I did some things right yesterday. I brushed my teeth. I Christmas shopped (a little). I refrained from screaming my head off the 45th time Fruit Bat announced he wanted to hit me. And Kitty Cat too. His frequent grumblings about how he hoped to pummel someone became such a mantra that I almost wished he would haul off and belt me one so I could punish him. As it was, I was trying to be democratic. I reminded myself that he was using his words and not his hands. Blah, blah, blah.
Yes, hello. Nice to meet you. I'm Pansy Ass Violet.
Or so infers my husband. "Fruit Bat needs swift and firm discipline", he declared last night.
Well, yes, he does, Dr. Phil. But I don't think it's that easy.
There are so many variables that makes cut and dried discipline hard for me to pull off. First of all, there's the fatigue and hunger factors. If Fruit Bat is tired or hasn't had protein in, oh, the last twenty minutes (especially if it's because I've been dragging him around to various stores buying pretty things, or even necessary things), it seems unfair to come down hard on him for whining or kicking a toy across the room.
If Kitty Cat has infringed on his space, which he sometimes desperately needs and which she often does not respect and he swats at her (his "hitting" usually amounts to this--soft whap-whap-whaps--not that I'm excusing the whaps, just sayin') I don't think stashing him in time out without also punishing her is right. And I frankly believe two-and-a-half is too young for much that's punitive.
There are also the mishaps that occur when my back is turned and I have to take Fruit Bat's word that he didn't mean to crush Kitty Cat's fingers in the salad spinner, that it was an accident, or call him a liar. Which I already do too much of.
I try. I really try. He had a time-out this afternoon. After-dinner dessert was retracted. And he suffered much hissing and snapping of my weary tongue. I really attempt to weigh all the variables, give him the benefit of the doubt when I can, choose my battles and allow him to save face in small ways, while I control the larger issues.
Apparently, I did a lot of things wrong today.
Before my sweet, first baby grew into a willful preschooler (always before) I thought yes, of course: Firm and swift. Firm and swift.
I never, in my most vivid and demented daydreams, thought consistency would be this hard to achieve.