As I type this, I am listening to Ava and one of her little friends play. It’s pretty entertaining, listening to the conversation between two five-year old girls. I love to hear them explain things to one another. For instance, the friend asked Ava where she’s going to school next year. Ava very correctly and succinctly replied, “I don’t know yet. My Mommy and Daddy have to visit schools to find the best one, and then they both have to make the same choice.”
Just when you think they don’t listen to you.
Our playdates of late also involve Ava requesting that the other child bring her American Girl doll. Good thing everyone seems to have one (or two) to bring over. I’m not completely sure, but I think the playdates involve lots of changing the dolls’ clothes, doing their hair, etc. Girl stuff, you know. It’s all very cute and sweet.
What’s not cute and sweet, however, is the scene that went down at our house last night. I really hesitated to even tell you all about this, because it really was THAT BAD. I think it was Ava’s biggest act of defiance ever. EVER.
Background: As I have told you before, bedtime for Ava is not as smooth as I’d like for it to be. There are books, hugs, kisses, prayers, a lullaby. Then she reads on her own for maybe 30-60 minutes. At that point, she calls me back in and likes for me to lie with her for five minutes. All that was going kind of well, albeit too long, until a few weeks ago. Somehow she started wanting someone to lie with her until she fell asleep. I did it for a few nights, but then decided it was time to get tough.
(At this point, I should mention that 5 out of 7 nights, she gets up in the night, comes to my room, and wants me to come back and sleep with her. Which I do. I mean, really, when it’s 3am, I sort of lose all resolve, and a bed is a bed. I’m working on this, but first trying to fix the actual GOING to bed issues.)
Monday, during the day, I prepared her. I said I would lie down for five minutes, but no more than that. She was bummed, but okay. Of course, when bedtime rolled around, she was scared to death, freaking out, putting on an Oscar-worthy performance. I did not relent, though, and she fell asleep, and stayed in her bed all night. Yay for the tough mom!
The rest of the week had its ups and downs, but I stayed strong, and figured we were on the road to success. That is, until last night.
It all started early in the day, when I picked Ava up from school. She was grumpy all afternoon, and had a HUGE meltdown/tirade, and I really thought she was going to fall asleep in front of the TV at 5pm. Davis had not napped well, and I managed to get him down for the night at 6:15. I was just sure Ava was only moments behind him. As is inclined to happen, though, her mood lifted after dinner, and she was just having a good night, playing with Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip.
The bedtime routine went well, and she read her books for a long time. I lay with her as promised, and she seemed fine when I went out of her room. That lasted about one minute. Then she was scared. I held firm, and wouldn’t go back in. She got her books and decided to read some more. But she was kind of hysterical, so her dad and I told her it was time to say good night to us and the books.
She freaked out.
Lots of screaming. Yelling. Huge tantrum.
So, I did what any loving mother would do.
I locked her in her room.
Before you judge, keep in mind that I warned her first. I said that her door could stay open as long as she wasn’t screaming. And then I decided it would be a good lesson for her if I followed through on my threat.
Within seconds, she started screaming that she needed to use the bathroom.
Now, I am not one to question a child’s bathroom needs. But that is her time-out battle cry, and we just KNEW that she didn’t have to go. After all, she had just gone at bedtime. So, we kind of snickered at one another, knowing that’s what she ALWAYS says as a way to be released from her pink and green prison.
Next we start hearing, “I REALLY HAVE TO GO!!!!! I AM GOING TO PEE PEE ON THE FLOOR!”
(more snickering between the parents)
“I WENT PEE PEE ON THE FLOOR!!!!”
I figured I had two choices here. I could either go in, and show my mad self, or I could be cool as a cucumber. I went with cool. I walked back there and very calmly said, “I would imagine you need to change underwear and go wipe yourself off. Please do so and get into bed.”
And she did. In retrospect, I should have also made her clean the carpet. But I don’t really trust a 5 year old with a bottle of Spot Shot.