Tag Archives: consequences

Your slip is showing

Lacking motivation or inspiration to come up with my own topics, I’m joining in today with Kate and some other folks and we’re doing a weekly theme, a shared topic each Wednesday.  Today’s is “Freudian Slips”.

This just goes to show how dry my creative font is.  Even though I was a psych major and still pick up my textbooks to read for fun, the only thing I can really think to say about a Freudian slip is that I didn’t know that Freud was a transvestite.  Thanks, I’ll be here all week!  Try the veal!  (Not really, veal is mean.  Try the penne vodka.)

I don’t have any stunningly funny stories about my own Freudian slips, and I can’t even muster the mental fortitude to remember something funny that happened to someone else.  Actually, I could link this topic back to parenthood.  But shit, I seem to link every topic back to parenthood.  As much as I love my kids I got sick of ‘hearing’ myself blog about them constantly, and I find my kids infinitely fascinating.  Or at least more infinitely fascinating than any other person on the planet would find them.

Well, darn it, I’ll go there anyway.

I slip up a lot when I yell at Jake.  He is, 98% of the time, an affable, friendly, independent, happy little guy.  Occasionally though, he pulls out the big guns and does something like write with a Sharpie on the wallpaper in the hallway.  Or color his whole hand in with a Sharpie.  Or other destruction, Sharpie-related or not.  When these things happen I am obligated, as mothers are, to yell.  (OK, I know some moms don’t yell.  And I’m all for natural consequences.  But really — if you do something dumb and destructive, I think a perfectly natural consequence is dealing with someone else getting upset about that boneheaded thing you did.)  Only I find when I go to yell at him I often don’t call him Jake.  Sometimes I call him Lane first…. which sort of illustrates who I’m usually yelling at.  And now that my brother’s living here, I will occasionally call Jake “Mark” when I yell at him… which sort of illustrates which other male in my life has supplied some of my most frustrating moments.

And speaking of Freud, let’s touch for a moment on the dream I had last night, which I’m sure Freud could have a field day with.  I don’t often wake up remembering a dream, so last night was notable for that, if nothing else.  But it was a weird couple of days… Lane’s been sick, I worked last night, I found out my friend Abby is expecting baby #2… and not that all that is weird but it made the last couple days a bit beyond run-of-the-mill.

(Edited to add a couple, in my opinion, pertinent details, for those who may be visiting for the first time:  my mom passed away ten years ago, and before I became a stay at home mom, I worked for seven years in human resources for a major pharmaceutical company, where I gained a healthy respect for the business and the products they make, but a general disdain for the currently popular sales model that most pharmas use to peddle their products.)

So… the dream.

I’m in the hospital with my mom.  Neither of us are IN the hospital, but for whatever reason we are hanging out there.  My mom tells me she thinks I should take a pregnancy test.  I don’t see why, I don’t think I’m pregnant, but whatever.  Lo and behold someone shows up, who functioned in the dream as both some sort of nurse AND as a pharmaceutical rep, wanted me to take a pregnancy test that for reasons unknown would cost my insurance company like $40.   I completely freaked out in the dream, yelling at this nurse/rep and telling her what a scam this was and there was no reason a pregnancy test should cost that much money, get me a $5 Target brand test and I’ll take it but I’m NOT peeing on a $40 stick.  She says, “would you really trust the results of a store-brand pregnancy test?  Do you think that’s the best decision for your baby?”  and I start yelling at her more, that she can’t make me feel guilty and like a bad mother for this decision and then I kick her out of the room.  That was about it.  I never did take a pregnancy test in the dream.  Your thoughts welcome!  🙂

It’s NOT OK. Harumph.

Lane’s been potty trained for awhile, about a year. She has trouble with changes and new situations… when she feels unsafe to react, she’ll just be really quiet. When she feels safe to react (i.e. when I or Frank are around) she freaks out and melts down. She *can* handle new situations well, as long as she has a decent preparation of what to expect. So, when it came to potty training, we started talking about it and reading books about potty training well before we had her try sitting on a potty.

Lane has a couple of different books about potty training. Both address the issues of accidents similarly, as in “You might have an accident. That’s OK.”

So, as (what I assume is) a pretty normal four year-old, Lane occasionally gets wrapped up in playing and doesn’t stop in time to make it to the bathroom. And she insists that it’s OK to have an accident – not in the “it’s OK, I’m not mad” sort of way the books imply, but more “it’s perfectly acceptable to have an accident”. Oh, the talking I’ve done to try to eliminate that notion… trying to explain the difference between “It’s fine and dandy to pee your pants” vs. “I’m not mad but it’s not good to have accidents”. Unfortunately I think the nuance is a bit lost on her, much to my chagrin.

I think once we’re firmly moved in to the new house and settled in, I’ll be better about natural consequences — making her rinse out her undies, stuff like that. I probably bail her out a little more than I should.

Experiments in Parenting

Lane, my 3 year-old daughter, can be a little tough to handle sometime.  I’m happy to tell you seven ways from Sunday how awesome she is, she’s tough and brave and energetic and smart and happy and fun.  But a lot of the traits that make her so awesome also make her… well, a minor challenge to parent sometimes.

I’ve finished reading one book – Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child –  and I’m currently starting to read Positive Discipline which is a bit more academic in tone so far but nonetheless interesting.  Both seem to espouse 1) that negativity gets you nowhere and that 2) it’s important to empower our children.  Well, OK, I knew #1, and I thought I was good at #2, but there are areas I need to work on.  Lane is capable of dressing herself, which is proven by the times she’s put on tights and a skirt and a shirt all by herself.  But then sometimes she loses her patience putting socks on and I am usually happy to swoop in and rescue her, rather than take the time to let her persist, or insist that she persist.

Yesterday we had such a situation.  I had plans to go to Target (aka the “Red Store” in our house because, well, it’s all red) and then to Costco and told Alena she could come if she got herself all dressed and ready.  Frank was home and feeling the need to veg, so I thought it would be nice if he hung out with Jake for a couple hours and I would take Lane with me.  She got her shirt and pants on well enough, and then came the socks.  I’m not sure what happened, but her patience wore thin with them very, very quickly.  She insisted I help her, and I refused.  I told her I knew she was a big girl and could do it herself.  She made a couple very feeble attempts and resorted to crying to try to get me to help her.  I continued to refuse, and told her she only had a few more minutes to get those socks and shoes on or I was leaving without her.  I stayed calm, counted down the time she had left, she got one sock on, and then it was time to go and I had my coat on and she had no coat on and only one sock.  So she was left behind, and she was NOT HAPPY.  Setting Limits says that if she doesn’t get something done in a reasonably time frame, then to let her deal with the natural or logical consequences of not finishing.  I think not being able to go with me was a pretty fair consequence.  I guess the truly ‘natural’ consequence would have been to make her go to the car with no socks or shoes or jacket on, and let her experience the cold on her feet and skin.  But it was pretty cold yesterday, and the voice in my head that blabbers on about how cold feet = getting sick simply wouldn’t let me do that.  And she didn’t HAVE to go to Target, it wasn’t like I was taking her to the doctor or school.  So she stayed home.  Frank says she cried for a few minutes but then was OK.

When I got home, I didn’t mention anything about it.  After I had everything put away, she said something to me like “You left without me because I didn’t put my socks on.”  I replied something like “Yes, I did.  I would have liked you to come with me.  You missed out on all the free samples at Costco!”   And I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her I loved her. (That part’s nothing new, I probably do that twenty times a day.)

The other experiment is something from the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution and applies to Jake, who despite closing in on a year old (and OMG how did THAT happen?!?) is not sleeping through the night.  In fact, he’s barely sleeping through an hour.  He generally has a 12 hour period of sleep at night, like 9:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m., but he wakes up a minimum of four times in that period.  Most nights it’s five or six times.  And each time, I find I have to resort to nursing him back to sleep.

So, one of the things I’m doing is called the Gentle Removal Method from No-Cry, which basically amounts to removing my nipple from his mouth before he’s really asleep, to get him used to drifting off without it in his mouth.  The intent is that you remove it gradually earlier in the putting-to-sleep process, so that eventually the baby isn’t really nursing to sleep at all, but might be nursing before going to sleep.  This is a method of real patience, but it paid off handsomely with Alena when she was about this age, so now it’s Jake’s turn.  I’m also trying to introduce a lovey to Jake.  I’ve picked one of the smaller stuffed toys we have – a little bear that also winds up and plays lullaby music.  Starting last night, as I nurse him to sleep at bedtime, I’m letting him snuggle with the bear while he nurses, thus associating the bear with nursing and falling asleep.  I feel conflicted about this.  Is it really the best thing to try to fixate him on an inanimate object, when up until now I’ve been his lovey/pacifier?   But at the same time, I’ve been his lovey/pacifier.  And I’m tired.

We’ll see how it goes.  I’m pretty confident the gentle removal will provide some improvement.  I’m not sure if I’ll persist with the lovey idea, but I’m going to keep with it for the next few nights, too, and see what happens.