Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Turning of the Tides

Funny. Just about one year ago I was blogging, in general, about the rough time Sweetie was giving me. She was typically contrary, whiney and very, VERY Daddy-centered. All she wanted was to be UP! with Daddy. She saw me and just wailed. I couldn't pick her up, so she had no use for me. Mommy - bad. Daddy - awesome!

Now, here we are a year later and Sweetie is again being a contrary, whiney, fitful twit.

(Oops. Sorry. I just used the dictionary widget on our desktop to see if "twit" is really the word I want to use. Apparently not, because its definition is: "A silly or foolish person." Nope. That's not Sweetie these days. In fact, she's pretty much a loather of "twits".)

Basically, Sweetie wants nothing at all to do with her Daddy's silliness and is instead responding much better to my attempts at calming and reasoning out the given situation.

There have been SO MANY instances of her flipping out because Hubby sang a song using different, silly words; or he teased Sweetie by saying her name a different way or claiming she's wearing one color when really it's another. Or he asks her what she wants to eat - one item being a real option, the other being, oh, say, a sneaker. The silliness examples go on and on - there have been just too many to recall something specific.

NONE of this has gone over well with Sweetie.

So what I've been trying to do is calmly talk to her and reason with her, pointing out that Daddy or ANYBODY is allowed to feel and do silly things, or happy things, or sleepy things, or whatever things and it doesn't have to change the way Sweetie is feeling. I'm trying to make her be responsible for her own feelings and not let those of others get her upset.

The other morning when we dropped Sweetie off with my mom after a particularly cranky ride over, I mentioned loud enough for Sweetie to hopefully hear over her tantrum, how, Sweetie needs to work today on not letting how other people are acting effect how she's feeling.

My mom just scoffed, saying, Amy! She's 3-years old! All kids act this way!

Yes, but I still had to speak up.

Yes, I know. But that doesn't mean we're going to let her flip out over every little thing or nothing at all. I'm not going to sit back and say, "Oh well. She's 3. What can I do?"

This morning I tried to give Sweetie an example. I had Hubby say something angry. (I think he angrily said something about not liking soggy pancakes).

I proceeded to acknowledge that Daddy is angry about soggy pancakes, but I was feeling happy and still felt very happy.

(Hubby was quick to add in that Mommy did feel badly for Daddy that he was upset - but she could still be a happy person while Daddy was angry).

I think Sweetie paid attention, but not really. Oh well. We tried. And will keep trying.

Then there was the incident earlier this week when she was screaming again because Daddy was doing one thing or another. So, while I was giving her her bath, I talked to her and made a sort of deal. Daddy was allowed to say 20 silly things a day, even if Sweetie didn't feel like hearing it. Surprisingly, she went for it and excitedly ran out to Daddy when she was done.

Daddy, I have a great deal! You can say 20 silly things a day and I won't cry.

Of course, Daddy had to ask why he couldn't say 40 silly things if he felt like it, which I thought would get her upset again. But it didn't. She was accepting of it. And then she started to get silly herself.

(Oh, so it's okay if Sweetie starts us on a silly slide, but close to an apocalyptic event if someone else starts it? Yep, unfortunately that's pretty much life as we know it.)

Anyway, ever since, if Sweetie starts to scream from Daddy's shenanigans, we stop her and remind her that Daddy is allowed to say at least 20 silly things. And she almost always stops and lets him, grudgingly, go on.

Perhaps we're making progress here? Not sure, but I hope so. As it stands, Sweetie was having a rough time dealing with Daddy's behavior this morning. But he's gone off for the day and she and I are having a very pleasant, calm, happy time together.

Now who's the awesome parent, huh?

(Actually - we both are. At least, we hope so. We sure are trying!)

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