I really am struggling with my five year old. She is at a stage where she is just not listening.
I know she hears me, it is just that she seems to filter my instruction out. She will often go to do what ever it is that I have asked her to do. However when I get there to check on what she is doing – I find her dancing around the room with her panties on her head – or what ever – and she has totally forgotten that I sent her to the room to do in the first place.
This was amusing the first dozen times it happened, now it is less so, and has started to really test my patience (of which I had a rather short supply to begin with).
Kennith and I have always admired the independent march-to-her-own-drum spirit that Georgia possesses. However, when it starts to impact on me getting her dressed and into the car in the morning then I like it a little less.
End of last week there was an incident where she did not do what I had asked/told/instructed her to do.
I had repeated the request at least four times. When I got to her room I was faced with Georgia doing something totally unrelated to the instruction i.e. get dressed versus have a tea party with your teddy bear, that sort of thing.
(I had asked her at least four times at this point, and Pepe had asked her a further two times – so it was not for lack of instruction or direction – the child was just not doing what she was told!)
Georgia does not respond to threats of “no television” or “naughty chair” or “I am going to burn your Barbie”– threats really do not phase her in the least. You can actually see the words “see if I care” flash across her face if you threaten to take things away from her.
With Connor, I just threaten to threaten to take away television or send him to his room and he immediately desists from anything and even offers you a back and foot massage as penance.
Anyway the way, to cut a long story short, I had to go into Georgia room with slip-slop in hand and give her a hiding for not listening.
I was more traumatized and I nearly broke a nail. I think she was upset that she had received a hiding rather than crying because it hurt. She did not have tears (which she would have had if it was sore) and was more doing a whine-cry for sound and effects.
Unfortunately I can’t say it helped so all the spare-the-rod-fanatics can just please refrain from bombarding me with emails about how I must not smack my child.
This entire week has been an exercise in repeating instructions five times and then going in and screaming at her. To be honest it has not just been this week, it seems to have got worse over the last six months.
This morning she comes through and asks me to put toothpaste on her toothbrush, which I did. I then send her on her way to go and brush her teeth, get her hair sorted and take her school bag down to the car.
I finish dressing and doing whatever I need to do. I go through to the kitchen. Georgia has not brushed her teeth. Her hair has not been sorted and she is dancing down the passage with Isabelle and a wet towel.
I grabbed her, did teeth brushing, sorted out her hair and told her to get in the car.
Georgia went down the passage to her room, and returns trying to hide her “pink pig slippers” behind her back. The pig slippers are huge. An adult would have a problem concealing them – they are has big as you would imagine a large fluffy pig would be if it went on your feet.
Now the issue here is not that she is taking pig slippers to school – but that she had already asked me and I had said no, she could not take them to school.
Now I am really angry – because not only is she being disobedient, but she is being deceitful and really just being a naughty girl on all counts.
I obviously screamed at her to get in the car and then said some unsavory things to just indicate that I was a bit less than happy right now.
I drove to the kids schools. Connor decided to tell me all about fish (as he has been doing for the last five days, both to and from school – it is this monologue that does not stop.)
What I wanted to say was: “I do not care about fish. I actually could not care less who lives where and what bait you use to catch them. Please for the love of God stop telling about about fekn fish when ever your mouth opens! Can I just have 5 minutes silence in the flipping car so my brain has a moment to think about what I am going to do to punish your sister because she has decided my authority has no value. For fekn sakes just give me some silence already!”
What I said instead was: “Really? That is very interesting… mmmmm”
I drop Connor off and then decide to use the few moments of “no fish talk” to reprimand Georgia.
I was not being cruel or over-reactive (which I will admit I can be at times). I was just explaining how annoyed I was. For effect I closed it off with: “And you are being a very naughty girl!’ and then started the car to get her to her school.
Of course then I thought, imagine if we are in a car accident and I die or she dies and the last memory she has is me telling her she is a naughty girl, how’s that going to be?
I promptly pulled over, and explained that she is doing some really naughty things, and that they are not nice, and that I am very unhappy with her behavior, but that I still love her and she is the best Georgia in the whole wide world.
Mother’s guilt is really quite a strain.
I am not convinced that my heart-felt message hit the spot. However when I told her we were going away this weekend to Franskraal, she did ask if I was going to leave her behind because she was being naughty.
I am off to find a hair shirt and some form of self-flagellation tool.