INSAIN. WHO=S THEBOSS HERE , GET A GRIP NOW , LIKE I SAID ,NO , MORE , TO SAY . C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natalie said...

Kids feed off everything. When I feel like crap, they tend to be on their worst behavior!

Liv has taken to yelling at me in Portuguese. She's become quite fluent in the past few weeks and deliberately yells at me b/c she knows I can't understand too much of it. When I ask her to speak in English, she screams: "I don't know how to say it in English - so stop asking me to!"

It's losing it's cuteness.

Anonymous said...

My guess would be Mermaid attachments for the doll.

One of the things that makes anger issues bad can be allergies. Red/yellow/orange food coloring (koolaid, chocolate, lots of other things) can really trigger that in kids. Protein (nuts, peanut butter, cheese) can counteract it. If this is a problem, the on/off effect can be freaky in that they can suddenly mellow with protein (~20 minutes) and flip out with food coloring.

You can also try "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka for other approaches, but the chocolate/red food color is an easier experiment.

Katie said...

Anon 1--Really? Wow.

Anon 2--I do have that book. A friend gave it to me. It does have some helpful advice that I've been trying. I need to read it a bit more, though. The food coloring thing sounds a bit like a sugar low--if protein corrects it. I don't know. Very interesting! I have weird blood sugar, and I think she is susceptible to that kind of stuff as well.

Natalie--hilarious about the yelling in Portugese. (Though I am sure it isn't hilarious to you!)

Jen said...

Hey, I thought of a few things. Kate has been having trouble with obeying lately, and we're having to get creative. I'm trying not to threaten too much (because it seems like that's all I do: "stop that or you'll go to time-out! stop that or you'll get a spanking!", etc.). So we're trying to find things that she wants (like watching Sleeping Beauty or Max & Ruby, or having her Sleeping Beauty doll in bed with her, or getting a vitamin. Would Becca react if you told her she couldn't go to school if she didn't do something you wanted? For us, making Kate earn things she wants or wants to do has been huge. I hope you can get Becca to start behaving better soon...

Katie said...

Jen, TOTALLY!!!!! That was the threaten/punish cycle I was talking about. I am finding that earning things is working better than taking things away. I just need to stay one step ahead of her!

lisa said...

I know we're relative strangers and all but Im pretty sure we could be best friends. This entire post....I could have written it. Dad leaves? Check. Behavior goes downhill? Check. Stare you in the face defiance? Check. Loss of privilege, timeouts etc. Check. Wondering if it's not enough one on one time and subsequent renewed effort for one-on-one quality time. Check. I know exactly what you are going through- Im right there with you. I love your wit, your snarky-ness, your sense of humor, AND that you aren't afraid to use the word shit on your blog. :) If our paths cross sometime....lets go get a drink.