Monday, February 28, 2011

I’m here to make you look good.

So. Saturday started out pretty well. It was Parent Observation Day at the girls’ dance studio. Lisa and I watched Maggie’s class, then Maggie and I watched Lisa’s class. That’s 2 hours of bagpipes, but it was entertaining, none the less.

When it was time to leave at 11:30, I retrieved Maggie’s jacket from the hook in the change room. Apparently, she wanted to get the jacket off the hook, which sent her into pouty, stubborn mode. Putting the jacket back on the hook didn’t help. Coaxing her gently didn’t help. Bribing her didn’t help. She refused to get ready to go. There were other parents in the room, so I was very conscious about being a “good parent”, doing the “right thing”. After 10 minutes of this nonsense, my patience had vanished and I had spiralled down into threatening mode: “If you don’t… then I will…” I was saying this quietly into her ear so no one else could hear. Other parents were giving me sympathetic smiles, some regaling me with tales of stubborn fits by their own children.

When the other parents had finally cleared out, I picked her up and carried her outside, Lisa trailing behind carrying her coat, hat, mittens and boots. Our car was about a block away, parked on a residential street. She was kicking and screaming the whole time.

When we finally got to the car, she wouldn’t get in. She somehow splayed herself across the doorframe and I could not get her in. Finally, Lisa went in the other side and pulled while I pushed with my arms and a leg. We wrestled her into her booster seat, buckled her up and closed the door (with child locks engaged).

Before I could even open my door, she had unbuckled herself and she was sitting in the front seat. I tried to speak to her quietly; tried to calm her down, but she was too far gone. I got her back in her seat and buckled (by pulling her from behind) and told her that I would throw her things into the snow bank if she didn’t stay buckled. She didn’t, and I did.

I threw her things over the car (she was on the driver’s side; the snow bank was on the passenger side). One by one, her coat, boots, stuffies, hat and mitts sailed over the car and into the snow bank. In between each toss, I was pleading with her to get buckled. I then told her that I would retrieve the items, only if she sat back in the seat and re-buckled. She wouldn’t, so I started the car and threatened to drive away, leaving her things behind and letting her take her chances with the police.

Then the homeowner, whose snow bank I had been using for dramatic effect, pulled into his driveway. He could hear the screaming child and he could see the various articles of clothing and toys strewn about his lawn. Perhaps he thought the screaming child threw them? Another sympathetic smile.

I sheepishly picked everything up and threw them in the trunk. I buckled her again and Lisa volunteered to try and keep her from unbuckling. We finally got going and she unbuckled again after not more than 10 seconds. She stayed in the backseat but kicked her leg in the front and kicked the gear shift into neutral. I was seriously prepared to throw her into the snow bank.

I don’t even know what I was threatening her with at this point. I just wanted to get home where I would have the help of another adult.

Once again buckled, we started out. Lisa was able to fight off her unbuckling attempts until we were about a kilometre from home. At that point, Lisa just tackled her and held her down until we pulled into our driveway at about 12:10.

Homer took over and all was well after about 15 minutes. She has been sternly and sufficiently punished. If you ask Maggie what happened, she’ll tell you that Mommy took her coat off the hook and that made her mad. Thank God for Lisa.


Rolling Off The Edge... Together said...

Sounds like my little peach only no older sibling to help out 9 times out of ten... UGH. Aren't these parenting moments are specatular!

Misty said...

My kids have pulled that kind of thing once or twice before. Talk about harrowing.

You got her home alive.

Seriously, great job.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Yeah, um... I still don't look good. :)

bananafana said...

acht! my little one will be just like that . . . well she actually already is but at least she's still small enough to manipulate/manhandle where you need her to be and she can't unbuckle yet. What a crappy morning for you!!!

Chantal said...

My (almost) 6yo is just like that. Today he forgot to bring his yogurt tube to daycare (he put it down to put his jacket on and forgot it) and lost his mind. And it was all my fault. And I was a mean mom and refused to go back home and get it and bring it to him. Fun times, fun times!

Sarah said...

I love how these things always seem to start in someplace public so you can't effectively nip it in the bud.

Saly said...

Oh I've had days like those, usually with my 3rd born as well. Like the time she was throwing a major temper tantrum at gymnastics and when I picked her up, she slapped me right in my face. Hard. After recovering from being so startled and talking myself out of slapping her right back, I carried her out to the van--still kicking and screaming, placed her in her seat and shut the door. I stood outside while she screamed in the van for a good 5 minutes. Then we both collected ourselves and went back in. I was the only one who was embarrassed though...

Nowheymama said...

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over my three-year old's screaming.


Erin said...

Oh preschoolers.

I can say that calmly only because mine are AT DAYCARE right now.

She sounds so much like Calum. And frequenly like Emmett. And I can only imagine what Willa will be like in another 2 years.

(wiping tears off the keyboard)

Anonymous said...

I read this when you posted it, and laughed. Not at you, but with you because whooboy do I understand. Then last week one of my twins pulled the same sh*t in the parking lot of the grocery store. I sat there, car off, for 20 minutes waiting for her to pull herself together. I don't even know what sent her spiraling into tantrum mode.

Bette said...

Because i have been there oh-so-many-times over the past 10 years, I seriously laughed my head off as I pictured you throwing things out the car and then Lisa holding her down. I think S. had to do that a few times to H. Good times in parenting for sure!!