Bumpity bump

Ok, I know we’re dong well overall, but today is just one of those days when it feels really hard. Maybe it’s because I’m sleep deprived (staying up too late for various reasons).

Contributions have not been happening this week. Vicki is so right — if you don’t reinforce it everyday, it quickly loses steam. So this afternoon I said, “Yes, you may play horses as soon as contributions are done.” “You’re mean!” said Fenner, and stomped around the kitchen in a big huff. She had to go back four times before she and I could agree that her contribution was done, and one of those times on her way by she popped me in the stomach. I stood there silent for a few minutes not wanting to succumb to my first reaction. Then in a low voice I said, “Fenner, hitting me is on the list of being disrespectful. If it happens again, you’ll be going back to zero.” It felt and sounded like scolding, but my tired brain didn’t know what else to say.

Fenner finally finished and then Charlotte started to walk out to join the game. I said, “Charlotte you may go as soon as your contribution is done.” Without missing a beat she said, “You can’t stooop me!” in a sickeningly sing-songy voice. I called after her, “Well then you’ll have a lot to do in the morning!” She didn’t even slow down. Sigh. Charlotte knows exactly what is truly in my control and what is not. I discovered very quickly that, with her, “Yes, as soon as…” only works if I have complete leverage, such as: “Yes, I’ll play that game as soon as…” or “Yes, I’ll drive you to school as soon as …” That one is powerful… unless, of course, she decides to take the bus. Baby steps…tiny, itty bitty baby steps …

Exasperated, I flopped down in a chair and closed my eyes. A few minutes later I heard Charlotte come back in singing to herself, “I’m good at being annoooooyying! So good at being annooooooyying! …”


Deeeeeeeeep breath. And begin again …

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Contributions

2 Comments on “Bumpity bump”

  1. Vicki Says:

    They are SOOOOOOOO Frickin Smart!!!!!!

    I am busting a gut laughing and also wanting to strangle your little mischief maker and yell – Do You Know How Frickin Lucky You Are To Have The Mom You Have? Now Do Your Bleeping Contribution!!!

    I am roaring with laughter. Only because, my dear, dear friend, I have been here hundreds of thousands of times.

    BUT – I have teens now – and they don’t do that anymore. They don’t do it because, like you, I would surrender, sit in the chair, start from the beginning, remember my long range plan and then, when I was ready, I would march my sorry ass right back into the den of fire and start again.

    And you know what – this stuff works. It is damn slow, but it works. So I am sending you love sista and strength and when you want to throttle one of those glorious daughters of yours, imagine I am standing right next to you whispering in your ear

    “She is going to change the world that one” and know, that it is because you walked back in the den and tried again.

    Big Love

    • flockmother Says:

      “It is damn slow, but it works.” That’s exactly what I needed to hear. Long term. Keep thinking loooooong term. Which is such a challenge in this country full of instant-gratification seekers!

      I think on our one-year anniversary of Parenting on Track we need to sit together and have a long talk about how far we’ve come in one year. With cake and ice cream and whatever else we want! Yup, I’m putting in on the calendar…

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