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Jan. 5th, 2014

7:00 or so - woke up. Somehow ended up with a bunch of Daddy's race medals around her neck.

8:00 or so - wanted TV, didn't get TV, got mad and went hunting for dummies

9:00 or so - we read some stories, and then got ready to go out to the play area. Her mood was a little tough but not totally unreasonable, heading out the door.

10:00 - Left for play area. She preferred to walk and seemed cheerful to get out. Insisted on bringing the race medals, which stayed on under her coat.

10:15 - Had most of a ham & cheese croissant, and multivitamin juice, at Starbucks. Reasonably cheerful the whole time.

11:00-13:00 - Spent two hours in the play area. It was fine. We hear there was dancing in the kitchen.

13:20 - Got home, fed her roast chicken from Coop.

13:50 - By now she was pretty tired so I did her naptime routine, but she didn't want to go to sleep so I called it quiet time. She refused to stay for very long in her room, constantly coming to find me, dummies in mouth, fairly clearly avoiding sleep.

14:50 or so - Start of an extended screaming match during which she threw her dummies away and then was inconsolable without them for a very long time.

15:15 - Upstairs with Daddy (still screaming), eventually calms down, downs a whole lot of juice.

15:30 - We give the dummies back and made her have a nap given her clear exhaustion and upset.

17:15 or so - Wakes up. Still a little crotchety when she woke up but gave up her dummies without difficulty.

I was already starting to prepare dinner when she woke, and continued. Upset ensued when I made her stop destroying a doorframe liner, and she didn't want to eat much of anything (peanut butter sandwich, juice, a couple of pieces of chicken, no proper dinner.) Sat in my lap as I ate and good cheer returned.

The rest of the evening was spent watching 'Gruffalo's Child', reading 'Gruffalo's Child', pretending to be the Big Bad Mouse, generally perky.

19:30 or so - Bedtime routine starts when she finds a dummy in her bed. She chooses to watch 'Gruffalo's Child' again as the evening story. Bedtime generally without resistance apart from visit to parents' bed.
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7:00 or so - woke up, came for a snuggle in our bed, Mummy incoherent as usual. Had some bread to eat

7:30 or so - played energetically with Daddy, refused clothes for a while. Wanted TV already, got story reading instead because damn, TV on before 8 sets entirely the wrong tone for the day. Still obsessed with Gruffalo's Child and the Big! Bad! Mouse! Raaaaawwr!

8:30 or so - I went to lie back down, found two dummies in bed, stashed them in a compartment of bedside table. Shortly thereafter Sophie came hunting me, found the dummies, MASSIVE tantrum ensued when I wouldn't let her have them.

9:15 - Tantrum finally ended only when she found a stray dummy that had been inadvertently left in her room. A right little addict she is, evidently. Mike further cements his opinion that enough is enough and we have to get rid of them entirely. While I fail to cope and remove myself from situation, he tells her about the Dummy Fairy who collects dummies from big kids and redistributes them to babies who need them in return for a present. Sophie seems amenable to making a donation to the Dummy Fairy in a couple of days.

I crashed out properly the rest of the morning (yeah, been fighting illness) and she seems to have played happily. Mostly reenactments of Mr. Tumble stories, or of being the Big Bad Mouse. TV goes on at 10:45 for Mr. Tumble as per usual. I think some yogurt was consumed somewhere in here.

12:00 - I wake up, she's eating Ebly & chicken (but not actually eating the chicken) and annoying her father with her pickiness.

12:30 - Sophie visits Mummy in the shower. (Privacy, what's that?) Uses the toilet and then wants to "wash her hands" with the bar of soap, which involves holding the soap under the water for an extended period and then, when water is shut off, playing with soap on her hands well past the point of sanity, all while I'm having to support her on my knee because she's too short even with a stool to reach the sink. I try several times to get her to lay off the soap and eventually have to call for help - I can't keep holding her, but I can't put her down and let her loose with a bar of soap, and taking it away from her triggers a meltdown. Hitting Daddy -> timeout, where she eventually calms herself enough that we can talk. She's sad and tired but it's over. We try to talk about how soap is for using, not for playing with, and we were trying to help her understand how to use it. No idea of effectiveness even though she was nodding along.

For the rest of the time before her nap she was being her engaging and charming self. Still addicted to Gruffalo's Child though - I had to read the story, let her watch the TV adaptation with the agreement that it would be nap time afterward, and then for nap time her two stories were, you guessed it, Gruffalo's Child and Gruffalo.

2:30 or so - I leave her to nap, with dummies. She tries to resist by insisting on lying in our bed, but I take her back to her bed and have to lock the door long enough for her to quit resisting and go to sleep. It works very quickly.

4:15 or so - Sophie wakes up, returns her dummies, asks for me to read Gruffalo's Child. After a couple of pages she suddenly gets down from my lap and goes off to her bedroom. I hear drinking of water but then I hear some rummaging, and then crying - she's looking for her dummies in their old location and is very sad that they are gone, and is veering into tantrum territory once she is noticed. After a failed attempt to distract her with her stuffed horse, I go to the piano and start playing and that draws her out enough to come sit in my lap and eventually allow that she'd like some more yogurt. Much perkier after.

5:00 - video chat with my dad & his wife. She tells them at length about the Big Bad Mouse, and is supremely cute in doing so.

5:40 - I start cooking dinner. All fine in Sophieville.

6:00 - video chat with my mom & her partner. I'm off in the kitchen but they are all fine.

6:20 - dinner ready but Sophie wants none. All peaceful as long as we don't try to make her eat. Eventually she goes upstairs and comes back with Daddy's wireless keyboard and trackpad, and starts playing with the "computer" at her seat while we eat.

6:40 - bathtime. Unlike the days of yore, this is hardly ever a struggle now. There's always some negotiation about how many washcloths she's allowed, and whether the bath should have bubbles, etc., but particularly ever since she got a boat for Christmas she can be counted on to want to play in the bath. I tend to get the washing over with quickly and then let her splash until she asks to come out. And so the time is spent peacefully until...

7:00 - Out of the bath. When she does get out she likes to be Baby Sophie all wrapped up in the towel and snuggling in my arms, until the lure of evening TV gets her into her PJs. Tonight's show was Mr. Tumble, with her usual bottle of milk (yes this MUST still be in a bottle. Don't ask me.) Bedtime routine goes without any problems, apart from a detour into our bed after she's tucked into her own, which is ended when I say I'll eat her nose. Cue rushing back into her own bed and settling in.

I've been reading the Explosive Child book that was recommended to me (ironically, I have had it on the shelf for many years, way before I had a kid or even knew her father, because my mother thought it would help me understand my brother better. Go figure.) I'm seeing it as more of a cautionary tale than anything, with some useful perspective, but a little difficult to figure out more than a little of the application given that our main behavioral goal is the rather meta "stop her from freaking out when she's frustrated." Much of the book is also an attempt to persuade parents to stop being so unproductively authoritarian all the time, which is already easy for me since I've only got the one kid and anyway I was already aware of the distinction between "authoritarian" and "authoritative" and strive for the latter. Still, the disciplinarian thoughts (e.g. "should we really be putting up with all this bossiness and backtalk?") do creep in from time to time given how I was raised myself, so I guess it's a useful antidote to that.
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