Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I had my first day that I thought I was going to have to cancel work-for a temper tantrum that is. But I made it to work-late by only 5 minutes. Here's what happened:

3:00 pm Scarlett's sleeping. We normally start the leaving the house process so that I can be ready to work at 4 pm, but I thought I'd give her a few more minutes to sleep while I pack everything up.

3:15 pm Still sleeping. So I open the curtains, start making more noise, and wait a couple more minutes. I run the blender. There's no waking the girl that we normally tip-toe around when she's sleeping.

3:20 pm I wake Scarlett up. She's quiet and a little grumpy. I change her diaper, put our shoes on, pack the bags in the car and lock the door. I think I'm leaving.

3:25 pm When did the screaming and tears and battle begin? Around now? I decide to start the car, turn on the A/C and open the driver's window to help cool off the car. She's still screaming. I offer a snack, I offer toys, I offer books, I offer to nurse. Nothing.

3:30 pm Not sure when the hair and clothing pulling began, but it probably wasn't a good idea to wear a dress today. We've lost one of Scarlett's shoes in the car now. She's planking whenever I try to put her in her seat, when she's not alternating clinging to me then pushing me away. More screaming and tears.

3:35 pm I decide to take a breather and we walk in the driveway with Scarlett's little arms clinging around my neck and breathing in between sobs. We watch the cars drive by. Big fat rain drops start to fall and thunder is rolling in.

3:40 pm Try the car seat again. Manage to get the arms in and buckled but Scarlett is determined to slide away that I worry she might inadvertently hang herself before I get the bottom buckled. I unhooked her (error?) She's still screaming and crying. Really big fat tears, just like the rain outside.

3:45 pm The big fat raindrops have now soaked the front seat. I let go of Scarlett to put the window up and dry off the seat. Decide to take another breather and walk into the house. (had to turn the car off first). Call office to warn them that the situation's not going well. Scarlett's crying in the background of course-it helps to verify my story.

3:47 (?) pm The rain's letting up now but we're both soaked. The sandals were not a good idea either. Grab our jackets while we're in the house and try the car seat again. Our neighbor has company and three little kids are sitting in the car, providing a few moments of distraction. Scarlett must be getting tired as I wrestle her in to her seat. She's in the seat and safely strapped in!

3:48 pm We drive away. Screaming still so I alternate music on and off. Eventually it's quiet in the backseat. I try to go through my protocol, " Scarlett, I'm sorry that you're feeling upset and weren't ready to leave the house. But Mommy has to go to work and see clients and Daddy wants to see you!". I hope that is the best way to handle it. I make really loud breathing noises and I hope maybe she'll copy me.

4:05 pm We arrive at the office! Scarlett is now a quiet angel. I guess she's warn out. Thank you to my clients who also have children so could sympathize. My story seems a little pathetic now, but sadly true.

And what did we learn? Be slow when it comes to waking up someone during a nap, give lots of time, and once the situation is under control, acknowledge that it is OK to have the upset emotions and explain why we did what we did. I referenced the Discipline without Distress book and it seems I handled it in an acceptable manner. That portable DVD player is sounding like a good idea.

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