Cause & Effect
Rooferman bailed on LB yesterday. His “other daughters” were sick. He asked if he could see her today instead. I had agreed to work at a school last night, so as soon as he called, I flipped a U-ee in the middle of the road, hauling ass back to daycare.
I was already late to the school, and I was frazzled and pissed, so I said, “Yeah, whatever.” I caved. I let him get away with ditching his daughter and making up for it like nothing happened. UGHHHH Why? Why? I need to learn how to think rationally while driving under stress.
At least LB will be happy. At least it makes me look flexible and understanding in court, and it makes him look unreliable and prioritizing other things over his daughter. It also still proves I’m a spineless Pisces, squirming under the thumb of her ex.
I used major Love & Logic tactics on LB last night. She was whiny, grouchy and pissy all evening, so I put her in her room for a little “alone” time. She screamed for a full hour. Love & Logic says do NOT open the door until they have stopped crying for at least 3 minutes.
Her bedroom door does not lock from the outside, so I stood for an hour holding the the handle to keep her from escaping. She practiced her tried and true (since birth) method of screaming for bout 15 minutes, taking a 30-second breather, and continuing the pattern until I was reaching lunacy. It was awful. Every time I was on the brink of opening the door a reasonable amount of silence, her crying would begin again.
LB is crafty, she knew what would get to me. She alternated between “I have to go potty!” and “Mommy help!” I almost broke down when she started screaming “Its yucky!” I pictured a poo-smeared LB on the other side of the door, fully traumatized from any further potty usage. I pictured my daugther running around Kindergarten in diapers.
Finally the moments of silence began to lengthen. I could hear her sobs turn into quiet hiccups. I threw the door open after 3 minutes, my hand beet red from clenching the door handle. My poor child was sitting bare-assed on the floor, wrapped in a blanket. I looked for the poo. Where was it? I couldn’t find anything. The training pants she had flung in a corner weren’t even wet.
Sneaky little Gemini gave an oscar-worthy performance for her soft Piscean mother. I took her to the potty, gave her lots of hugs and we read some books before bed. Magically, she didn’t get up after I closed the door.
The “Mommy don’t leave” and “I’m scared” statements have been pretty consistent at bedtime. A few nights ago, she woke up at 2 am screaming hysterically about “Spiders in my bed!” I know she’s got some separation anxiety and some fear issues, and I’m trying to deal with them the best way I can.
I like Love & Logic, but sometimes I wonder if it was created to work with the “ideal” family. Where the kids aren’t abandoned by one parent and thrown in and out of confusing custody situations at a young age. Sometimes I think about how ‘giving your child choices to avoid power struggles” only applies if you have choices to give them. What if you only have one clean shirt for them to wear in the morning? What if you only have one option for dinner that night?
The teacher told us that she uses “Would you like to shower upstairs or downstairs?” option to get her kids into the bath. I only have one shower.
Either way, I think the class is good for me. Its giving me faith in my daughter’s resiliency and her ability to face cause and effect. I think its harder on me, actually.
In other news, 35 people were laid off at my mom’s job. 10 people kept their positions and my mom was one of them. Some of her very close friends are going to be unemployed at Christmas, so she feels horrible, but I’m just glad she survived the lay-offs.
Its scary out there right now.