Thursday, July 2, 2009

De-Throning a Princess

I hate to admit it. But- at least in this area- my husband is right.

After observing a reoccurring pattern of behavior over the past year from Hope, I finally have to admit that after we visit with either set of grandparents, it seems that Hope has to be... deprogrammed.

Honestly, it's not through any fault of my in-laws or my parents. Yes, they're your typical doting grandparents, but they do abide by the rules of the house while they're with us and support my husband and I in any discipline we have to dole out.

Nonetheless, when my sweet, three-year-old daughter finishes visiting her grandparents, I now know we are in for two to three days of over-the-top whining and world class fits. Simple, although irrational, requests turn into all out mother-daughter warfare. Like today at the park. We were just finishing up a visit with some friends, Hope had been having a blast rolling down a huge hill numerous times. I told her it was almost time to leave, so she made her way over to me.

"I'm thi-hsty," she says.

"Okay, you have water and chocolate milk in the car. When we get there, you can choose which one you want."

"I want juice," she counters.

"Sorry, I don't have any juice here."

This doesn't deter her in the least. She only persists, louder, higher, and with longer words, "IIIIIIIII waaaaaaaaant juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuice."

"Hope. We. Don't. Have. Any. Juice." Mommy responds tersely.

Needless to say, Hope's requests for juice only continued to escalate into full on screams, finally culminating in kicking Mommy in the leg for good measure.

The final battle of the war was waged by Mommy pushing a screaming and crying Hope, very quickly, in her stroller to the car where we proceeded home and Hope was put in bed for her nap with no book by a crabby mommy.

A mommy who spent the afternoon shedding tears in her room because she let her three year old get the better of her temper, and disciplined said daughter out of frustration, not love.

A truce was reached by both parties this afternoon when they each apologized, the smaller faction for her words and behavior and the opposing force for disciplining in anger.

Let no one ever say the dethronement process is easy.


  1. Awwww!! I'm sorry! But it makes for a cute blog post! Don't ever feel mean or bad, she loves you! :)

    I don't have kids and I hate comparing it this way, but our parents spoil our dog sometimes then he wants to bed for table scraps and stuff when he comes home... it's so annoying!

  2. Don't feel bad! It's sad the amount of traits child-rearing and dog-rearing have in common. ;)

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Future Mama!

  3. Sarah
    I was so proud of how you handle yourself, and her at the park today, and she really didn't need a book after what she had done! You did great, but I know the guilt always gets us. I think I remember telling you a story a couple weeks ago about me snapping at my 5 year old & and crying all night about it!

    Mother of 4/well almost 4

  4. Don't neglect the "just Sarah." Its important to remember who you are,& keep in touch with self as well :)

  5. Thanks for your comments, readers. I love when moms can gather around and support each other. We all need encouragement from time to time!

  6. These are tough afternoons - it's very hard not to let your temper get out of control. My son is now in the "dial it up" phase also. We have used time-outs in the past but they haven't been necessary for a few months. I'm afraid we may need to reinstitute them.

  7. I feel your pain, PJ!

    Time outs are a regular occurrence around here, some weeks/months more than others. Usually, I try to let the punishment fit the crime though, and I want something pretty immediate so she connects the two. In the above case, it was straight home and to bed for nap time with no book.

    There are no quick fixes or one-size-fits-all answers though, that's for sure! Keep up the good (albeit hard) work.