Testing One, Two, Three

Leah is known for testing my patience to the point that I have to leave the room sometimes and scream it out at the dog.  She'll ask for something, let's say, for me to rub her back at night, and then I'll say, okay, lie down, and then she'll just sit there staring at me.  NOT lying down.  So, I'll say, you have until the count of three to lie down or no back rub, and then she'll just sit there staring at me.  Not slowly lying down.  Not waiting until I get to three and throwing herself down.  Just not doing it.  So, I'll go to walk away, and then she'll scream I NEED MY BACK RUBBED!  MOMMY COME BACK!  BACK!   NOW!!!   BWAAHHHH  BOOOO OOOOHHHH WWAAAHHHH!!!!

Now, if you can understand what the hell she is trying to do other than bury me early then kudos to you.  Because I can't for the life of me figure out why she will ASK for something then purposely take the steps that keep her from getting it. 

And finally yesterday, it clicked.  Not what she's thinking, because honestly?  I think that at these times she was put on earth to get me back for every single thing I did to my parents growing up.  I will never fully understand my child.  She's incomprehensible and unbelievable.  Like the shelf life of a Twinkie.  And Sarah Palin. 

No, what clicked was how I was going to handle it.

Now, brace yourself, because I am about to let you in on some genius-speak.  From now on when Leah asks for something, like say a snack, and I ask her to sit down at the table to eat said snack, and then she gives me the Carol-Ann stare, I walk away.  That's it.  Snack's over.  So sorry.  Cab's are here.  Gotta go.

And that's it.  She hates it, blows a gasket, has a fit, but then eventually gets over it.  And me?  I don't hate it, blow gaskets, or have fits, and I'm over it before it's even begun.

Lately, we've been working on cause and effect.  You throw something, you get it taken away.  You want me to give you something, you ask in a big kid voice.  You want lotion, then you don't jump off your changing table.  You want to take a 30 minute shower, then you get your own apartment.  I'm tired of treating her like some special-rainbow-cuddle-bunny, when I suspect she's old enough to know that she's getting special treatment and taking advantage of me.  She's a human being and life isn't always barbies and ponies.  Believe me, for Leah, life is quite often barbies and ponies, but occasionally, it's not, and it's best she start realizing this early on.

Last night, there were some shenanigans when I announced bed time.  Honestly, I don't even remember exactly what it was.  But on the nights that Greg works late, there are usually shenanigans at bedtime.  I did that warn/threat thing, (If you don't stop jumping off your bed, you will not get your teeth medicine*) and I watched her proceed to jump off the bed.  Twice.  And I had it.  So, I took the teeth medicine, put it on a shelf where she could see it**, and her told that she wouldn't be getting any that night.  She should try harder and listen better and perhaps tomorrow would be a teeth medicine night. 

Which she did.  And it was.  However, tonight we had the back rubbing issue.  There's always an issue.  We'll try again tomorrow.

*It's Orajel.  And she's not teething.  But she got it into her head over a year ago that she needs teeth medicine nightly.  I don't fight it.  I choose my battles.

**I learned this from an old co-worker Jon, who told me that when his wife Janine needed to take something away from their daughter due to naughty behavior, she made sure that she put the toy in a spot where their daughter would be sure to see it and be reminded of naughty behavior/punishment.  I've never forgotten it.


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