Well… I guess you could say we got The Best of What It’s Like To Be A Parent this weekend with Emelia. It certainly was obvious this go around with me out of the house for three solid weeks that Emelia didn’t wholeheartedly approve. And that became more and more acute as this week rolled on and bedtime became more and more of… well… a challenge.
That all culminated this weekend – last night to be precise – when Emelia wouldn’t go to bed. We had managed to get her started on her bedtime routine a little later than usual so that she and Danielle could pick me up from work. What followed is what usually happens when we give her a later night up—we got burned in a big way!
After the usual evening game plan of bathroom, story and one or two song of snuggles, I made the plea with Emelia that she would remain quiet in her bed and try and sleep, long enough for Mommy and Daddy to try and eat their supper. I promised I would be back up to check on her in ten minutes to see how she was doing. Literally two minutes into devouring our meal like it was the first food after a month without, the calls for Mommy or Daddy started. What continued was a three and a half hour battle with every atom within Emelia’s solar system as to precisely the litany of reasons why she could not go to sleep on her own.
It took the two of Danielle and I the better part of those three and a half extremely frustrating hours before she finally stopped the temper tantrums, out of sheer exhaustion and passed out well after 11;30pm. The frustration so exasperating, that Danielle and I even closed out the night arguing ourselves because of miscommunication and misunderstanding in our depraved state of wits.
But the morning arrived and Emelia discovered that Mommy and Daddy were reunited, regrouped and were refocused on the response to her absolutely ridiculous night of protest.
It’s her first real experience with being grounded from things that mean something to her. And while it certainly didn’t make life any easier for Danielle and I, we’re resigned that the groundwork we’re laying now is about showing her what respect and responsible behaviour looks like. I most certainly what a fiercely independent girl that will grow into a woman not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. But I also want her to understand that life isn’t consequence free and that sometimes when she pushes back it better be worthwhile because she may not get the result she wanted.
Last night was easily the hardest night I have had being her parent. It pushed us so hard, Danielle and I almost ended up at odds with each other. But, as much as it pained me – those three hours that felt like a lifetime – I knew the biggest lesson for any of us involved, is that any thing worth doing, doesn’t come easy… Because then what is the point?
The thread in all of this is – and always will be – Danielle and I. What I love most about your Mommy Emelia, is that she and I care so much that we can be at odds end at times, but in a breath later, talk about it, sort it out, and be better for it. And know in the end, without a doubt, that we both want the same thing: to raise a caring, respectful and loving girl. And that parenting isn’t easy. But that we can’t picture any other person in the world that we’d want to be navigating even the choppy waters with.
I know this is probably both the most exposed and short-winded I have been in this blog since we started it before you were born, but I think it’s important you know just who your parents are, and how much they cared for you. And each other. And for that reason I am going to retire my part for the night and go hang with Mommy!
Needless to say the last couple weeks have been a big challenge with Emelia. She has hit an age where she wants so bad to be the big girl but she falls back in the habits of a baby/little girl. She has always been a terrible sleeper. ALWAYS. But last night was not just about a kid who needs structure and routine it was a little girl who’s mouth is bigger than her age. And a mouth that got her in serious trouble.
We were at our wits end, she would not stop her god forsaken screaming. So much we had to close all the windows in the house before the neighbours called the police. The way she was loosing her mind you would have thought she was being torn to shreds. No one was touching her she just would not having insane temper tantrums. You want to be treated like a big girl with bigger responsibilities then you need to show us you are ready.
And sweetie sorry last night you were not ready to show us anything. So the list of privileges being removed were building and building. And in her over the top emotional state she would just scream she didn’t care. Well this morning she certainly cared.
This morning after ending our night arguing over the events of the night John and I were exhausted. He had to work and I had the battle of the day with Emelia. The list was long. She had lost, all play with friends, her electronics, the TV for the day. She also lost play after school on Monday and it would be added if she kept it up each day she pulled the
shit did last night. She also lost Netflix for the week. The biggest privilege lost which made me the most upset is that I knew we had to cancel a planned play date with Maria and Emma.
Maria has been one of my best friends for almost 20 years and at the end of the month she and Emma are moving to Alberta to be with Steve who moved out west in October. So needless to say this visit with them meant a lot to me, Maria and Emma. And man was Emelia pissed we cancelled. There was no way I could go. She didn’t’ deserve it and no matter how much I hated it I knew the punishment had to be big to make an impact.
And although it was one of the LONGEST days as a parent I stuck with it all. Emelia lost it all and she had to spend the day helping me around the house and entertaining herself because mommy wasn’t going to do it. Now I have to say I got an insane amount of things done today. It was gorgeous out and I got all the yard work caught up, finally planted the summer flowers, the car cleaned, the trailer cleaned, laundry done, house cleaned from top to bottom, and even got a purge done in Emelia’s room. And Emelia helped me with most of it. Now she did remind me repeatedly that this was the worst day of her life but she took the punishment better than I thought.
So needless to say it was a long week, really long night and day but she knows mommy and daddy are united in our reaction and that if she makes certain choices there are consequences. We want her to speak her mind, to make choices but also realize that there is respect in this house and that goes both ways.
I will close with that, the photos this week are from Emelia’s school May Fair. It is an annual fundraiser for her school and once again the kids had a blast. She and her best friends Anna and Grace were thick as thieves and just had a blast!