Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey Mama, I have something to tell you.

Last Wednesday evening Macey had the worst temper tantrum of her life.

Seriously, it was a doozy. I mean screaming at the top of her lungs for easily ten minutes. When she would not calm down I told her she would have to go to bed, so I just proceeded to get her ready for bed. Eventually in the course of getting her in her jammies, picking out clothes for the morning, and brushing her teeth, she calmed down. We had a little chat and everything was fine again. Craig was not home for this, but heard about it later.

Fast forward to Saturday. Craig was not home again, but that's not a big deal. We had just eaten lunch and it was time for napping. Lily can go without, but Macey needs a nap or she gets super cranky in the evening (she napped Wednesday, so there was not excuse there). Lily has a pull-out trundle bed in her room and on the weekends, if they request it, we let Macey sleep in Lily's room with her. Usually it all works out okay and they go to sleep, but sometimes we have to pull the plug because they won't settle down.

The trundle was still pulled out Saturday afternoon for nap, and they asked if Macey could sleep in with Lily for nap. I said yes, as long as they settled down. Of course they didn't, and after a warning I went in and took Macey out of there. Instead of putting her back in her room, I decided to be nice and let her lie down with me, which she usually likes to do. However Macey had other ideas.

She began screaming "LILY!" as soon as I put her down. No explanation, no other words, just "LILY!". I tried to talk to her, but she was whipping herself up into a state. I told her to calm down, I tried rubbing her back, reasoning with her. None of it worked. So I told her if she screamed "Lily" one more time that she would lose computer time that evening.

She screamed "LILY!". So I told her that if she did it again, she would lose TV. Again, she shouted her sister's name. I even told her I would swat her on the butt, which we rarely do, and after she screamed Lily again I did swat her on the butt.

She looked me right in the face and bellowed "LILY!"

So I scooped her up and put her in her bed, telling her that if she cannot control herself that she would have to be in her room. Then I closed the door.

That child screamed like I was killing her. She kicked her feet on the wall, pounded her fists on the bed, and made herself hoarse. Much more impressive than Wednesday night's little tirade. It was so over the top that Lily called for me and asked what Macey was doing. I told her that she was having a fit. Lily said "Yeah, she's really screaming loud." I said "She sure is. I don't think you ever did that." and Lily said "That's because I always got what I wanted!" HA!

Eventually Macey stopped crying, I went in and we talked, and she went to sleep.

Later that afternoon, when I would not let her watch TV or even watch Lily play on the computer, she says "Mama, I don't like you."

I said "Really? Why is that?"

She said "Because you won't let me play on the computer or watch TV."

I said "That is because you are being punished for having a fit."

"I don't love you."

"Well, I love you."

"I'm not your daughter. You're not my mama. I'm Lily's cousin and Aunt Tracy is my mama."

At first, this was like a little dagger in my heart. I knew she was saying it to hurt me, but I wasn't going to let her know that I was crushed. Instead, I said "Well, we need to call Nana and Pop-pop and tell them that you aren't my daughter."

She got a blank look on her face as I called my parents. I told them the story, and of course they howled with laughter. Then I told Macey to tell them what she had told me. When faced with having to tell them the hurtful things she had said to me, she changed her tune and said simply "I love my mama." She smiled sheepishly at me, and then wouldn't talk on the phone any more. We didn't discuss it further, and she found other things to play with and amused herself without any more griping.

So far there have been no more atom bomb tantrums. Oh, I know she'll have more of them, and as she gets older I know they'll get more refined. I also know that her hurtful comments will get more mature and will more easily find their mark. I just hope when she's fifteen and screams "I wish I had never been born!" that I don't cry in front of her.

6 comments:

csantoni said...

Impressive that you can tell that story without using the words "just like you." ::evil grin::

Grey Horse Matters said...

Wow, that sounds like a rough couple of days. Hope she settles down as soon as she figures out she's not going to get away with that behavior.

dressagemom said...

C,

Yes, that kid is amazingly like me. Mom and Dad got their wish when they said "I hope you have one just like you."

GHM,

She has settled down a bit. But it's only been a few days. Still plenty of time for another blow up!

McFawn said...

Calling your folks was a good idea. That showed that you take her words seriously, and that she has to be accountable for what she says. The fact that she backed down showed that the lesson was learned. If you had gotten sad or upset, she would have felt that she "punished" you for punishing her, and that would have encouraged the behavior. Good strategy!

craig said...

DO NOT WANT.

Chris said...

Hmmm... doesn't sound like a lot of fun! But it sounds like you handled it all extremely well - perhaps if she is learning this lesson at such a young age you won't have such an issue in the teen years?

Yeah, I know - fanciful thinking ;)

 
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