Friday, May 14, 2010


I am in a foul mood. FOUL. So, what better time to do a blog post! Wheee! I am sitting on my parents' screened-in porch while Zoey is napping (finally). And I am trying to improve my mood/console myself/get really, really fat by eating Oreo funstixes. That's right, funstixes plural. And no they are not as good as regular old double stuff Oreos. And putting an 'x' in stix really doesn't make them more fun. It makes them ANNOYING.

It was a hell of a morning here. Shortly after waking up Zoey decides to blatantly break the one and only rule that exists at Gramme and Pop-pop's house: no jumping on the couch. She knows this rule. She knows it well. And in fact I had just said, "Zoey. NO. JUMPING. ON. THE. COUCH." I even used my stern mommy I-mean-business voice. So what does she do? She jumps from the couch to the coffee table. Which, by the way, is glass. After she lands, and somehow miraculously does not break the glass, she raises her arms triumphantly above her head and yells, "TA-DA!" She does all this while looking directly at me.

Ta-da my ass.

So Zoey goes into time-out. Her butt is in the chair faster than you can say 1-2-3 Magic. Then she looks at me, while I am giving her the mean mommy stink eye no less, and laughs. She laughs. I begin to tell her that it's not funny, that she is in trouble, and that she had better shuthermouthandstayinthatchairORELSE. Zoey stands up and begins jumping on the chair. While pointing at me. And laughing. I was not amused. I set her in the chair again and decided to go look busy so she has less of an audience. Zoey promptly climbs out of the chair, runs over, and hits me in the stomach. Hard. So I become A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. I potato sack her into her room, put her on the floor, and perhaps yell something about not wanting to see at her, not wanting to hear her, and not wanting to be in the same room as her. Thank god she does not yet posses the vocabulary to point out that the last part of the previous statement was repetitive and, well duh, obvious. I slammed her door, she on one side, me on the other. Zoey cried. And for at least 30 seconds I felt good -- somehow vindicated that I had made her cry, that I had made her feel punished.

Then, as what I was feeling started to sink in, I felt . . . shitty. Shitty and ashamed. What kind of mother wants to make her daughter cry? What kind of mother suspects her daughter of being spiteful at times? And what made it all a bit worse was the fact that my parents witnessed all of it with something, I suspect, close to horror.

After two minutes (standard time out protocol) I went back in to Zoey's room. Even though she was sniffling into her arm and wouldn't look at me, I picked her up. I hugged her. I told her that I love her. She clung to my shoulders and cried into the soft cradle of my neck. When she finally looked up at me, shame softly wafted between us, and then blew away. I wiped away her tears and she murmured, "Better."

And although Zoey has forgiven me, I'm still thinking about what I could have done differently, done better. I know I could have done a lot worse. But something about the whole thing was less than good-enough. And now I have a tiny little hole in my heart. A tiny little hole which the Oreo Stixes don't seem to be filling up. I think, and I hope, that it's one of those holes that will fill up with time and with practice. And with doing better next time.


  1. Oh, sweet Jos. I have SO been there, and it SUCKS. Frieda thinks time-out is a joke. She laughs at me. And I get so frustrated, because I want her to do the right thing, and I want her to know that she did the wrong thing, and instead she runs away giggling. I still haven't figured out how to deal with it. I don't think your decision to put Z in her room was a bad one... even though I totally understand how/why it felt bad. Remember, there will be better days...
    BTW, what is an Oreo funstix? Do I need to seek them out?

  2. Carla - No! DO NOT SEEK THEM OUT. Go straight for the double stuff. I wish they just sold the Oreo filling. I would so buy that.

  3. So...not that I want to be all "time out works for us" but after MANY MANY struggles with it (exact same problems) I cried to my Dr who is like 70 and just seems to have the answers. Here's what he said and it seems to work...maybe try it. Ignore her during time out.

    Yes...I know, ridiculously difficult but ignore to the point that you don't look at her at all during time out. Don't talk to her, don't acknowledge anything. If she gets up, just put her back and say, 2 more minutes, reset the timer and ignore again. Kids...girls especially I notice LOVE negative attention. They thrive on it.

    So now G sits in her timeout chair and does her time screaming MOMMY I'M SORRY for 2 min (to which I think...yeah, you should be!), then quiets down and when the time goes off we are good again.

    The ignoring also helps me to chill out (or take a mommy timeout) and not to do exactly what happened to you which believe me I have done and felt 2 inches tall as well. Sometimes I walk out of the room within ear shot to make sure she doesn't do anything and count. Yes...count, it helps.

    But don't beat yourself up too much. You are only human and a mom with LOTS going on.

  4. Jos - I feel your pain, Really!

    Parents are humans too! I remember the first tiem Justin discovered my mortallity...OUI!

    You are a great Mom and Zoey knows it! You will have your moments, Zoey will have hers, and in the end you will both be well and do well. Think of all the changes Zoey is experiencing with your move and her dispacement, etc. It does make sense if not make calm.

    Be well,

  5. That's rough. I can certainly understand how hard it is when they LAUGH at you and seem to not realize that you are indeed a force to be reckoned with!