Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A leash just seems cruel

Oh sure, she looks all innocent here
When Magnolia was one day old and weighed less than five-and-a-half pounds, one of the NICU nurses handed her to me and said, "This one is ferocious."  At the time I loved the description.  I thought it meant she was a fighter, that despite her small size and her less than ideal birth, she was going to be fine.  And, of course, it did mean that.  She is now a bright, funny 35 pound girl who can do imitations and likes to eat brie. But I am starting to suspect that the description also portended a certain character trait, a willfulness that would eventually just kick my ass.
It's bad enough that she looks right at me like some snotty teenager from The Hills and then runs down the sidewalk, or worse, into the parking lot, just to assert her dominance and test my limits.  But she has also taken to reminding me of me.  I know this happens, that all your worst traits will get mimicked back at you, that as parents the most powerful thing we do is teach by example, with our actions.  But do I really need a not-quite-three-year-old rolling her eyes and dramatically sighing "fine" with the trumped up exhaustion of a put upon bureaucrat?  I do not.  This is just the type of mirror I do not need right now.
What I do need is some advice on what to do to get her to listen to me.  Yelling?  Doesn't work; she laughs.  Time outs? Sort of, but I hate the dynamic they set up. Reasoning?  Sometimes, but only if we talk before the event and plan out the desired behavior.  What I need is something that will stop her from running away from me in dangerous places and from acting as if she has no respect for me at all.  Suggestions?  Techniques?  New cocktails? I'll take 'em all.

A thing I like

This blog which my friend Miranda, who is the source of many good blogs, just sent to me. I especially like this post about the slow loris, which I've never even heard of, who likes to get tickled.  You have to watch the video.  It's strangely mesmerizing.


Anonymous said...

First advice...stay away from vodka...it only make me meaner. All other cocktails are highly recommended. I think you are on to something about planning behavior ahead of time. That really seems to be the charm with Beth (who is likely a Maggie + 5 years). Even doing what if scenarios, like yes, we are going to say thank you for any gift we get at XMAS, then I'll say, what about if you don't like it, what will you say then and we talk about that and even have role played before (beyond princess and dragon stuff). My problem is I'm always rushing here and there and slowing down to do a pre-dissection will only happen when I remember--but my memory is dulled from all those cocktails...wait I think I just found our catch-22. Another counter-intuitive but neutralizing tactic, when you just want to smack that bratty face b/c of whatever sassy remark just came out of it's mouth, get down on your knees, give a hug and say I love you and that generally dissipates antagonistic feelings. I have given up on changing behavior except for mine at this point in the game.

Petunia Face said...

First things first: THANK YOU. What an awesome surprise to wander on over here and see that you like me (please no Sally Field). But yeah, you really like me.

And second: I was about to do a post on the attitude. Zoey turns three tomorrow and god I love every cell, every exhale, every every, but she is a bundle of sass lately. The whining! *The sighing* The DON'T LOOK AT ME. I am so fearful of twelve...

Also--I LOVE the name Magnolia and have often said that if I have another daughter that would be her name.

Nice to meet you! :)

Petunia Face said...

Okay, wait. How weird is this? I think I know you? Not in a creepy internet way, but seriously, I think we went to school together? I was 2 years younger, friends with Tawna, you were friends with Tasha? My brother was Andy? Red Hill? I remember you and Tasha telling Tawna and I that to be cool in junior high school we should nevereverever wear both straps of our backpacks, only one. Let the other hang off. Then you showed us how and I studied you guys as if you were teaching me the secrets of a lost civilization. I still feel a little nerdy wearing both straps.

If none of these things ring a bell, then yes, this might be a creepy internet thing. Otherwise, it's just a really small freaking world.

Samantha said...

You SHOULD feel nerdy wearing both straps! I invented the one-strap backpack policy (and let me tell you, it has served me well!). So, yes, Red Hill (possibly the single most traumatizing experience of my life) Wowee. You survived and thrived. Are you still friends with Tawna? I know Tasha only via Facebook now, but, man she was my bestest for a while there. I still run into to Sharon from time to time. How did you figure this out??? This makes me incredibly happy, not least because my friend and I spent about 20 minutes DYING from laughter reading your blog today. We wheezed.

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