Today’s post has had me tossing ideas around, up in the air, like I work in a pizza parlor. At 10:00 AM, I was going to write about the veterans, and the picture of American soldiers off at war while families wait for them.
At 12:00, I decided perhaps I’d blog about NaNoWriMo, and the challenge of fitting in 1,500 words a day while trying to work full time, parent my kids, be a wife to my hubby, and maintain the house.
At 3:00, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of books were on the all time best seller list for 2009, and how a research project at work showed me the changes in our society, from diet, to money management, to very few romance novels – most by Jodi Picoult or Nora Roberts.
Now, it’s 4:20, the kids and hubby are on the way home from the park, and DD#2 just managed to step on his last straw, and crush it to the ground.
She’s my baby. She’s my bundle of joy. My surprise package, when we were grateful to have ONE child. She’s also my biggest challenge. Yes, this fair haired, curly headed, wide-blue-eyed child is the joy of my heart, my bubble, and most days, the bane of my existence. (Shouldn’t surprise you — she was after all, a naughty skeleton for Halloween.)
At four years old, she’s testing every boundary like a good four year old should. And, in doing so, she’s constantly in “Time Out.” But when does time out not do enough? When is it essential to leave her in her room, screaming, kicking, fit-pitching beyond all imagination?
Apparently, that would be today. She is the queen of the poor choices. Miss Not Listening, 2009. And she almost got herself hurt in the worst way imaginable. The story went like this. I had work to finish, so hubby took them to the park. She’s tired, she’s been sick, but she really wanted to go play. So, off they went.
I had fingertips poised to write the next thousand words on Mammoth Secrets, my NaNoWriMo project. WHEN SUDDENLY, the call came. She’d almost run, with the dog, into the street – after repeatedly being told not to do such a crazy thing. Pell mell, she runs, and almost gets hit by a car. *GASP.*
Unable to listen, the child almost gets hit by a car.
Okay, so now, she’s screaming in her room “I Don’t Want to be ALONE!!!”
I’m not writing in my story, I’m writing to you. My fellow writer mamas, who chances are—have been dealt this very hand at one time or another. This is when we have to breathe. To be parents. To just sit here and manage the clock, so they know that it’s our way or the highway, because if we don’t, they’ll never learn.
Spanking wouldn’t get through to her. She’d just tell me it didn’t hurt.
Time outs don’t work, not anywhere she can be near her toys, or see other people.
Nothing works except isolation.
And my heart hurts. My head hurts. My stomach hurts. My husband is downstairs watching a ball game. Her sister wants to help, and keeps trying to come upstairs, ferrying everyone glasses of water. And me, guardian at the gate, am watching the clock until 4 minutes of complete isolation have passed. At which time we’ll discuss why listening the FIRST Time we say something is of utmost importance.
SO, thanks for hanging with me while I parent. Discipline. And here’s to hoping next time she thinks of making such a poor choice, she’ll think twice.
In writing, we know the rules well enough to break them when it serves our purposes. But, in life, sometimes rules exist for a reason. And, we all have to learn the hard way.
What is the hardest lesson you’ve had to teach your children? or the characters in your stories?
Excuse me, I need to go kiss some tears away and lay down the law. The mommy way.