Friday, February 15, 2013


Today, on the way home from picking up Lana from Kindergarten, I asked what she and Georgia wanted for lunch.  Georgia went with her new favorite, a turkey sandwich with pickles.  Lana asked if we had any bacon for a BLT sandwich.  I introduced them to her a few months ago and it turns out it's a sandwich she loves.  Well, how could she not?  It has bacon it in!  I'm okay with it, because it has two veggies for her to eat  We did have bacon, but unfortunately it was in the freezer.  This is was not what she wanted to hear.  

"Awwww!!!  I want a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich!"  She complained.

"I'm sorry, Lana, but the bacon is frozen, so I can't use it," I tried to explain.  

This brought about a round of whining, "why nots!" and much griping.  Now, I knew that I could take out said package of bacon, defrost it enough to get a couple pieces to cook, and make her the sandwich. However, she immediately went into Lana meltdown mode so I wasn't about to tell her that.  Once she starts acting like I've destroyed her world by not giving her what she wants, there is no way I am going to give in to her demands.  Do I want to?  Hells yeah!!  It would make the whining and screaming stop.  Except then she would become a little tyrant and I just can't have that.  So, I always take the annoying good parenting road and don't give in to her demands and yelling.  

Once we got home the tantrum escalated.

"Can't you just take it out of the freezer and cook it??!!  Come on!!  I want it!!" She yelled at me.  All I she was missing was telling me I was the worst.  It's been said before.

I calmly explained that I could possibly do that, but because of the way she was behaving, there was no way I was going to.  Perhaps if she was nice and calm and asked in a better way, I would do what she wanted.  Then I walked away.  This made her break down into tears. 

Oh, there was that tired of dealing part of me that SOO wanted to give in.  I knew we were in for at least a 45 minute Lana roller coaster.  She would scream, cry and try to get my attention or get me to give in.  I would do my best to ignore her, then calm her, then figure out something else for her to have for lunch.  I was prepared.  

To my surprise, after she started crying she walked into her room and laid on the floor to cry.  I shut her door to let her have time alone, then went about the business of making lunch for Georgia and myself.  

About five minutes later, Lana emerged from her room, in complete control of herself, not a tear on her face.

"Mommy," she said very calmly.  "Could you please take the bacon from the freezer and cook it, so I can have a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich?"  

WHAAAA???  I was completely stunned.  Did an alien spaceship take my daughter and replace it with a compliant look-a-like when I wasn't paying attention?

"Wow, Lana!" I said.  "That was a very nice way to ask me, and I really like the way you calmed yourself down.  Now, what if I say I'm not going to take the bacon from the freezer?  Is there something else you want to eat or will you have another breakdown?"

She took a deep breath, looked at the ground then back at me and said, "No, I will have some eggs."

You guys, I WON!!!  I finally won one!!  I mean completely won without any cajoling, or coercing, or promise of ponies.  She figured it all out on her own.  She realized that she would get what she wanted simply by behaving and NOT by behaving badly.  She kinda grew up in those five minutes she was in her room.  I think it may have been one of my proudest moments as a mom.  The things I'm doing ARE working.  They DO listen to what I say and teach.   And because she figured it out and turned herself around, I did indeed reward her with a BLT sandwich.  She ate the entire thing.

Of course I won't claim victory over forever.  I mean she is still a five (almost six!) year old.  I know there will be plenty of days that this will not be the outcome, but as a parent anytime you have a victory like this you want to hold it up and for everyone to see and yell,

 "See!!  I did it!  I DO know what I'm doing!" 

Because let's be honest, tomorrow she could go back to tantrum city, forgetting how well this whole thing turned out for her by doing the right thing.  For now though-look at me not completely screwing up  my kids!  


cran said...

Way to go!!

Hollyhome said...

you are a stronger woman than I...I threw out an American Girl Doll a few weeks ago. Seeing about $200 in the garbage I nearly started crying immediately and helped her 'earn' it back.
I worship you!