I think we all have bad days sometimes, when we just can’t seem to connect. When there’s something just a little out of sync, and it effects how we relate to each other.
We had a bad day with Wildling today. A really bad day. So bad that she’s sleeping in a diaper and one of Mellow’s 12 month sized onesies, because I took all of Wildling’s clothing away. Not a good parenting day for me, but not a good behavior day for her.
It started with an argument. Wildling stated that babies can’t see far away. Will told her she was wrong. I said that newborns can’t see far away, and that was what Wildling was referring to. Will told her that her statement was too inclusive and while she was right that some babies can’t see far away, bigger babies can. So she responded by spitting up his nose. Yes, you read that right. Will was laying on the floor, so she leaned directly over him and spit directly into his nostril. Very mature response.
So she was given a time-out. For the first few minutes she screamed. When she calmed down, I let her come out so we could discuss important things like not spitting in other people’s noses, you know, rational behavior like that. She kicked me in the head, which got her back into time-out.
After a few minutes, she calmed down, and foolishly, I thought she was asleep. But I’m never that lucky. I went in to check on her about twenty minute later, picturing her all curled up with her eyes closed, maybe snuggling a stuffed animal and sleeping off her bad mood. No, she was naked and sitting on top of the changing table, trying to put on one of Mellow’s cloth diapers.
This has been a problem for the past year, since before Mellow was born, since the first time I brought the baby clothes out of storage. Wildling likes to wear Mellow’s clothes, and, though stretched out and disproportionate, they do kind of fit. And we have discussed it numerous times, and she knows that Mellow’s diapers and clothing are all off limits. So I decided to take a different approach.
“Do you want to wear your sister’s diapers?” I asked, while calmly gathering discarded panties from the floor. She nodded. “Are you sure you’d rather wear diapers?” I asked again, while calmly removing all of her beloved panties from her dresser drawer (including the ones I just bought her last week as the big prize she earned and so proudly picked out). And she said yes.
So I took her panties away. And as you can probably guess, she then wanted to wear Mellow’s clothing. And I repeated the same process while emptying Wildling’s dresser drawers and closet. Now there is a basket full of toddler clothes in the shed, and a (finally!) sleeping toddler wearing a diaper for the first time in almost eighteen months and a onesie that will never be able to snap.
It was a bad day.
And now I have to figure out what to do tomorrow, because I need to come up with a way to both convince her that she needs her own clothes and get her to do something to earn them back.
Tomorrow may be a bad day as well.