Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spoke too soon

I had to gush about our weekend. About how insanely amazing Lilly is.

Apparently, Lilly read it. And said "mommy, I will keep you on your toes."

Yesterday she was crazy. Not all day: but our routine was disrupted. First, we had no electricity all day (due to the fire our building had last July after we moved in; so they were rewiring all the apartments). This didn't matter to Lilly because she went to school, but for me, I didn't really want to stay in a dark apartment all day. (I did it last Thursday when they were also rewiring - it was cold and dark and I couldn't get anything done.) And, another parent and I made plans to get the class gift for all the teachers in Lilly's class. So, since we were shopping on the West side, I decided to pick up Lilly. Lilly, by the way, is not a fan of the cold weather. So when I picked her up, she didn't want to walk home through Central Park (it's about a 30 minute walk and was about 30 degrees). So, we hopped in a taxi.

We got home and Lilly just vegged. She's not napping anymore most days, since school gets out at 2. But she is so super exhausted in the afternoon and evening. Her body honestly needs the rest, but the later in the day, the harder to nap. Plus, she has speech two days a week so there wouldn't be time to nap anyways.

Let me also mention that she went to bed late the night before, and woke up early yesterday morning. So my girl was exhausted. And, speech called and asked if she could come an hour later, at 4:30. Which is almost at her dinner time and she would be even more super exhausted.

Is that enough of a set up? So anyways, we spent the extra hour hanging out and Lilly watched Sesame Street. Then, it was time to go to speech. By this time she's exhausted, and she hates the cold, and it's a long cold walk to speech. I told her she could watch Mamma Mia when we got home, and she grudgingly got her coat on for speech.

When we get to speech, Lilly is happy usually, and today is no exception. She picked up a copy of the latest New Yorker magazine, got in a chair in the waiting room, and started "reading." 10 minutes later, she went into her therapy session.

When speech is over, I'm supposed to go back to the room and get her. Lilly was NOT happy. She didn't let me in; held the door shut. Then when I came into the room, she flung her body against the wall, hitting her head, crying "no mommy." (Can I also disclose here that I'm actually a good mommy, and Lilly actually typically likes me, despite this tantrum?) But, she was exhausted, and there is some kind of disconnect when it's time to leave speech, and it's clearly getting worse. Finally I picked her up, calmed her down a little, and carried her out to the waiting room. And in the hallway she starts flinging herself again, including into the doorway - hitting her head yet again.

At this point I'm frustrated. "Lilly! Calm down!" She is crying and completely beside herself. I don't think she even know what she was fighting at this point, but she was just a total nut. She relaxes a little, and I tell her we need to put on her coat. "No coat, mommy." But she puts it on. Then time for the hat, gloves, and scarves. It was absolute torture. I tried reasoning with her. Pleading with her. Threatening her. (Which involves "no Mamma Mia" and "no tv" - not actual horrible threats but usually things that make her get going.) I tell her the fun things we'll do when we get home. But she is not in a reasoning mood at this point.

Finally I get her winter-ed up, and into the stroller. And as she sits down, I look at her and say: "I am really disappointed in your behavior, Lilly." Which made her face break down and she started crying again. I told her I was sorry, and that I loved her, but she needs to be better behaved when we leave speech. We hugged and made the long cold walk back home.

Ugh. Hate tantrums. They are not that frequent, especially at this level. And I felt like such a bad mommy for Lilly being so sad, and I couldn't understand what was so wrong - besides the fact that she was just so tired.

Normally, it's fairly easy to get Lilly to make the right choices. A few months ago, we introduced time out. But it's a modified time out. Basically, Lilly doesn't like being told what to do. She likes choices. So the way time out is handled, is: if it's time for a bath, or time to go to the potty, or time to go to bed (all things she doesn't mind doing - but hates actually stopping what she's doing to go do these things), we give her a choice: "Lilly, do you want to go potty or do you want to go to time out?" We say it nicely, it's not a threat or a bad thing: it's actually just something that gives her an option. And she will most definitely pick "time out." So, we get a chair, put it at the front door, and she sits there for about 4 seconds, quietly. And then she gets up, and goes directly without a problem to whatever it is we had asked her to do. Basically, she needs to sit, regroup her thoughts, and decide for herself that she wants to go potty or to the bath. Of course, since I'm saying publicly that this works so well, of course Lilly will read this and decide tomorrow that she no longer likes this method and rebels.

But I think, for speech tomorrow, I might try this "time out" option when we leave. Hoping it will work!

By the way, Lilly was such an (exhausted) cutie when we got home. She was watching the movie Mamma Mia (of course) and when a certain song came on she sang along, loudly and clearly, looking directly at me: "Don't go wasting your emotions, lay all your love on me." Point taken, Lilly. :) And when her head hit the pillow last night at 7:30, my little tired girl fell sound asleep immediately, and didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning (when I finally had to wake her up for school).

1 comment:

Becca said...

Awwwww. Exhaustion (or upcoming illness) cause either the extreme sillies or the extreme crankies in our house. I know those tantrums pretty well. Glad the modified time-outs work! Kids do know when they're being unreasonable and that little bit of reflection time can just do the trick.

Love the line from the song! How appropriate, Lilly! :-)