court, custody, parenting, single mom, toddler

Digging his own grave

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I invited Rooferman to the Christmas Party at LB’s daycare. He didn’t show. LB gave Santa the lazy eye the entire time, so I’m thinking she knew it was her teacher from the start. I tried to convince her that Santa was “Scott’s Grandpa” so she wouldn’t be so suspicious. Still haven’t bought a Christmas tree.

Rooferman also was 5 hours late to pick our daughter up on Sunday. He was an hour late dropping her off. Apparently his truck broke down on the way home. At this point, I’m just going to let him dig his own grave. Bitching and complaining and withholding visitation just makes me look bad. I added ‘Lack of reliable transportation” to my list of concerns to submit to the court when we go back next week. It still proves that once I start relaxing and letting him rearrange the schedule, and generally act nice to him, he’s like a kid in a candy store. I swear I should use some of the Toddler Love & Logic techniques on his dumb ass. 

LB had another tantrum at the pool this weekend. I told her when she was ready to stop screaming I would listen to her again. She stood there in the wading pool and howled like a banshee. Kids kept walking by her and staring at her like a leper. Lifeguards kept giving  the “should I rescue her?” look. Parents glared at me.  The pool is a pretty noisy place anyway, so you really couldn’t hear her except when she hit the high pitched screeches, but I felt terrible, just watching her stand there and cry.

Finally she calmed down and stopped screaming. I went over, hugged her and asked if she wanted to swim some more or go home. She just looked really sad, like she couldn’t beleive I would humilate her like I just did. She told me she wanted to go home. I felt like the biggest s***head in the world.

I really have a lot to say tomorrow in my parenting class. Love & Logic is making me feel like the worst mother alive, but the tantrums are slowly getting smaller. I just don’t want to be traumatizing my daughter who is already going through a confusing, scary transition period right now. I’m her safe place; her home. She knows she can always count on me. Am I ruining that delicate sense of  security?

Other than that one incident, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I had with LB this weekend (plus the added bonus of spending Sunday morning when her dad was doing God-Knows-What). I love the person my daughter is turning into, even though its very obvious she’s shedding more baby skin every day. She sings almost constantly, and I can have real mini-conversations with her now. She’s funny and brave and smart and creative. I love catching up on all the things I’ve missed while she’s at daycare.

Thanks for everyone’s comments on the Love & Logic. Its nice to know other moms opinions and get some perspective.


19 thoughts on “Digging his own grave”

  1. Change is never easy (for either parent or child) but if the tantrums are getting smaller, do you feel like the method is working?

    You are her safe place, but safe doesn’t mean in charge and operating on her own schedule and in her own way. (Not that you necessarily do that way, just saying.)

    Only you can know what feels right…and only you can make that decision.

    I will say, however, that I was significantly more lenient with my now almost 3 year old because from 11 months to 2 things were chaotic with the separation/divorce/custody battle (his older brother is the favored child with my ex and his family…to the extent that the older brother noticed it at 3).

    I’m regretting it now that’s my little one is a month away from 3. Defiant stubborn little love that he is.


  2. You’re not the worst mother alive! (I probably am!) If the tantrums are decreasing, even slightly, then she’s learning. Good ol’ classical conditioning. You’re doing what’s best for her, although she doesn’t understand that. So stay strong…keep at it. Even though it hurts like hell.

    And if she’s singing all the time, you must be doing something right. You are her safe place. She wouldn’t sing if she didn’t feel that way.

    As for Rooferman…yep. You’re exactly right. Just the facts…no name-calling, no retaliation. And he is absolutely digging his own grave. No extra work on your part needed!

    It’s so bittersweet watching a baby grow, isn’t it?


  3. FAB-U-LOUS way of handling the temper tantrum, well done. And OF COURSE you feel awful….but get over it cuz honey, littleman is 8 and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like the bad mom… and I PROMISE that by the time LB gets to be 8, you won’t ba able to either! LOL. BUT I will also say that I’m confident that I’ve got a pretty good kid on my hands so kudos to you for sticking to your guns then following through love.

    As for rooferman……butthead…..


  4. I hate it when I have to use “tough love” in public and you feel everyone around is judging you.

    I too feel like my “list of reasons ex is a bad parent” grows every time I give him a little rope. Here’s hoping he eventually hangs himself. Figuratively, of course… Right?… Maybe…


  5. Our kidlets could form their own duo; I can’t even count the number of times I’ve overheard The Mook singing herself to sleep or even narrating her day thru song. For example: ‘Knife and fork. On my plate. I like pizza. Chocolate milk”.

    I’ve had plenty of luck with time-outs when it comes to tantrums. Even if that means sitting her on the floor at the arena where we were attending the Aboriginal Festival. Sometimes, at home, I find that what she (and I) really need are some time apart. We’ll end up in our respective corners of the apartment, getting ourselves together and working thru our own sh!t before coming together to kind of discuss it (as much as a 3yr old can discuss). Of course, she’s also getting a Bozo the Clown for Christmas for when she wants to kick and punch the crap out of something instead. I’ll confess to planning my own little work-outs on the d@mn thing once she’s asleep.

    I regularly use parenting techniques on my co-workers.


  6. So people who were there were being judgemental…gee, trying to teach children how to be in the social settings and allowing them to learn by their own actions seems reasonable to me…Usually I see parents hitting and screaming at them which to me is quite unreasonable…reasoning with small children is near impossible unless they learn it through their own bodies…maybe that’s just me. Sounds like a good tact to take with Rooferman, he’ll dig his own, my mom always said, “give em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.” this seems to be pretty true for many things. Sounds like you’re hanging in there.



  7. The worst mothers are the ones that give in to every tantrum, thereby creating more tantrums. You’re doing GREAT – and screw what others may think! Other than that, you had a great weekend. ONE tantrum in an entire weekend sounds like heaven to me!


  8. He will dig his own grave, and you will be handing him the shovel and he will smile because it looks like a really NICE shovel, one that he can use to shovel up the shit and beat the garage door with and then take it back, but really, really, all it is? I gravedigger. Good for you! And I have to abstain from commenting about hte Love and Logic stuff, but I think you know how I fell about it. However, you just do what feels best for you and LB, no matter what it is-you are a good mama, and if the tools are working, use them. 🙂


  9. I agree giving in to the tantrums definitely isn’t the way to go. You may look bad in public for a little while but she’ll get the hint. I have this same issue and now that I think about it I went through the same thing with my brother. As for Rooferman your title was spot on.


  10. Just because you are her safe place, doesn’t mean you have to be the push over parent. The fact that they are going down shows that she is getting the message that you won’t give in to some things like before. Just hang in there – it is always tough to be the “bad” cop but it’s one of the things we have to do to maintain are ability to parent effectively (and have less stress during those tough moments). I have had a few of those everyone is looking moments and as soon as I let go of caring what others were thinking, I was able to focus and get my son to realize public tantrums weren’t to make me cave neither.

    Oh Rooferman, he just does the work for you —- at least that’s one nice thing you can say about him 😉


  11. You’re a wonderful mother!! And most of the parents watching you were probably doing so with sympathy because we’ve all been there. It’s never easy but you’re doing a great job handling it.


  12. Gosh what you are going through sounds like what I went through with Kiara!

    Love and Logic does sound like its offering some good advice though!

    And you seem to be doing so well :0)

    Its hard but with their fathers being unreliable – WE have to provide the stability and boundaries for our kids!! We have to be the adults and make the tough decisions so that dad can be late and irresponsible!


  13. Scott’s grandpa, now that’s creative 😉 LB is so awesome. I’m glad Love and Logic is helping; you should totally use it on Rooferman. Sorry we couldn’t watch football, hopefully soon. Luv ya lots!!


  14. Being a source of discipline and steadfastness actually enforces your position as a safe place. If movies are to be believed, spoiled kids don’t respect their parents as authority figures (nor in any other way if they’re between 13 and 18), whereas kids who have to earn their treats have a lot more respect for their parents’ authority and for them as people. I mean, we learn to respect people who treat us fairly, and to disrespect people who don’t, whether positively or negatively. Hang in there, when LB’s throwing a fit just sing a song or replay a movie scene in your head; in other words, go to a different place in your head. Good luck!


  15. You’re doing the right thing here sweets. And LB’s tantrums are normal for her age, and ANY parent that looks at you funny? Is a parent that has either forgotten that age, or is lying to themselves thinking that their child never did that. *snort*


  16. Here ya go! Although from what I can tell, Love and Logic for preschoolers might be more appropriate for Rooferman! 😉

    I tried to say this before but I’m not sure it came out right. A good parent has lots of tools in their toolbox so that they can pick and choose which one to use in a given situation. Love and Logic does give you a lot of good tools but you have to use the ones that work for you. I don’t agree with everything they advocate but I do agree with a lot of it and a lot of it has really worked for us.

    Children need limits and they need to know what those limits are. When Ex and I separated 8 months ago, I tried to give my boys a little more slack because I felt bad for all they were going through (all *I* did to them, right?) but I’m realizing now that they are as frustrated as I am. They push me and test me constantly almost like they’re just begging me to crack down and enforce some rules so that they can know what their boundaries are and feel safe in those boundaries.

    You’re doing an amazing job with LB and don’t let anyone tell you any different. You’re not perfect and you’re never going to be but you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got and LB knows that on some level even now…but as she grows, she’ll realize it even more and respect you for it.

    Hang in there!


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