It’s hard to believe that this sweet-looking creature was screaming and swinging at me just minutes before this photo.
An important piece of background info is that this child needs her rest. I know, we all need rest, but without enough sleep an alternate personality emerges from this one.
Within the last month her class has stopped naps. So, twice a week, when she goes to Sonshine School, she no longer gets a nap. The other five days she has a rest time at home (code for nap time most days).
Today we went to get a cookie after school. It’s usually a fun treat for us to swing by McLarens and enjoy a snack.
The problems began when I put the small piece of cookie in my mouth. Yes, she gave me a bite and I took it! As the piece entered my mouth her face crumpled and she screamed. I asked what was wrong and she could just manage “no” amidst all her raging emotion. So, I tried to retrieve the soggy piece of cookie from my mouth to give back as she kicked me.
She. Kicked. Me. For eating the cookie she gave me (that I bought). Since kicking her back isn’t a good option, I did the only non-violent thing I could think of, I moved the rest of the cookie away and told her it was in time out since she kicked me.
A new level of cry/scream erupted from her as tears streamed down her face and her arm flailed my way in an attempt to hit AND scratch me.
Yellow cookie is visible in her open mouth and flowing to her chin, she’s screeching and doing her best to scratch any part of me she can reach. Everyone in the store is looking our way. They’re not even trying to hide that they are watching the meltdown.
I just move myself back a little so I don’t get hit and try not to laugh at her. It really is an incredible sight.
After a bit I ask her if she wants to sit in my lap and she coughs up a yes. I ask if I can wipe her chin and she agrees. She stops flailing and moves into my lap. I wipe her tears and tell her to breathe.
Once she’s breathing instead of choking I ask what happened. She tells me I took her cookie away. I ask why. “She answers “Betause I do this” as she makes scratching motions. She knew what the problem was.
We talk a bit about that being a bad choice, I offer her a chance to make better choices and give her the rest of the cookie. All is well.
We also talked about her being tired from no nap and that she needs to stop, breathe, and think before she acts. She’s played a game on my phone where the character learns to stop, breathe, and think before acting.
She then ventured over to say hi to the ladies who work there, they’ve become her friends in the three and a half years we’ve been visiting. One asks “are you better now?” I think the employee thought she fell or something, her screaming sure sounded like the one that happens when you take a serious fall. Joanna seemed surprised she asked and just kept talking.
We finish up and head to the grocery. Here there is new prominent hello kitty display. She wants me to buy the stuffed hello kitty mermaid. I tell her not today.
A few minutes later she asks again, I say no again and tell her she already has enough stuffed animals, that they don’t all fit her box. A bit later she tells “I no want ballerina kitty, I want mermaid kitty instead”, she has the ballerina one at home and is offering to trade it in. I said no. She begins yelling I want you to get hello kitty as she stomps and swings at me. Again, it takes all my restraint not to swing back or laugh.
She tells me ” we no need food, just stuffed animals” and tries to yank the box I’m planning to buy out of my hand.
We make it up to the check out with her holding one of my hands and walking while slicing at me with the other trying to scratch me. I give the cashier my card to pay while leaning away from her scratching and telling her the behavior is not OK.
On the way to the car I tell her she may not get to go to school anymore, that it is a privilege and if she can’t behave better I may spend her tuition money on something fun for me instead. (Of course, I’d be the one losing if she doesn’t go anymore).
As I’m buckling her into her seat she repeatedly says “go away I no want talk to you leave me alone”. I just got in and turned up the radio. Cause guess what – I didn’t want to talk to her either.
Just a few minutes later she fell asleep in the drive thru line. 45 minutes later she’s still asleep and I’m tapping out this post on my phone sitting in my car in our garage. The car is off, garage door is open, and we’re both out here so it’s all safe 🙂
Wow, it’s tough to be a parent! She’s not even 4 yet and it feels like we’re drowning sometimes.