A Veritable Shit Show

photo 1Over the last few months we’ve been working on getting my girlies’ epilepsy meds sorted out…what this means is that my lovely daughter who was always terribly sweet, empathetic, polite and charming turned into a wild, loud, rude, angry, aggressive, overtly emotional kid.  The type of kid that you may see in Target screaming because you won’t let them buy those cheap  princess toys at the checkout line.  Or maybe you just happened to see us at Target.  Everything became a battle, literally almost everything was a bargaining session.  There was door slamming that was tantamount of my teenage years.  (sorry about that Mom) There were moments where I would pretend to go to the bathroom just to escape.  Sometimes I would go in there and just silent scream.  You know where you scream and no sound comes out and somehow that makes you feel better.

Worse yet it was the effing meds.  So she couldn’t even begin to try to control it, so getting frustrated seemed incredibly ill placed.

Right after this was taken the strolled was kicked into the gorgeous painting behind it.  Umm...Shit.

Right after this was taken the strolled was kicked into the gorgeous painting behind it. Umm…

Now that the meds are more controlled when we see these behaviors, we are always wondering is it residual issues with meds, is it the anxiety that we’ve seen come before having a seizure, or is it just plain old 4-year-old behavior?  Not sure.

I don’t know about other families but when one of the four of us is in a foul mood or having a rough time, it seems to spread rampantly.  We had one of these days a few weeks ago while we were at the art museum of all places.  My petite, kept crossing the line into exhibits, getting damn close or even touching the art.  To the point where the staff was following us from room to room, at one point I swear I even heard over the walkie talkies, they are coming your way.  We left moments before I am sure they would have kicked us out.  A few days ago they were giving our free tickets to the museum, but since I am pretty sure there is a picture of me and the petites on some back room wall, we opted to stay home.

No big deal just having a timeout in an art museum, complete with a foot stomp.

No big deal just having a timeout in an art museum, complete with a foot stomp.

All of this makes me laugh a little because now that the meds are getting sorted out we are seeing a lot less of this craziness, but you know it still happens and it’s really all about how you react to it.  I have a really hard time not being mortified when we’re in public and she throws a fit, I feel like it’s a reflection of my parenting.  This of course doesn’t help when bitchy people (sometimes even other moms, WTF?) give you snarky looks – like control our child;  wow, what a brat; ugh, glad my kids are so perfect.  I also love the parents that give me the look like I’ve been there, those parents are my favorite.  I’ve really tried not to freak out about what other parents or people think.  My handsome hubby has really helped me to let it go and not worry about this.  Now my mantra is: do I know these people?  Do I really care what they think?  If I did know them what would they do?  Odds are if I was out with my friends when this happens, well I was at the museum with a friend.  She laughed hysterically with me, then we went to a local brewery for a mid-afternoon lunch/mommy beer.  Don’t judge, we deserved it, we were basically kicked out of an art museum.

My not so expert recommendation for veritable shit shows, try to keep your cool and if you can’t get the hell out of there and laugh about it with a friend.

E

Reflections on Consumerism and Raising the Petites

My Sunday morning was spent drinking a cup of tea and reading about this amazing Mom in Britain: Hattie Garlick.  She created this blog to chart her journey of a year of opting out of “kid consumerism” after reading about her journey, it really got me thinking and reflecting on my spending for the petites and what it means and the implications of kid consumerism.

I reflected about the money that we spend on “things” (as you can see, the petite doesn’t lack things) , how going Target to get the necessities can mean spending close to a hundred bucks and how many of those bucks are spent on things that we don’t need, that aren’t nourishing foods, are poorly made, or just simply over indulgent – over time these things really add up.  How it is almost impossible for me to walk past the children’s clothes section and not just grab a cute onesie or pair of jeggings.  Rationalizing these choices with false need or inflated reward.

What I mean by inflated reward is that now whenever, and I mean seriously every time, we go to the store my 4 year old wants something.  A snickie (snack item), or small toy, whatever, she now, through my own creation will throw a fit if she doesn’t get something.  I also know for a fact that I say if you are a good girl while we are running errands you can have _____.  So now, I have created this little petite who has been conditioned that good behavior in a store is not expected, but is rewarded.  So now that I am aware of what I’ve done, comes the process of undoing it.  We, as a family, have spent a lot of time talking about earning things.  The petite has a Responsibility Chart and when she does the items on it she can earn something from a prize bag (mainly Target dollar Hello Kitty Items). I wish I could say that I didn’t need to break it, that I didn’t have moments where I just wanted to take the easy road, but that isn’t the case.  But breaking the “what do I get” now is imperative.

Just this week I was chatting with a friend who is still teaching and she was saying that her kids always say well “what do I get?”  Turning in homework, showing up on time, being polite and kind, participating – what do I get?  It is funny to me, because even when I was in grade school which wasn’t that long ago, I graduated from high school in 1998,it wasn’t like that.  Honestly I don’t remember thinking when there were team challenges in class, I wondr what does the winning team get?  Umm…the WIN!  You turned in your homework or you got in trouble.  What you got was a grade.  Somehow now that is not enough.  There were consequences, now in place of accountability and responsibility we have entitlement.

What got me really thinking about Hattie Garlick’s journey to opt out of child consumerism and if there is a link to this entitlement.  I don’t have the answers I am just one mom trying to do what is best in a realistic way for my petites to ensure that when the are older they don’t firmy believe that the world owes them something.  That instead they believe that they can contribute something to the world instead.

-Erin