Okay so Saturday was like any other night, we had 9 friends over for dinner and I had three kids going bezerk!
To correct myself, I had two kids going bezerk.
I had one kid who went downstairs and realized the safest place was to sit in the tv room and play Nintendo – that child has a special place in my heart and was definitely my favourite child on Saturday night.
Georgia has reached that stage, where we are at that point where we have no more tools to use to discipline her.
We had a fairly empty toolbox when we started parenting, but right now, we have run out of ideas and the tool box is empty (unless I pick it up and just starting hitting myself repeatedly over the head with it – which might end up giving me more results).
How it goes is Connor is the good, sensitive and conscientious one. Georgia would follow Connor’s lead. That way we had to discipline one, and the other one followed sort of obediently after.
It was a wonderful arrangement.
It is a bit like getting a dog, and house training and obedience training the one dog.
Given, you expend huge sums of energy on the training, but you do it, you do it well and it is done. You then get a second dog and the first dog trains the other one by association – a winner recipe for lazy dog owners.
Swap out “first dog” with Connor and “second dog” with Georgia and “dog owners” with parents and you have got our little arrangement. Sweet, when it works.
Until. It doesn’t.
Kennith and I have always congratulated ourselves (gloated actually) on what brilliant parents we are. Our kids are obedient (relatively), we can take our kids out with us (to most places) and generally ours is a fairly easy household – it is controlled chaos but our kids listen and the screaming is kept to an acceptable level (as long as mom has Chuckles and wine).
Or. So we thought.
Georgia turned five last year and it was as if a little slither of defiance opened up in her. That window has since started to grow and grow and the glass pane has fallen out, so it is no longer a window as much as it is a gaping hole!
With Connor we had time out, which worked really well. Even the threat of time out would work. We could take tv-time away, take computer-time away, and we could take Nintendo-time away – or we could threaten to.
The thing with Connor is the mere hint of threat is enough to curb his behavior.
We also use a system of counting to get results i.e. “I am counting to three, if you are still lying here when I get to three, you will get a hiding/beaten/never be allowed out again/leave what ever fits!”
Before “one” is even out of your mouth Connor is gone.
She does not respond to threats. You can threaten to take television/Barbie/her princess dress/custard or what ever away from her, she sort of looks at you like “and then what will you do?”
If you threaten to give her a hiding, she seems to think it over before actually doing anything.
If you threaten to …. actually it does not matter what you threaten she just has zero reaction. She does not care what you take away or what you threaten to throw away, she does not give a continental fig.
I count to three, and if she is being a smart ar&e she sometimes adds “four” when I get to “three” – which as mad as I it makes me, I still find really funny. That girl has got real edge to her!
It is not like she is openly defiant. But you can see on her face that what ever your threat is, it is just not doing the trick.
A bit like if your boss said: “Okay if you do not get to work on time, I will be cancelling all future enemas ….. I really mean it this time!!” Wouldn’t exactly change you getting their much earlier would it?
Georgia is about the same.
On Saturday I had told her probably five times to get into the bath. I had told her three times and screamed at her twice – I was busy cooking and just wanted her in the bath.
She did not want to bath and decided it was too early for bath time. I see she is not in the bath, and then I get really cross – so I go looking for her.
I find her hiding under the sink in the bathroom. (I was more cross because I had gone into the bathroom twice and had not seen her hiding there).
I did what any rational mother would do when they have lost the plot. I took off my right slip-slop, sat on the toilet seat, pulled said child over my lap and give her three slaps with the “plakkie” on her bum!!
Then screamed: ”Now get in the bath, or I am coming back in here with the left one!”
Listen it is not a moment I am proud of, but we can talk about the right and wrong of smacking children at a later stage.
So Georgia is balling. She gets undressed and gets in the bath …. I hear her saying something and crying, so I head back.
She goes – through snot and tears: “Is it washing hair day, because I don’t have a clip for my hair?”
I go, yes washing hair day, she goes, okay and starts laughing while she wets her hair.
My hiding was totally lost on her. I think I was more traumatised by the experience.
I then sat (in calm Super Nanny style) and asked if she understood why she got a hiding. She said “yes, because I was not listening” and then we spoke about that, and I went off feeling a bit crap to carry on cooking.
Georgia gets out the bath and then comes to make a picnic in the middle of the kitchen – where I am trying to cook – for the 9 guests. She is totally ignoring me telling her repeatedly not to make the picnic in the kitchen – I remind her that she has just had a smack for not listening.
I mean seriously how far over the edge is this child trying to push me?
I pick up blanket and picnic stuff and throw it down the passage – I seriously seriously gave up even trying to look composed at this point. The child does not listen – she does not even try to act like she does – and I am exhausted trying to find a way for her to hear me.
I am out of ideas.
I plan to take her for a hearing test in the next month, because seriously, the only possible reason is that she is stone deaf. Because I am out of other ideas.