Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A different kind of making do

Not a crafty post today, but still about making do nonetheless. This morning things were going smoothly. The girls and I did the grocery shopping, made it to Spotlight and bought some crafty tidbits for Grandma’s birthday present and Bel’s best friend’s and got home in time to feed Willow and put her to bed. Bel sat down and watched a DVD, did some painting and jumped on the trampoline while I did some sewing. Then Willow woke up (insert ominous music here).

Willow is teething, we think. She doesn’t have any of the same symptoms of teething that Bel or any other baby on the planet has, so it’s hard to tell. But she’s really, really unsettled and screams randomly. I’m hoping it’s teeth! So she didn’t sleep as well as she should have, but was happy enough. I changed her nappy and Bel wanted all of us to jump on the trampoline. Which was fun until Bel decided I was too heavy and cramped her jumping style. Once I was off Willow wanted out because I was gone but Bel still wanted me to watch. So I plonked Willow on the pavers so she could happily play with Bel’s bike while I watched Bel jump.

Within five seconds, it was on. Bel was off the trampoline and insisting that she absolutely needed to ride her bike right now. She almost ran over Willow’s foot and fingers (amazing how babies can have all of their digits in the same place at the same time!) and I roused at her. Bel’s response was to turn around and swipe at Willow with her fist.

Now Bel is an amazing child. She is friendly and happy, not to mention intelligent and affectionate. Until she has to share. Then my beautiful girl turns into some sort of selfish monster. We’ve been using that word so much since Willow has started crawling that the other day, I asked her what she was drawing and she replied, “A selfish.” She thinks it’s a type of bug. Not sure the lesson is getting through there…

So back to today. I got very cross at Bel for attempting to hit Willow and told her it was rest time. She didn’t want a rest, so I responded, “That’s fine. You can have a timeout then.” Cue the worst 40 minutes of parenting I have had to date. Bel flat out refused to go into her timeout. So I did what any wannabe good parent does. I asked myself, “What would Super Nanny do?” Fortunately, I had seen an episode with kids who didn’t like time out at my aunt’s place last week. So off I went, explaining why Bel was in timeout and each time she came out of her room (most of the time I didn't even make it out of the door), I silently placed her back on her bed. Awesome. Except Super Nanny didn’t tell me what to do when one child is refusing a time out and the other is screaming hungry, possibly cutting a tooth, and wondering why everyone is so upset.

This meant I now had two screaming children. I couldn’t put Willow down because her screaming just went up a few octaves each time (I tried the Super Nanny thing for about ten minutes), and I couldn’t back down on Bel’s timeout. So I went into survival mode. I went out on the deck to feed Willow, closing Bel inside the house, while deeply regretting my self control in walking past the chocolate this morning. Surely she would get the hint eventually and calm down? No. My child has the most amazing stamina and continued to howl. Plus Willow was still too worked up to eat and was also screaming. So I joined in. Not with the screaming, but I definitely had tears. I am a teacher. How could I not enforce discipline with a toddler? Then I had a brainwave. I did the Mummy equivalent of sending a troublesome student to the principal. I called Daddy home from work.

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