Monday, March 05, 2007

Bad Daddy

There are so many things that you are never prepared for when you become a parent. For example, I knew that potty training would be an ordeal but what I didn't know was that it pales in comparison to trying to teach my daughter how to put on her panties. "Panty Management" occupies more time in our house than sleep does.

Another lesson that is very hard to get across is "The Ultimatum." Lately, Sam has begun to push and push and push more often. If you offer her one thing she wants another, if you offer another, she wants the first thing. That sort of thing. This forces us into little mini showdowns once or twice a day. Last night, we had a doozy at bedtime.

Sam knew that it was story time and time to go to bed but she was giving her mother a hard time about it. Bobbi is much more patient than I am with Samantha but then she doesn't have to deal with Samantha all-day long like I do. Once daddy enters the picture, things can get ugly fast. We went into her bedroom to put her to bed for the night and after much arguing she finally got into bed. I gave her a choice of two different books to read for story time. She picked the first book. Then, once I got the book out she changed her mind to book number two. After I switched to book number two, she decided she wanted book number one again. That was when I put my foot down and said no. Well, she refused to listen to me and kept demanding and demanding book number one. I explained to her that it was book number two or nothing and that if she didn't stop by the time I counted to three there would be no book at all. She continued to scream, I counted to three, and the book went away.

Now, as always happens in this situation, Sam decides that she would like to have book number two after all. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option. My father only gave me one piece of advice when I had children, he said, "If you ever tell them you're going to do something be sure that you do it." So, once I said there would be no book, there would be no book.

We move to the next phase of bedtime which is the tuck-in and the kiss goodnight. As I am trying to get this accomplished, Samantha is still screaming about book number two. I explained to her that is no longer an option and that we are now doing tuck in. We now have a repeat of what happened before because Sam is stuck on book number two and I am trying to convince her that option is gone and we are moving on. Eventually, I counted three again and now she has lost the tuck-in and the kiss goodnight. Well, you can imagine how this goes over. As I get up to exit the room she goes into a full screaming fit, no longer worried about the book, she is having a breakdown over the fact that she is not getting a tuck-in and a kiss. I, being the terrible parent that I am, turn out the light and leave the room.

It's a tough thing to do, leave the room when your child is screaming for love, but sometimes it's necessary. If there is one thing that I want my children to learn it is that when daddy says something is going to happen, it's definitely going to happen. I wonder if she is too young for this lesson but I am afraid to wait too long to give it. I try to give her options as much as possible so that she is involved in the decision-making process and feels like she is a part of it but she has to learn that when I say she has a choice between thing number one and thing number two that number three is not an option. Furthermore, if she refuses to make a choice, I will make it for her. I want my children to understand that when daddy says he is going to count to three it's time to forget whatever you are upset about and pay attention to what daddy is trying to tell you because nothing good happens once he reaches the number three.

I don't know if I'll succeed at this lesson but I've got to try.


Sagnuts said...

And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'

5:34 PM  
Booray said...

"One, two, five."
"Three sir."

8:07 PM  
Marijayde said...

Better crying fits now, then 16 year old Fu@k offs later as they hop on to their very scary boyfriends motorcycle while you are holding your newest grandchild!

At least, that is what we say in our house...


11:33 AM  

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