The other day I was thinking, "Ugh. I feel like we haven't done anything truly 'blog-worthy' lately." Well, Rea fixed all that for me this morning.
I am writing this as it is happening. That's kind of unusual for me. I typically experience, contemplate, then produce award-winning* posts. Today is different.
I have talked before about some of the struggles we have had with Rea**. She is headstrong. I am proud of her for that too. Really, I am. I think the world needs more take-no-crap-don't-care-what-you-think-of-me girls than damsels-in-distress-constantly-looking-for-attention. But it'd be nice if every once in a while she'd back down when she deals with me.
We've used this technique for a while now. I love how it pushes all the responsibility of things back onto the child.... it teaches that consequences are sometimes delayed and sometimes they really suck. Rea has figured out that when Mom delays a consequence for a particular behavior or issue, she is going to HATE it.
So, this morning. Well, actually we have to start yesterday. The clinic called in the afternoon. Rea was not feeling so well. 99ish, red throat, nothing major. After school, she wanted to rest. After all, she did not feel well. We made a sick bed on the couch, and she spent almost the entire day on it. I asked if she had homework. She answered affirmatively but said she didn't want to do it. I am pretty sure she was counting on being absent on Tuesday. I didn't press the issue.
She never ran an actual fever. And this morning, before she was even out of bed, I stuck the thermometer in her mouth. 98.1 - good news chick, you get to go to school.
After breakfast the kids go upstairs to get dressed for school. Buddy bounces off, chattering about something. Rea goes into her room, sits on her bed and does nothing else. I do my usual, walk up and down the hall trying to move the boogers along. She folds her arms and says, "You can't make me get dressed and go."
I swear to you, my world froze for a minute. I heard a little voice in my head, "You've got this. This is the moment you've been training for." I looked at her, smiled. And walked away. I went into my bedroom to collect my thoughts, regroup and figure out what I was going to do. Obviously, I could force her, but that'd require a lot of physical exertion on my part. She wants me to lose my cool, she is testing me. Plus, we had to leave the house in the next 5 minutes or we'd be late and stuck in traffic. I could do nothing right now... I could concede that I cannot make her and let her make the choice, hoping it'd be the right one. Ok, that last one sounds good.
I help Bud get what he needs, and I tell Rea we are leaving with or without her being ready for school. If she decides not to go to school, I will be discussing it with Dad. He and I will figure out the consequences of such a decision.
She stuck to her guns. And I stuck to mine. Rea did not get dressed for school. I did not engage in a fight with her about it. She is a bit fearful about what consequences will be trickling down. What are Stu and I going to do?
Update and side note:
I just called my mom.
Sitting here, typing this and knowing that I put up little fight to get my kid to school today has left me feeling anxious, angry and worried. Did I make the right choice? Should I go upstairs (she's cleaning her room) and force her to go in late? Have I missed a red flag somewhere about a bigger problem? Am I really this terrible of a mother? What have I done wrong that has lead us to this exact point?
Mom talked me off the ledge. She reminded me that sometimes Rea acts out when she does not feel well, and perhaps she is suffering from sinus issues again.
*My Mommy tells me my posts are awesome.
** Read this post to find out a bit more about theLove and Logic approach.
Rea is 9 and Buddy is 7. Everyday is an adventure with these two! I love them so much.