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Friday, January 18, 2013

"Well, There Goes the Library..."

So, it was raining today (or whatever day I wrote this).

I picked the Crazies up from preschool and stressed for them not to rub up against the car because it was dirty and soaking wet.

This prompted Girl-Crazy to avoid touching the car at all...hence, she couldn't open the door because her hands would get wet.

When I got around to Boy-Crazy's side, I found him rubbing the arms of his jacket all over his soaking wet door.

I believe I hissed something like "get in the car and take your jacket off NOW!!!"

I could only hiss...after all, I was still on church grounds.  Isn't that shit sacred or something?

As soon as I closed my door, the voice was raised and so was my anxiety.  It wasn't actually that he dumbly rubbed his arms all over the soaking wet door 12 seconds after I told him not to...that part didn't really bother me.  It was that he didn't listen and that has been a consistent theme in our house lately.  Especially for him.

So, I'm blabbing on about how he doesn't listen and sometimes it's for his safety and all that shit when I blurt out, "well, there goes the library..."

Girl-Crazy starts to cry because the library is her temple and she was SO looking forward to it.

Then I point out what Boy-Crazy has done to Girl-Crazy trying to incite some sort of guilty feelings (of which is has none, apparently).  

Suddenly I realize that I did it to Girl-Crazy.  I sent her over the edge and Boy-Crazy doesn't care because he could give a shit less about the library.  He likes it when he's there, but he doesn't yearn to go there on a daily basis.  The punishment didn't mean anything to him, but I killed her will to live.

So, I rethought...which, as parents, we should do more often.  I realized that I was angry at HIS actions and he should receive a consequence that HE would care about.

The trip to the library was back on with lots of ranting from me about how he needs to make amends and tell me that he'll try to listen more and pay better attention...blah, blah, blah.

He did apologize.  I'll give him that.  He did it through gritted teeth though...not my favorite apology, but I'll take it.

We arrive at the library and Girl-Crazy tearily asks if we're going in.  I say yes, but that if Boy-Crazy didn't listen, not only were we leaving immediately, but he'd lose his play date on Friday.  The look in his eyes told me I hit the nail right on the head.  I smiled triumphantly as I walked around to get the books we were returning.  Rethinking was the right thing to do and I didn't punish Girl-Crazy...go me!

We had a nice trip to the library.  Everyone got along.  Everyone listened.  Everyone had a grand old time putting his/her books under the scanner (BTW, if you haven't taught your toddlers to check out their own books, I HIGHLY recommend it...it's so much easier to stand there making sure bar codes are straight than doing it myself while trying to make sure they're staying put.  They're mesmerized by that little red laser thing).  Everyone left in good moods.

I think that Boy-Crazy got some message about listening.  I think that Girl-Crazy appreciated me apologizing for my snap decision and letting her know that I didn't want to punish her.  I think I needed to rethink in order to calm myself down.  I needed to focus on the issue at hand and how to deal with it.

Have you ever been in this situation?  The situation where you take something away from both kids when only one deserved a punishment?  It feels crappy, right?