Friday, December 2, 2011

Mum vs Child

Move over Bear Grylls, I am taking on a tougher opponent than the Sierra Nevadas, a Costa Rican Rainforest or even the Moab Desert - I'm taking on the the 4 year old, second child.

It's that time of the year when the kids are ratty, I'm tired, and the looming presence of Christmas sets my hair on end most years (and not in a good way) it stands to reason that behaviour levels in the house are a little less than desirable. But what I have been dealing with lately is comparable to dealing with a stubborn water buffalo who really doesn't give a shit whether you attempt to pass it and cross the river, or stay where you are and get eaten by the crocodile that's coming down the river towards you. 

Blase, disinterested, indifferent.

I can handle kids misbehaving, I run a pretty tight shop and everyone knows what is expected of them. If they step out of line, there are consequences. But at the moment its not even the misbehaviour and mischief that is the problem, it the this level of apathy that is being displayed by a 4 year old that annoys me the most. The consequences are of no consequence to her. Nothing is working.

I have tried time out, quiet time, putting her favourite toy in time out, taking toys away, explaining, yelling.......nothing works.

Here's an example of what I'm dealing with:

While getting ready for school on Wednesday, Miss B decided that it would be more fun to run around in her pyjamas than even attempt to get ready, so as most parents would do, I picked her up ready to put her in the car in her PJs.
Unfortunately for me she is getting too big for me to successfully complete such an act while she is kicking and screaming, so in fear that I may get hurt, she got a short reprieve while I did Ardyn's hair. She decided then that it might be best to get dressed, and got in the car (not without complaining all the way mind you).

Whilst in the car (and pulled over, of course) I had a bright idea and sent a text message to Santa. asking him to "please put Bailey on the Naughty List, as she does not know how to behave". I have heard that this close to Christmas this tactic can bring the best behaviour out of the worst child.

Ardyn: *shock!!* Mum? Did you really text Santa? Can you do that? (Thank God it still works on her)

Me: There you go, you're on the naughty list Bailey. Do you know what that means?
Miss B: Yep! I get potatoes instead of presents.
Me: That's right. How does that make you feel.
Miss B: Happy.
Me: Are you sure? Do you really understand what that means? How can you possibly be happy??
Miss B: I'm happy to be getting potatoes. I'm going to make mash. I like mash.
Me: *shock!!*

Where the hell do I go from there?? As much a I would like to applaud her for having her own mind, and thinking so much further outside the square than the typical 4-year-old, the back-chat is driving me MAD!!!!

Later that afternoon I asked her specifically not to do something, and she did it anyway. I am thankful that it was in front of Cal, as he always assumes that I start the process for her bad behaviour (it couldn't possibly be his princess, must be someone else's fault). She displayed a similar indifference, and lame explanation for why she did it. So we made the decision that she was not going to attend her Kindy Christmas Party/Disco Friday afternoon (today).

I have to be honest, it broke my heart to make the decision. It's easier for Cal, as he's not the one who has to follow through, and I started feeling like a bitch as this afternoon got closer. I am not going to get to see my baby girl sing Christmas Carols with her Kindy class.

Until last night. I explained to her how sad it's making mummy that we don't get to see her sing Carols, and she came back with "I don't care", and then just carried on with whatever she was doing.
This kid is 4!!!!! Where the hell does this attitude come from??? I wasn't expecting to have to deal with this for another 10 years or so.

Then late this afternoon when Ardyn said "The disco would be over now. It's so sad that we had to miss it." Bailey replied "Doesn't matter, it wouldn't have been fun anyway."
I know I was a stubborn kid, but I was NEVER like this.Where has she learned to speak like that, as it's definitely not in our house. I would expect it more from my 7-year-old than the 4-year-old. The complete lack of disrespect stuns me!

What am I to do!!!
There was a trip to mini golf planned with daddy for tomorrow, and she has been told that she'd not going. That last comment blew us both away. She will experience what 'not fun' is tomorrow.

If anyone has some ideas, I would love to hear them.
Do you know what I would also love to hear? Support. Encouragement. Someone tell me I'm not a bad, bitch mum please. This afternoon her Kindy teacher told me how great I was doing, and that helped me through the evening. But this has been going on for a month or two, and who knows when  it will stop. I am exhausted in trying to deal with it, and have run out of ideas.

I asked Cal for help, and ideas as to what to do now, and he told me "I dunno". Great! I guess it's up to me. So any ideas, help, encouragement from the mummyblogosphere would be appreciated.

K xx