Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Since Clare turned 3, she has decided it is time to test everything, especially my patience. Six months ago I wrote a post about her bad behavior. She was doing a lot better for awhile, but on her birthday the switch flipped. Back to brat.

I should say this: she is generally a really good kid. She is funny and smart and creative. There are just these moments, though. And they are daily.

Last week she ran away from me at the park. Luckily, a friend was there to hold Christopher while I tracked her down. When I told Clare I would have had to leave Christopher alone if my friend hadn't been there, she was chastened. It didn't last long, though. As I was putting her in her car seat she had another tantrum, and kicked me in the face. (She was not trying to hurt me. She was just flailing everywhere.)

She is not subtle about it, either. Today she said, "I am not going to listen to you." Just outright said it. So she knows what she is doing. She knows I know what she is doing. And she uses the snottiest tone of voice. Where do they get that? I don't talk to her that way.

I've tried time outs. I've tried counting (which I hate. I don't do it in public). I take things away: books, TV, dessert. Ben talks to her at night about listening to me.

She is fighting her naps. She is exhausted, but refuses to sleep. I try quiet time. That works, for about 15 minutes. She NEEDS her nap. I NEED her nap. Right now she is in her room crying, and has been for the past 40 minutes. She has some stamina, I'll give her that.

The professionals talk about how children go through stages of equilibrium and disequilibrium as they pass through different developmental stages. We are definitely in disequilibrium right now. Hopefully by the time she is 3 and a half the switch will be flipped back the other way.

Until then, I'll count my blessings that she hasn't figured out how to open her bedroom door, so I can shut her in there.

Speaking of figuring things out:

Yep, he realized he can escape the play room. We are in trouble now.


  1. Oh, Em. I'm sorry. Disequalibrium is such a tough stage. I think that was (at least) part of Mason's problem in May and June. He turned 4 and things were HARD. It happened at the same time (May and June) after he turned two. It's interesting, but SO frustrating.

    I read some good ideas on it (though I can't remember where) that time outs and punishment just might not work for this stuff. You have to give them extra love and extra listening. Which is the LAST thing you want to do after they kick you in the face!

    However, it seemed Mason would only behave worse after time outs at Laura's house vs when she would sit down and talk it out with him.

    As far as quiet time, you both need that, so I hope she gets over the tantrums in her room and learns she can either nap or play quietly and it's good for everyone in the end.

    Hang in there. Rationally we know it's all just a phase. Irrationally it feels like your child has gone to the Dark Side for life and you've given birth to a soon-to-be criminal.

    (That picture of Christopher! He has mischief in his eyes! Uh oh.)

  2. I can SO relate. The running away, the kicking/tantrums, the sass talk. They know how to push us to the edge, don't they?! I honestly think those moments are the most challenging (so far) of parenting. Forget the sleep deprivation, this is a whole different type of HARD. It's one thing to research what you're SUPPOSED to do in those situations, another thing entirely to actually do those things. My only "words of wisdom" for you is to know that you're not alone. Also? CLARE!! TAKE YOUR NAPS! Your mama needs them for her sanity.