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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tough Love

On Wednesday night the Sunday School students were asked to sing at the Lenten service.  Victoria knew all three verses of Jesus Loves the Little Children.  She had been performing them for several days.  Wednesday evening comes and Victoria was very tired.  If we didn't have church it probably would have been one of those nights where she crashed at 5pm and woke at 7am. 

But. . .we DID have church.  She laid on th floor and cried with a blanket over her face while I got ready.  Eventually I got her in her dress and away we went.  Long story short, the evening had many issues.  Her behavior was far from perfect.  But I knew she was really tired and I was really pushing her to be at church until 7:30 (her bedtime).

Fast forward to the next night. 

I went to pickup the kids from daycare and Victoria is frantically looking for Spanky the Beanie Baby turtle.  It was T day at school and she brought the turtle for sharing.  The issue was, school sharing is supposed to stay in her backpack at daycare.  This is why she was frantic before I got there.  I'm sure she knew I certainly wasn't going to look for Spanky.  I quietly said, "I guess Spanky is going to have his first sleep over."  She lost it.  The tears were being shed.  She cried and cried.  All I'm thinking is: early bedtime tonight!!!  She cried all the way to the minivan.  Before I backed out she began screaming, just in time for another parent walking by to actually look in the car.  I rolled the window down and smiled and said, "Would you like another one tonight?"  She has four daughters. 

As I was backing out Victoria was yelling for Spanky.  Yelling at me, "You're making me sooooo sad right now mommy!!!!"  I'm thinking: What is up with her behaior????  Did I give in too much last night by letting her cry and carry on?!

She continued to get worse and worse as I drove.  Christian was staring at her, his blue eyes even larger than normal.  About a mile into our drive she actually started SCREAMING.  A million different options were running through my mind.  Such as: scream back a her, slam on the brakes super duper hard, drop her off at grandma's on the way, crank up the music, the list goes on.  Of course I wouldn't have actually done any of those. . .just thoughts.

This thought kept popping into my head though: Children watch the way you react when you're upset to see how they should react when they are upset.

So, I didn't respond at all.  Then I took a right and pulled into the old Best Buy parking lot which is now empty.  Christian nervously asked, "Mommy, what you doing?" 

I parked, got out and opened Victoria's door.  She stopped screaming and looked at me all out of breath.  I calmly said, "You need a time out.  You are not allowed to behave that way when I am driving."  I unbuckled her and picked her up and sat her on a curb and walked around to the other side of the van. 

Shockily, she started screaming again!  Christian was really nervous looking out his window down at her then looking over at me.  When she wasn't looking at me I'd smile at him and mouth, "It's ok buddy," and smile.
I went back over to her and asked her if she was ready to ride appropriately in the car.  She looked right at me and screamed.  I got in the driver's seat and put it in reverse.  Christian started crying saying, "Mommy!  Don't leave Toria.  Be good Toria!!"  I rolled down my window and asked her if she knew how to get home from there. 

Finally she stopped screaming and crying and said, "I'll be good mommy.  I'm ready to go home."

And so we did.

First thing Christian said to Mark, "Daddy!  Mommy put Toria on the street!!!!" 

Hopefully it will be a lesson learned.

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