Monday, April 20, 2009


Day 110.

Today during naptime, Dylan couldn't manage to stay in her room for quiet time. This is an ongoing dilemma in our house because I can't figure out how to "force" her to have quiet time, while keeping her quiet enough (i.e. no crazy meltdowns in defiance of quiet time) to not wake Noah up. I find something that works beautifully, and then it just doesn't anymore one day. So, I have to keep switching it up.

So, today I had them both in the same room, but Noah wasn't sleeping. I finally gave them both books, and gave up on sleeping...just hoped for some down time for mommy. So, I left their room and went into the family room to update some pictures on my other blog that I have neglected the past month.

10 minutes later, Dylan emerged, and Noah had apparently fallen asleep! Sweet success in regards to him, but now I had to figure out what I needed from her. I didn't get enough time to relax, I just didn't feel ready to deal with more constant demands. So, I had her play in the playroom by herself for awhile. That lasted about five minutes, before she emerged again, and wanted to sit with me on the couch while I updated my blogs. I let her, and the pestering began.

First, she tried to type with me. can imagine how that went. Then she started picking at my hands. Poking them, lightly pushing them - anything to disrupt my typing. After much discussion about her interrupting my work, I told her calmly, if you can let me finish what I'm doing, I'll let you play a computer game after I'm done. I guess it's bribery, but in a way it was a natural consequence too - she wanted to use the computer - that's why she was bothering me. So, I decided I'd let her have her time if she let me have mine. She was thrilled, but she couldn't let up on the pestering.

Not even one minute later she had done something deliberately annoying to mess up what I was working on, and I was about to lose it. I gave her "one more chance" to stop - before the computer game would not be an option. And you can probably guess that she did not stop.

So, I sadly told her the prognosis, and the meltdown ensued. The one hour meltdown that ended up waking up her brother and producing a fountain of snot from her nostrils that even covered some of the streamers from her birthday party...making me take them down...more crying.

It was an incredible hour of patience.

I am grateful for keeping my cool and not yelling.

I am a firm believer of talking to your kids how you would like to be talked to. I totally think there are moments that yelling is not only justified, but NECESSARY (i.e. them running into the street, about to hit their sibling, turn on the stove, etc.). But, in daily life, I really do try to avoid it. So today, I did it. For one hour, I listened to her crying, tried to redirect, and told her how sorry I was that she didn't get to play a computer game. Afterall, I WAS sorry. I wanted her to listen and do the right thing. But it didn't happen, and I wasn't going to give in. I sent her to her room if the crying got too much for me to handle - not to banish her - but just to give her some space for her emotions so I wouldn't react negatively.

And we got through it. We made it to ballet on time, and she even danced (even though she informed me several times during the meltdown that she would NOT be dancing. At ALL.). Deep breaths.


  1. wow. good for you. i can totally imagine this whole thing...and i got all tense just reading about it. too close for comfort, i guess. :-)

  2. I have witnessed you talking to Dylan about her behavior, whether explaining to her your expectations, or dealing with a time-out. I'm always amazed at your patience and how you find the words to help her understand, while talking to her not AT her, and you are so comforting. You're such a good mom, Hilary!