I had my first parent/teacher conference at Gabi's school yesterday.
I was so nervous, after watching her a few days prior from the observation room, where she refused to participate in The Hokey Pokey and got into a fight over a book with another little boy, that the review wouldn't be a good one.
But her teachers raved about her! Especially her creative side.
Put a pile of craft supplies in front of me, and I'll organized everything into appropriate type piles, then organize the piles into a visually pleasing arrangement. Put a pile of craft supplies in front of Gabi, and she MAKES something, including a mess. It's a whole new world for me, this creative insanity.
Her teachers also told me how Gabi is great at listening and putting away toys without being asked. This was especially good to hear. Because she hasn't been doing that at home.
Things have been difficult the last few months. I'm not sure if it was all the hype before the trip, then the trip, then coming back from the trip. Or just a normal developmental phase. Or if my sweet child has permanently morphed into a little devil.
I thought we'd escaped fairly unscathed from the tantrums and emotional upheaval that accompany ages two and three. Apparently Gabi was storing it all up to unleash on us all at once.
You might have noticed some of her behavior in the wedding post? Down at the bottom? Where she acted like a spoiled brat who'd never been disciplined? That was an especially hard night because I couldn't' threaten to take her home, because I wouldn't have been able to follow through. And any attempt to keep her in line resulted in her screaming. And since I couldn't' take her home, I had to keep her from screaming, which meant letting her do what she wanted. It was exhausting.
I am NOT one to let things like bad behavior go. But now that she's been acting out so much more than ever before, I feel like all I ever do is punish her. It's really starting to wear me out. Especially since it doesn't seem to be working.
Wednesday night I joined the club of moms who've had to deal with a public tantrum. At the Dollar Tree no less. We ran in to get something for our church, and Gabi wanted something, too. When I refused, she started screaming and crying and making a huge scene. And she screamed all the way to the car. And then refused to get in her carseat. Have you ever tried to get a kicking screaming flailing child into a carseat? I thought I'd never leave that parking lot. And the whole time I'm thinking, holy crap, what the heck do I do? Am I handling this okay, because people sure are giving me the evil eye.
I've been trying to figure out how to navigate through all this, and I'm not sure I'm doing such a great job. Because getting so angry with your child that you scream, "No songs for YOU tonight!" Not the most mature way to handle things. I guess this is where I head to the bookstore and spend a crazy amount of money on parenting books.
So with everything that's been going on at home, it was such a relief to find out, at least Gabi's behaving in preschool!