Monday part II

So we were cruising along with the new strategy of ignoring Charlotte’s negative behavior, until … the parking lot. It had begun to feel almost good, actually, knowing that not only am I not supposed to reprimand her for every little thing, but that doing that actually makes things worse. So I was starting to get used to tuning out the bad behavior instead of reacting every time, and I was relieved.

However, as Vicki says, if something is physically dangerous, do whatever you have to to intervene. So when Charlotte started running away from me in the strip mall parking lot I was caught off guard. It scared me and that kind of fear gets all mixed up with the pure frustration of a child doing the exact opposite of what you ask. So there I was, the new and improved hands-off mom, chasing Charlotte and grabbing her and putting her into the car.

She slumped in her seat with a sullen face. For that I had no choice, but I did have a choice about what to say next. I forced myself to drop the anger and only express the concern: “Charlotte, parking lots scare me and if a car came and something happened to you I would be sooooooo sad because you are my special Charlotte, my one and only Charlotte, and I want you to be safe.” Her head came up and she had a half smile. “I’m sorry, Mom.” And that was it.

Back at home, the adventures continued. Charlotte wanted to use the video camera again. “Mom, where’s the camera?” “Up on top of my tall dresser,” I said. Up the stairs she went. “Moooooom , I don’t see it, Mooooom!!!!!!!” Her volume and tone grated on my nerves, even from upstairs. I didn’t respond. “Mooooooooom!!!!!!!!!!!” she screamed several times over. I stayed quiet. Jerry offered me a big hug to calm my nerves. She started to cry and came back downstairs. “Moooommmyyyyyy!!!!! Answer me!!!!!!! …. Mooooom!!!!!” I continued putting the groceries away while my stomach secretly turned in knots. And then, suddenly, a little sniff and, “Mom?” “Yes?” I turned, leaned forward, and looked right into her eyes. “Mommy, I can’t find the camera.” “I see. Hmm. Let’s go look together.” I know that won’t be the last time, but I think it made a dent.

Later, Jerry and I were ready to try our new bedtime routine again. We headed upstairs at 8:30 and Fenner and Ellen soon followed. “Mom, Charlotte’s not coming up,” said Fenner. “Does that mean we get no time with you?” “Uh, right. You guys are a team, so you get us only if everyone is in bed.” “That’s not fair!!!!” she wailed. Jerry frowned and whispered to me, “That’s not fair, is it? We should spend time with who ever comes up.” I motioned for him to come into our bedroom so we could talk. “Remember last night, when they were helping each other?” I said. “It forces them to work together to get what they want.” “Right … you’re right, ok.” Just then we heard Ellen call down to Charlotte and then her footsteps running upstairs. “There!” I said, and we exchanged a smile.

When it got all quiet we opened the door to see Charlotte run out of the bathroom into her room. 8:45pm – 5 minutes with each girl. Smoooth sailing….

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 2: Buttons? What buttons?

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