Sometimes it’s because I dare to suggest using the potty before we leave. Sometimes, I took a minute too long to find my phone. Sometimes, The Tackler runs into the garage when I expressly told him not to after I discover that Lil Diva dirtied her diaper in the last two minutes. Sometimes he stands at the garage door (open of course) and Lil Diva can’t resist the lure of forbidden territory, so he shoves her over when she gets too close.
Whatever the cause, the screeching meltdown brings everything in motion to a halt.
And I’m left with the question, “What do I do now?”
If we still leave to have fun, it rewards his behavior. It shows The Tackler there aren’t consequences to his actions.
If we don’t have leave, then it punishes Lil Diva and me too. Because darn it, WE were looking forward to getting out of the house and enjoying ourselves (at least, I know Lil Diva would’ve enjoyed said location).
As a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM), I need to get out to keep my sanity intact.
I hate this dilemma.
Just last night we were going to take the kids to an indoor play place (as too humid and mosquito infested outside). I was literally one minute from going out the door.
Then The Tackler pushed his sister down.
I dared suggest (because of his mannerisms) that he try to go potty.
He screeched at me and began meltdown behavior.
As I walked over and picked up Lil Diva, who cried from being knocked down (just onto her butt this time), he hit the top of my head.
All of this happened within about 15 seconds.
And just like that, our plans changed. The Tackler had a Time Out. Lil Diva was soothed.
He was informed there would no longer be a trip to have fun.
Which of course, made him even more upset.
This doesn’t happen often, and sometimes, we still have to do the event planned (due to tickets being bought, or swim lessons that can’t be made up). In those cases, we take something else away (like a favorite toy) to punish him.
Last night, in a move to keep both me and my husband from strangling a very energetic 3.5 year old, I took our son to run errands with me while our daughter stayed home with Daddy. It wasn’t a reward. But it wasn’t a punishment.
And he was an angel for me. He listened, he stayed close. He picked out a baby doll for Lil Diva’s 1st birthday present. There wasn’t one screech of protest. Even when I informed him that no Toy Story toys would be venturing home with us. Somehow the little demon that had been active at home was exorcised. Or at least away on vacation.
Which had been my hope.
Still, discipline sucks. It’s necessary, I know.
But I want to have fun too.