Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miss Independent

Although Haylie is just over a month away from being three, I am pretty sure we hit the terrible two's today. It was the most awful experience! Haylie is a fairly quiet and obedient child. She has her occasional tantrum and she sits in time-out or gets her bottom spanked here and there, but all of it very mild (at least compared to what I have seen on TV), and up until today. Haylie's tantrums have been building up a little over the past couple weeks, or at least she has seemed a little more intent on getting her way, but today was the pinnacle (goodness I hope it was!).

The Story:

We were out running errands today for about an hour and we popped into a store when Haylie had to go the bathroom. We got the key to the bathroom and of course Haylie wanted to unlock the door all by herself. After already warning her about putting the dirty bathroom key into her mouth I had to take it away and unlock the door myself. This sent her into a tantrum because she had wanted to unlock the door. I hurriedly tried to pull her and James' stroller into the bathroom amidst many people staring at me and my screaming child. She went potty, all the while screaming and crying, and then the tantrum continued to escalate while in the bathroom. So I told her we were going straight to the car. Apparently this only made her more mad because she began screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing herself on the floor and kicking. She absolutely would not go out to the car with me so I had to carry her out to the car and someone else had to push James because I could barely even hold onto Haylie amidst her kicking and flailing about! I finally got her in the car (it took me several minutes to even get her into her carseat because she wouldn't let me buckle her in) and took her straight home to go to bed.

It was the most unbelievable thing!! Haylie has never behaved this way before and I have spent all day replaying the experience in my head to figure out what I could have done differently to have diffused the situation. Parenting is hard! I want to make the right choices for her but they aren't always the easiest. For example, had I spent more time letting her cool-off in the bathroom it might have ended there. However, several moms watched me walk in with her and I knew they could hear her screaming through the bathroom walls, so my own personal pride was urging me to get out of there as quickly as possible - I thought I could handle it better in the car where noone could hear. Even that was not the case.

It will be interesting as Haylie continues to exert her own independence and will how we will be able to nurture that while still teaching the appropriate way and time to use it. Here are some of Haylie's new "Miss Independent" phrases lately:
"I don't like that" - M: You need to go sit in time out Haylie. H: No I don't like that Mommy.
"Don't tell me no" - H: I want a cookie. M: No, it's bedtime. H: Don't tell me no mommy.
"No for saying no" - H: I want to watch a video. M: We aren't going to watch a video right now Haylie; we can play a game. H: No for saying no to the video Mommy. I want to watch one.
"I want Daddy." - This is very recent. Lately, whenever one of us is not giving Haylie what she wants she automatically jumps to wanting the other one. I heard this a lot today during our tantrum episode.

The other day we had a conversation like this: M: It's time to take a nap. H: I don't want to take a nap. M: I know you don't but it's time to rest a little. I want you to close your eyes now. H: No I don't like that Mommy. I want to play a game. M: I know you want to play a game but you can do that after your nap. H: (whining and crying) No for saying no Mommy. I want to play a game. M: I want you to be a good girl Haylie. Please close your eyes and go to sleep now. H: I don't want to be a good girl. M: I know you don't Haylie. Thank you for telling Mommy how you feel. It's not always easy to be a good girl but you can do it and Mommy will be so proud when you do....

Oh man- I hope today is not just the beginning. I will never judge someone in a store with a kid having a tantrum. I will only have deep empathy for them because I now know how mortifying and stressful it was.


It's Dangerous to Pick a Nurses Brain said...

EEEEW.. I am not looking forward to those days. I am sure that they are ahead, and I dread them terribly. Sounds like you did the best thing you could. Three cheers for you mom!!! You survived public humiliation with class.

Kirk and Abbey said...

You poor thing in the store! I am sure you did the right thing... and it sounds like you kept your head on straight and stuck to your guns! Good job, mom.

matt & april said...

eeeks! scary stuff! you are right, parenting is HARD and i have not even experienced it yet! oh the joys of mommy-hood!

Silly Lilly & Family said...

Oh, I can completely understand. It is so hard at times, especially when you feel the eyes of othe rpeople on you! It sounds like you did a great job of loving Haylie through being the Mommy in charge.