This is a follow-up to the Hurt Locker post on May 15th. I thought I’d give you an update.
Writing that post really got me to think about what a ridiculous and unenjoyable situation I had created for myself. In addition, my husband and I are supposed to go to a wedding in July. I couldn’t stick a babysitter into that nightmare. Things had to change.
I’ve been using the “that’s not what a big girl does” reply a lot lately. And I feel like it’s pretty lame, and bordering on one of those things I said I’d never do or say as a parent. But it’s working, so lame or not, I’m sticking with it.
Anyway, that afternoon I told Number 5 there would be no more carrying her “like a little baby,” no more “watching me go potty,” no more back-and-forth exchanges once I’ve said good night, etc., because “big girls walk upstairs by themselves and go potty by themselves.” I told her we would read a story, I’d sing her one song, rub her back 10 times, and then give her a kiss and a hug. Still have a routine, but nothing over-the-top.
I made her a sticker chart. I told her she’d get a sticker for following the directions at bedtime. She’s been climbing in and out of her crib for about 6 months now. So I told her once she got 10 stickers, Daddy would make her a big girl bed — something we had already planned on doing, but hadn’t told her about.
Well that was all it took. Knowing she was earning a big girl bed and looking forward to putting the sticker on that chart changed everything. I coudn’t believe it. She was back to the old Number 5. I was relieved and ecstatic.
And then I was pissed.
Wait, that was really all that it took? I had let a situation seriously spiral out-of-control and for months, dreading “undoing” it so badly that I continued to make it exponentially worse, and all I needed was a little sticker chart???
What an idiot.
And the fact that this wasn’t my first child only added insult to injury. I, of all people, should have known better…
Oh well. I’d better stop writing. I’ve got a bed to build.