Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Oh, the drama

Last night was a giant drama fest. J wasn't so much impatient as just pissed about not getting his way, but when I told him it was time to turn off the computer (after two or three times of telling him in advance, when we finish x, it's time to turn the computer off, and setting a timer and telling him five more minutes, when the timer beeps the computer goes off, and getting, "OK, Mama" as a response, so you'd think he'd heard and understood), he lay in the floor and screamed like I was pulling his toenails out. He didn't WANT to turn it off, he didn't WANT to take a bath, he was SCARED to take a bath ("scared" is, 95% of the time, J-speak for "I don't want to", not necessarily that he's actually scared of something). So that whole scene ended with me carrying him part-way to the bath (he's so big, I can't carry him far), him throwing himself down in the floor and screaming some more when I put him down and asked him to walk with me (he knows I can't carry him, so what am I going to do?), me telling him several times that we'd read no books before bed if he couldn't come take a bath without fussing, him continuing to pout in the middle of the floor, me telling him OK, no books before bed, him screaming all the way to the bath that he WANTED books, he LIKED books, and finally getting him into the bath. So even beyond his impatience (which rivals my own, sad to say!), if you tell him something he doesn't want to hear or ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, you get a big screaming throwdown. Would a simple "no, I don't want to, Mama" not suffice? Must it all be so dramatic? And how in the world do you help your child learn that sometimes the answer he gets is not the one he wants to hear?

He did get the chance to earn his books back, though. When it was time to get out of the bath, he started to whine and grump, and I told him we could read three books if he could get out of the bath when I told him to AND without fussing. He thought about it and started to whine again about not WANTING to get out. I asked him, hey, do you want three books or no books, because those are the options. He pouted for a bit, chewed on that some more, and got out of the bath with a minimum of fuss. He then earned two more books by being exceptionally well-behaved while I trimmed his nails (something he HATES, and screams at every time I do it). So we ended up reading our books after all, but all that drama just makes me plumb tired. I tend more to the practical side most days, I don't understand drama, I don't like drama, and now I deal with it daily.

Somewhere I think God and my mother are having a good chuckle over this.

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