Posts tagged daughter
Posts tagged daughter
So after my exploration of discipline techniques from the experts, I have been very aware of how I interact with my daughter. I notice that she is quite resistant to any sort of direction. I let her play outside yesterday with two neighbor girls and when it was time to come in, she was somewhat agreeable. Sometimes she throws a tantrum and cries, but this time she came in, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
The next step was getting her in for her nightly shower. I know children are supposed to have routines and she knew that this was coming. When I told her it was time to get in the shower, she proclaimed, “No!” I tried the technique to show that I loved her and build a connection by saying, “Mommy loves you and wants you to be clean. Don’t you want to take a shower?” to which she replied, “Uh, nah. I like Daddy the best.” As you can imagine, hearing this felt like being stabbed with a knife to the heart. So, it took Daddy stepping in to get her in the shower.
Cut to this morning when we were trying to leave the house.
We always leave at seven in the morning so I can get her to preschool and get to work by eight. Sometimes she is right on time and I have no problems getting her in the car and on our way, but more times than not, she resists. This morning was no exception and she refused to get in the car. I feel like I am rushing her, but I can’t afford to be late to work.
It is this terrible catch twenty-two where I find my anxiety rising. It is so easy to just get in the car, but she makes it a big ordeal. It occurred to me on my drive to work that maybe she is resisting me. I had a flashback to when I was little. My father never rushed me and consequently, I was always late to first grade. He asked me if my teacher ever questions why I was always late and I told him she didn’t.
Then, one morning the teacher did ask me with an irritated tone, “Why are you late every morning?” For some reason, that did the trick. I was never late again and it didn’t take my dad pushing me along. He let me figure it out for myself and maybe I need to do the same with my daughter. The only difference is that my dad worked from home and didn’t need to worry about getting to work on time like I do. Maybe I should set a timer that will signal when it’s time to leave rather than tell my daughter. This way, it takes me out of the equation and she will not resist me, but rather follow the rules.
I think it is worth trying. I’ll let you know how it goes and keep your fingers crossed for me. Does anyone else have this trouble with leaving the house? The big problem with it is that she always wants to bring too many things with her.
Okay it’s done. I’ve set an alarm on my phone for seven o’clock and I will explain to her that when my phone beeps, it is time to leave, no exceptions. Here we go.
My dad is staying with us for his annual two-week visit. While my man and I work all day and my daughter is in preschool, my father basically has his run of the house. He did not want to rent a car, so he is stuck either surfing the internet or watching television. I can tell that he is growing tired of this routine as evidenced by the five or so phone calls I received from him yesterday. One phone call was filled with his questions about how to use the television and cable box. Apparently, he somehow turned the cable box off, but was convinced that it was not him who couldn’t figure it out, but that there was something wrong with the cable. I told him to go for a walk and we would look at it when I got home. Well, he couldn’t wait.
He walked down the street and found a cable van parked in someone’s driveway. He waited until the cable guy walked out of the house and asked him to come over to our house and look at our cable. My dad says, “I did a good deed. He’s going to be here in five minutes.” I told him “No, dad, there’s nothing wrong with the cable. Don’t let this guy into our house when we’re not there.” Do you think he listened? Of course not! I call my man who was just as upset as I was at the situation and I decided to call my dad back to make sure that he’s not letting a perfect stranger into our home when we’re not there. He didn’t even know if the cable company this guy works for was the one we use.
“He’s here right now looking at it,” my dad informs me. “What?” I exclaim. “Absolutely not! He needs to leave right now,” I so eloquently yell in my office. I hope that none of my coworkers, or god forbid, my boss hears me. Apparently, the cable guy heard my urgent pleas on the phone and said, “I was never here,” slipping out the back door. He could certainly get in a decent amount of trouble for entering a home without the home owner’s presence or permission. ”So what did he do?” I ask my dad. “He turned the cable box back on for me,” my dad says proudly. I fight the urge to yell at my dad for something I already told him.
While this scenario seems harmless enough, it caused me enough stress that I raised my voice, something I do not like doing. While I want to enjoy my dad’s visit because I only see him once a year, I feel as if he makes it virtually impossible to do so. I wonder if the animal kingdom has it right. I’m pretty sure that when an animal has babies that after a certain point they go their separate ways and do not continue to associate with one another for the duration of their lives. Maybe humans should be this way too. Why is it that we stay connected with our parents and extended family long after we are fully grown? For some families, it is nice and comforting to do this, but for others, we might be better off following the examples of animals and part ways after a certain point.
You make your own family. This is something I realized with great clarity this past weekend as we celebrated my daughter’s 4th birthday party. While some family members were present, I was overwhelmed by the response from friends. I will be the first to admit that my relationship with my parents and immediate family is not the best, but I have always tried to keep it stable. After having my daughter, my priorities changed almost immediately. It was not only about me and my desires, but now about her and what was best for her life.
Unintentionally, this made my life significantly better. I moved, went back to school, and put myself in social situations I would not otherwise have been in. Upon doing this, I have made some wonderful friends and these friends have been with us and have helped our family much more than my blood relatives. This realization has led me to consider what my life would have been like if I didn’t have my daughter. I certainly would not be where I am today.
I now see how lucky I am to have built this life in which I now live.We recently moved into a new house and thought about how wonderful it would be to have children in the neighborhood with which our daughter would get to play and have fun. Little did I know that it would mean having four, sometimes five, children in our back yard and on our back deck. One day, I arrived home from a long day at work and walked in the door to find my daughter with two neighbor girls running all over the place eating red popsicles on our light cream colored carpet. Daddy was home doing the dishes, but just shrugged his shoulders when I asked what was going on here. “They wanted to come inside,” he told me. “What was I going to say?” he asked me. Uh, how about “No”?
The fine line between being a wonderful parent and staying true to yourself is challenging, but I now see that the lines blur somewhat. I feel a connection with the parents of my daughter’s friends. We are in similar life situations and can connect on multiple levels. Will I get along with all of my daughter’s friends? No, probably not, but we definitely get along with many and I see them as life long friendships.
When people feel that they will lose their identity upon becoming a parent, it is true in some senses. I cannot go out until all hours of the night, like I did in my twenties, without a care in the world. I have responsibilities now and others depending on me. That doesn’t mean that I have to lose all of myself in my role as a parent. I can still be myself and give my daughter the best life possible. Staying social and connected is imperative. This is something I’ve learned and although I do feel more mature, I don’t feel that parenthood and adulthood is as inhibiting as I once thought it would be.
So it’s Sunday morning, the morning of my daughter’s 4th birthday party, and I’m up way too early. At the bright time of 6:40, I was awoken by my daughter, Oliver (our older cat), and Lily (our new kitten), who all decided to come into our bedroom. “I have to go to the bathroom,” my daughter whispers to me. I glance over at Daddy, and he is still fast asleep. I distinctly remember asking him if he cleaned the litter box before he went to bed when he slinked into our bedroom at about 12:30 last night and his response was, “Yes.” I’m hoping that was true.
We head into the bathroom and I try to get the cats out, but my daughter declares, “No, I want them in here!” I oblige and look around the room at the absurd scene. In this small bathroom, I stand with two cats rubbing against my legs, waiting for their morning feeding as my daughter takes her time.
As we head downstairs, I start to think about the party in a few short hours. Planning a party for small children is nothing like I thought it would be. We invited all 22 children from my daughter’s class and the RSVP process has been less than desirable. Never in my life have I witnessed such indecision. Over the last few weeks I was flooded with phone calls and emails. This child was going to attend. Then she wasn’t. Then she was. Then someone RSVP’d late. The woman I hired to run the activities was MIA for most of the week and she just had to have all of the names of the children who would be in attendance. I was forced to leave message after message for her with the updates. This child canceled, but this one is now coming. It felt like the messages would never end. Even this morning, I received an email that one child will not be coming in a few short hours.
As the four of us head downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast, I peek in the bathroom at the litter box. He didn’t clean it last night. Wonderful, I think to myself, just another task on my list of things to do this morning.
I decide to give myself a few minutes of “me time” and search online for that nail polish I’ve been coveting for the last week. I deserve it, I think to myself, as I press, “Add to Cart”. I feel a little better knowing that I have given myself this treat and realize that it’s still important to take care of myself amidst the chaos of being a mother.
And for the record, Daddy says he cleaned the litter box last night.