Last night and this morning Caitlin got into a bit of trouble. She has taken to incessant whining as a tactic to get her way and frankly it’s the mental equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Last night she refused to eat any grilled chicken for dinner. If she had her way she’d eat string cheese, the “striped” variety, every night for dinner with an occasional slice of plain bread thrown in for good measure. I’m not a clean your plate mommy Nazi, but a bite of grilled chicken will not hurt her. I had one tiny morsel of chicken on her plate last night and told her if she’d eat it she could eat one of the chocolate chip cookies we made Sunday.
Yes, I bribe my children.
Finally after the donning of pjs and the brushing of teeth I relented and told her if she ate a turkey dog then she could eat a cookie because if she doesn’t eat dinner she’s going to wake up at 3 a.m. hungry and I would like to cut down on any 3 a.m. snacks.
Yes, I am a wimp.
This morning as we were getting ready to head out for the day Caitlin still needed to put on underwear underneath her Halloween jumper. I asked her to go get a pair of undies from her dresser and put them on and thus the incessant whining floodgates were opened and she began requesting a cookie. (Note to self: don’t make cookies again for a while.) I could take it no more. I went over to her and asked for what seemed like the 100th time to put on her undies, which by now I had retrieved from her dresser and was handing to her. Of course she’s stubborn like me and just gave me the look as I tried to wrestle a pair of underwear on her as she kicked her legs defiantly against the carpet. I smacked her on the leg and the underwear was finally on.
Yes, I occasionally smack my child on the leg.
Tears were shed but she was dressed shortly thereafter, she had two My Little Pony coloring book pages clutched proudly in her hand to take to her daycare teachers, and the morning’s shortcomings were forgotten. The girls were loaded into the car and everyone was happy, for a few minutes any way. We looked for birds and dogs on the way to school.
I’m not particularly proud of myself when I lose it like that but the whining has got to go. I told her that two things got her into trouble this morning and last night: not listening and whining. I know that’s par for the course for a 4-year-old, but she knows better. I talked to her daycare teacher this morning about the whining at home and she said that occasionally Caitlin starts to whine at school but she tells her she’s a big girl now and that she has to talk like a big girl.
Yes, I am constantly relearning this parenting thing.