Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Return of My Naughty Little Ballerina

Just when I thought Saturday mornings could not get any worse I was proven wrong by my T Bear.  The past few weeks getting her to dance class has been beyond difficult.  Let me preface what I am about to write by saying that she always enjoys class.  She comes out happy and smiling and says she had fun.  However, I have learned not to mention that dance is even on the horizon, because she starts in with "I don't like it.  I don't want to go.  I want to skip it this week.  At first I figured she was just trying to exert some control over her life, as is par for the course of a preschooler.  I am beginning to wonder if there is more to the story.  Most of the time I can get her to the studio (with some amount of coaxing), getting her through the door is another story.  She has insisted on me holding her hand (no problem) and walking her to the door (again no problem).  Then she hangs on my legs and says she doesn't want to go.  The past two weeks have brought her to tears, but then Miss S talks to her and she goes in.  Last week was exceptionally bad in terms of the fit she threw before leaving the house.  Just as I was about to give up, I promised a visit to Mima and Poppi's after class and then she was fine.  After class I warned her that that kind of fit was unacceptable and if she did it again I would be taking a toy away.  I mean she loves pretty much every toy she has, so I figured this would work. 

One week later and I was stupidly optimistic.  She started to throw a fit when I brought her leotard out, but after we talked she was okay.  I asked her why she didn't like to go to class anymore.  Her response was that she just didn't like it, she would miss me too much, and she didn't want to dance anymore.  I reminded her of the costume (which she has desperately wanted to wear), and of the upcoming recital (especially pointing out the applause and flowers she will receive!).  I reminded her that we would be picking up Mima and Poppi after class and were having a special day shopping in Syracuse.  She seemed totally on board.  Phew.  We got to the studio and I suggested that she could walk in with one of her friends.  She was more interested now!  I got her all ready - leg warmers and ballet slippers=set!  She likes to wait until almost every other girl has entered the studio, so we did and then we were at the door.  She was very hesitant, but I encouraged her that she would have fun and thankfully her little friend was right behind her, so they walked in together.  Aah.  That was pretty easy.  So, then Miss S and I were chatting for a few minutes when all of a sudden T made a bee line toward me.  She broke into hysterics saying she didn't want to stay, she didn't like dance, she just wanted me.  She was working herself into quite a state.  I tried to reason with her and comfort her.  This went on for about ten minutes.  I explained what would happen if she didn't stay.  Miss S tried to talk to her.  She even tried to pick her up, but T had a death grip on me and continued to go into hysterics.  She was pulling on her lip (which is something she does when she is nervous).  At some point, I realized that she was not going to calm down until we left (or until I agreed to leave).  I felt horrible.  I felt bad for her that she was so upset.  I felt embarrassed for her because all of the other little ballerinas were witnessing this display.  I felt bad for Miss S because she was not able to start class, while trying to help me out.  It was awful.  Mad Man was pretty much not phased at all - he was on my lap just watching the whole thing.  I told her to get her things and we would go.  I apologized to Miss S and we were on our way.  Miraculously as soon as I said we were leaving she was fine.  At this point Mad Man had made his way into the studio and looked like he was ready for class!  Figures! 

This next part I am not very proud of, but there are only so many fits I can take.  So, I took her hand - forcefully, and we walked down the stairs.  She asked for her doll (which was in my pocket) and I told her that she couldn't have it because she had a fit.  Then my blood started to boil.  I told her I was disappointed in her behavior and she tried chatting and asking for her doll again.  In my strongest Mommy voice I told her to be quiet and that we were not talking about it anymore, and we were probably not going to Syracuse.  Ugh.  Once we got to the van, she wanted her bag of toys and a snack.  Seriously??!!  My answer was no and that I didn't want to hear her for the whole drive home.  I wanted her to think about her behavior.  I decided to call Hubby to ask his opinion about whether or not to go to Syracuse.  Once I explained the situation to him I burst into tears.  It was just all too much.  Not only is it difficult just to get the two kiddos dressed and out the door to be on time for something, but then to get her all ready while at the studio, only to have it blow up was too much for me.  I regained some composure and we drove home - in complete silence.  I think she did feel bad, and realized that maybe she can't throw a fit (or at least I hope that is what she was thinking about!).

Once we got home she talked to Daddy and we decided not to "punish" her.  She told him that she just wanted to be with me and that she would miss me too much if she went to class - boy she pulled on his heart strings.  So, against my better judgment we "rewarded" her and went to Syracuse. 

I really don't know what the deal is.  She has mentioned that a girl is mean at class.  She says she misses me too much.  She says she doesn't like it (although she is always happy and excited when she comes out of class).  I am dumbfounded.  Does she really not like it?  Is this all about getting more attention from me?  Is there a little girl being mean to my T?  Is she bucking against the structure class provides?  I don't know.  I believe that she should finish what she started.  After all, she was so excited to sign up for class and to be in class (it even helped with the potty training process!).  I hope and pray I can get her through the next few months and that I am not permanently damaging her by making her go to class.  This parenting stuff is insane!

High:  Hmm...not sure I can see one...the fact that T wants to spend time with me??
Low:  My reaction once we left the studio.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dinner Chaos

I vaguely remember a time when I could take as long as I wanted to eat.  I have always been a slow eater and prefer not to inhale my food.  Then T Bear came and I had to learn to eat a bit faster.  She was generally pretty good, as long as I didn't take too long.  Now, since Mad Man arrived I don't think I have really savored a meal.  He wants to get the job done and get down.  Add T Bear and her need for attention and that is the recipe for a meal of complete chaos.

I generally prepare the meals, which I don't mind doing.  Most of the time I actually enjoy cooking.  The problem lies in the fact that Mad Man doesn't want to be away from me...at all.  I generally resort to cooking with him in my arms.  As he has gotten bigger this has proven to be quite daunting and even annoying!  When I do put him down he cries and tugs at my legs, which makes doing anything impossible.  So, I try to stick with very quick to prepare meals.  This crazy mommy doesn't even have time for those thirty minute meals!  I feel quite a sense of accomplishment when I actually get a meal on the table!

The Actual Dining:
Once dinner is prepared the fun really begins.  Mad Man still needs his food cut up into small pieces, but he is impatient so he generally makes a great deal of noise while I cut up his food!  There is also the task of getting little miss T Bear to the table.  She is in the habit of bringing her whole entourage of toys to the table with her, which takes some time!  Once there getting her to eat takes an act of God.  She has never really been interested in eating, but her interest has definitely declined!  So, once I have Mad Man's plate ready, I have to keep my hand on it before it takes flight!  I am constantly reminding T to take bites.  Sounds like a relaxing way to enjoy a meal, huh??!  Once the kiddos are eating, I can begin.  Now, what is Hubby doing this whole time, you may ask?  Enjoying his meal.  He has somehow developed a way to tune out the craziness around him.  Sometimes he is even able to read a magazine, or be on his phone too.  Lucky you know what!  Mad Man finishes pretty quickly and wants to get down, so I clean him up and get him out of his high-chair.  Then he doesn't want to be alone (most of the time) so I try to entertain him and continue to eat. 

It is amazing but sometimes there is actual conversation at our dinner table!  T is quite the conversationalist. This is wonderful except when anyone is trying to have a conversation that doesn't include her.  She resorts to repeating my name over and over and over.  She also interrupts.  She screams.  Basically she acts like a crazy person.  On the rare occasion that we do have guests (I mean who wouldn't want to dine with us?!) it is a struggle to chat.  On those oh so lucky occasions dinner even includes time outs and tears!

Clean up:
After the ordeal that is dinner I generally do not feel like cleaning up.  Instead I feel like decompressing from the battle that just ensued.  Luckily, Hubby generally takes care of cleaning up.  There are times when I need that time to be away from the noise and revel in scraping dishes and only hearing the water running.

Overall, I am still thankful to have meals with my babies; I am just looking forward to the time when I can enjoy a meal without anyone screaming!

High:  The rare occasions when everyone is eating together and conversing!
Low:  Oh, the noise, noise, noise!