Friday, July 06, 2007

My Early Morning Cardio

I hadn't planned on doing any kind of cardio this morning before work, but Caroline had other ideas. I must say, it was a decent workout - chasing her down, wrestling clothes on her, keeping her legs and arms from flailing while getting her ready - all great for my heart and my muscles. Although not so good for my psyche.

It started out like any other morning and I thought it had potential to be just fine. She had plenty of time to wake up and was even laying in her bed smiling and talking to me when I popped my head in a few times to make sure she was starting to wake up. I know that Caroline cannot be rushed and have gotten into habits to help her along in the morning. Unfortunately, none of that worked this morning.

I reminded her that she could earn some more points for her chart by getting herself dressed and set her clothes on her bed. I sat on the floor with Bryce and told her to get dressed. She kept monkeying around and doing anything but. At this point, I also reminded her how proud mommy and daddy are of her when she dresses herself, then I left the room with Bryce to brush his teeth. I thought things were progressing since I could see her pajama bottoms at the end of the bed. But in reality, that is where she stopped because when I went back into her room, there she was, laying on her bed - naked - sucking her thumb. Nice.

I had lost all patience at this point and just started getting her ready. And this is where it all goes downhill - and I knew that it would. But what am I supposed to do? (Seriously folks, if you have suggestions, I'd like them.) She won't do what I say and it's not like I have 3 hours before I have to leave. I'm okay being a little late for work on account of something like this, so it's not like I'm anxious about leaving late or anything.

She'll say (SCREAM!) that she wants to do something but when given the chance, she does not do it. I'm about to start banging my head against the wall. I've tried different tactics - making her laugh, giving her extra love/cuddles, giving her extra time, distracting her - and sometimes those things work, but more often then not lately, they do not. Caroline wants to do what Caroline wants to do.

In the evenings and weekends when she does this stuff (she rarely acts like this at daycare) we'll often respond with time outs in her room and then we tag team and she calms down. But I don't have those options in the morning. And I've tried doing timeouts and she'll sit and scream for 30 minutes - she just won't calm down.

I hate that once she goes down this slippery slope to tantrum-ville that there is NO going back. And I hate that I feel like sometimes I walk on eggshells to prevent her from going down there. But sometimes it's just unavoidable.

I hate starting our day like this. I hate that she screamed her head off the entire ride to daycare and even once in the door. However, I believe she realized at that point that I was going to leave and she became very sheepish and sat on my lap rather than continuing to fight me. So I sat with her on my lap, fighting my own tears, at how we started our day. I told her that I loved her no matter what and that I didn't like her behavior. Of course, at this point she always agrees and says she's sorry. But sorry doesn't mean anything when I know she'll do it again.

Let me tell you, this does worlds of good for my mood these days. No wonder statistics have shown that mothers of young children are much more likely to be depressed. If they are battling behavior like this, it's amazing that we're not all in the looney bin.


bracken said...

"But sorry doesn't mean anything when I know she'll do it again." -- Sydney is the pro at this one. She always says "I am sorry", "I understand", etc but you turn around and she does the exact same thing again! I know what you mean about hitting your head against the wall and right now, I don't have any great suggestions. I could use some myself!

Atleast I can comfort you and let you know you are not alone:>:>

Anonymous said...

Kenzie says "Ok" all the time even thought I've learned she has no idea what it means. Like when she's climbing on the back of the sofa (a No No) to reach something in the kitchen - I tell he No and tell her if she does it again she'll sit in timeout - she says no timeout - but within 2 mins she climbling again (usually this only happens while I'm trying to feed Tori and I'm unable to easily get to her) I know it's attention getting but it's starting to wear me down. I'm now trying to figure out how to redecorate my living room to aviod this conflict but I know even if I do she'll find something else to "do".......... How come she knows what No means but not Ok?

Ok rant over :) Thanks E!

~ Viv

Christine said...

I really wish I had some advice, but I can only offer some company. Anya's choice of wording is "I love you mommy/daddy" as if that will excuse her behavior- aargh. Yes, it is cute, but not after her tantrum antics. What do they say about the "fours"? I haven't heard anything- is that good?