I really enjoy my days off. Thoroughly. I like sitting at home. I like watching TV. I like spending quiet peaceful time doing nothing and maybe even taking a shower. But my one weekday each week that I don't work I spend with Lila. And in order to keep from losing my mind, I try to find something to do that she will enjoy that doesn't involve me sitting on the couch with the inter-webs open all day.
Lila loves books and the library and she knows everyone who works at the small branch library near our house so she is always thrilled when I tell her we are going to go to story time. Yesterday, when I asked her if she wanted to go, she was all thrilled and excited and sang a song about how she was going to pick out some books and hang out with Mrs. Barbara, the story time librarian. I told her what time it started and what time I would be getting her dressed. I gave her a five minute warning so that she would be "finished" playing.
About 30 minutes before the start of story time I called upstairs to her. "Lila, it's time to come on down so we can get ready to go." I got no answer. So I went upstairs. She was in her room playing with her dollhouse and I called her name. She ignored me. So I turned around and said, "well, we don't HAVE to go to story time. We can stay here and you can play if you want to."
It seemed innocent enough but she lost her mind at this. First she started whining. When I told her to stop whining she started to scream and throw a fit. I talked calmly to her explaining that story time is starting at 10 am whether we are there or not, so if we want to go we have to get ready to go NOW. She started her wild flailing around screaming "I DON'T WANT TO GET READY RIGHT NOW!" to which I simply said, "Fine, Lila. You can stay here and throw a fit then. Let me know when you're done." She was kicking ans screaming and throwing herself on the floor. Then she hit her head on her dresser and started crying, so I went back in and attempted to calm her down. We talked again, and again I explained that if she wants to go to story time she needed to get dressed and we had to get going. I explained that this was her CHOICE to either stay and play OR get ready and go to story time. She simply said, "NO". At least three times, I attempted to calm her down and explain the situation, but each time I only got more attitude and sass.
She was getting more and more upset and I was getting more and more frustrated. I realized that the best thing to do was to put her in her room, close the door and walk away. So I did. She came out screaming (tantrum-ing) and I told her to get her ass back into her room because I was getting angry, but she started screaming, "I WANT TO GO TO STORY TIME NOW!!!" over and over and over.
"That little asshole," I thought. "I'm taking HER somewhere where SHE wants going to have fun. What the hell am I fighting with her for? She totally doesn't understand that this is something I couldn't care less about. And yet, she is creating this fucking scene and I am falling for it. And I am a terrible parent because I have no idea how to handle the situation and show her that I am the mother and I am only doing this FOR HER..."
So I lost it. I started yelling at her that she was being a total brat and there was no way I was taking her to story time now that she was behaving so badly. She cried and cried and cried and screamed and threw a fit, and somehow all of this seemed too much for me so I went into my bedroom, slammed the door, and the floodgates opened and I found myself sobbing. "We're not fucking going and it's NOT my fault," I cried to myself. Somehow I felt guilty that I couldn't control her and keep it together and just make it possible to get her dressed to take her to story time.
After a few minutes, I heard my door creak open. I hadn't noticed that she had stopped crying and was listening to me. She crept in and I tried to dry my face. But she knew. I turned to look at her and saw her panic stricken and scared and then that expression changed and she said, "you're making me cry..." and she started crying and hugging me.
So in the aftermath, I explained to her that from this point on, if we are going to do something fun and she throws a fit and doesn't listen, we simply will not do it. But I swear, spanking or slapping would probably work better. When I was a kid, if I ever acted like that, I would have been slapped in the mouth and then I would have knocked that shit off after a minute or two and we could get the hell on with our plans. Why is parenting such bullshit nowadays? And why do I feel it's necessary to take her anywhere if she is such an asshole about it?