Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Living In A State Of Perpatual Time Out

I feel like I'm at my wit's end lately. My sweet little girl has disappeared beneath a thick layer of defiant opinionated brattiness. It's been especially hard to handle with the Holidays.

For starters, she can't keep her hands of the frickin Christmas tree. I keep finding ornaments hidden around the house. Like on the bathroom floor where you step out of the shower. Or in my sheets. The ornaments left on the tree are all clumped onto three poor little branches. What hasn't already been destroyed is starting to look shabby from being played with and I'm sure won't survive the season.

Thank goodness I only unpacked half of our Holiday decorations. At least I have some stuff in the garage that's intact for the next time we decorate. Which most likely won't be next year.

Next year we're just stringing popcorn. Which will actually come in handy when she gets hungry for the millionth time in a day. She can just eat the popcorn strands. Then by the time Christmas rolls around, we won't have anything to clean up and pack away. And no broken ornaments or decorations to mourn.

Even the advent calendar had an early death. I got so sick and tired of Gabi begging all day long for just one more that last Sunday I threw the box on the floor and told her to go at it. She ate the 14th through the 25th in one go. I should've known this would happen after last year's candy cane fiasco. We hung candy canes on the tree and from that day forward my whole house was sticky. At least she was much more sly last year, taking them when we weren't looking and hiding the wrappers in her underwear drawer. She at least knew to feel guilty. This year she's just pretending we don't exist when we tell her something she doesn't want to hear and being naughty right in front of us.

I have half a mind to tell her that Santa Claus is real after all, and he's watching her every move. Maybe the fear of losing Santa's gifts would keep her in line. She certainly doesn't care that I'M watching.

She's in time outs so often that I think it's time to move on to confiscating toys. Like the new life sized Barbie that her Godfather gave to her. She drags that thing around the house, bumping into things and knocking stuff over. Insisting that it come with us whenever we go somewhere. We have a rule that it stays in the house, and we've stuck to it, but that means more often than not we're dragging a kicking and screaming kid to the car. Oh, and she calls it her big sister. So as she's being dragged to the car, she's screaming, "I just want to bring my big sister! She's your daughter too! You can't leave her or she'll be all alone! She's only six and can't be left alone!" The neighbors must be wondering if we're hiding a child in the house. I'd be so happy to see that doll go!

To top it all off, Gabi recently learned how to shoot rubber bands. We don't even have any rubber bands in the house! But somehow she's managed to find one whenever she feels like freaking me out. I have a really weird fear of rubber bands, and she thinks it's funny to watch me become hysterical, hands waving wildly in front of my face to protect my eyes as I try to wrestle the rubber band away from her.

I have a sneaking suspicion it was Gilberto who taught her, but he won't admit it. Not now that he sees my sanity slowly slipping away.

Four was so good for a while. She's outgrowing all the clothes that were too long for her just a month ago, so this could just be a stage, right? Please please please tell me this is just a stage.

And, um, Happy Holidays! I hope your tree is fairing better than ours!


  1. ***hugs***
    This is just a phase.
    This is just a stage.

  2. i know i shouldn't be giggling.

    but i kind of am.

    only i know karma is a you know what and beans will one day be four.

    so no more laughing - just sending hugs, happy thoughts and wishes for less time outs :)

  3. It is just a stage- but I just don't know how long the stage lasts...mine just turned 5 and she is the same way!

  4. Something about Christmas makes them just a little naughty it seems. Or at least, seems that way at my house.

  5. Oh no...I'm giggling helps me NOT burst into tears! LOL

    So sorry! For a moment, I thought I was reading a post I didn't remember writing. My toddler will NOT keep his hands off our tree either. We have found that our ornaments keep moving further and further up with nothing on the bottom. Yes, looks lovely!

    Hang in there! *hugs*

  6. ok I am trying not to laugh because I have what? a year? year and a half? two tops?
    the top half sounds like me on the week of my period, your jealous, if you could get away with eating popcorn off the tree some days you would, and if you could eat the 14th thru the 25th, ya, I would too..
    as for Barbie.. that's a frickin CRACK UP- Please God don't send it here when your done.. those things freak me out..
    and FYI on the bands,, our old mailman thought we were cute kids and would give us MILLIONS of them...

  7. This is definetly just a phase. Not that I have child expertise..seeing as I have none. But there was once a little girl named Jaidyn (her mom was a single mom and I was her best friend ie with them all the time) she was so cute until she turned 4! When she turned four, she learned how to be sarcastic. I didnt know 4 year olds could be sarcastic. But I promise, she will go back to being sweet and loving...and then around 10 or 11, it'll be back. But at least barbie will be gone then...

  8. If that is what 4 has in store for me next month I am going to seriously consider not being a SAHM any longer.

    Fingers crossed it is just a phase.

    Thomas seriously just outgrew ALL his clothes overnight. Just what I needed right before Christmas when I was trying to avoid shopping in the masses.

  9. It really is too bad we can't lock them outside the house for a few hours (I kid). It will get better. Just don't give in and be consistent.

  10. My daughter turns 4 on Saturday and this is some of the EXACT same behavior she exhibits...

    However, add in major temper tantrums wherever/whenever... not eating dinner anymore and asking to just go to bed.... not listening - at all - ever.... antagonizing her older sister to the point of making her cry - and then pushing/hitting/fighting with her when she says something sassy back to her.

    Um yeah... not looking forward to age 4 as 3 hasn't been so hot.

  11. Laural, everytime you talk about Gabi here, now with my cousin's baby, I can't wait for him to start to talk and walk!! For now he doesn't do anything cool! :P


  12. Toys have time outs here. Sometimes for an hour sometimes for days, sometimes they go to goodwill. Hang in there.

  13. I'd use the Santa thing... fear tactics for 4 year olds! Haha!

  14. The rubber band thing is just evil! I hate those things. The first time I catch Gaby Rose with one ...well, well...I'm sure you'll read about it on the blog. *lol*

    I'd totally tell her Santa is real. Although, knowing that there is a fat man in a red suit constantly watching me, well, that might freak me out a little bit. *lol*

    Oh and by the way, about the ornaments all bunched together? Go check out my blog. I've even got pictures of said phenomena! Word!

  15. Oh my good grief...I thought it was just the two year olds that had lost their minds this year. Now you're telling me the 4 year olds are in on it, too?! What's next - organized nap strikes? Mass chaos at the McDonald's playspace?

    I say stick her in her room until YOU feel sorry for doing it, not the other way around. HAHAHAHA.

    Good luck, Mama - we'll all get through this.

    Hmm...I had a thought. Lo Gung teaches a class in church - the 9 year olds. It's one sweet little girl and three DEVIL BOYS. He finally found a way to get through to them last week - at the beginning of class, each child was shown a stack of brownies with their name on it. Every time the child was naughty, defiant or just plain dumb, a brownie was removed from the stack. If BBJ had ANY sort of memory, I might try it on her!

  16. Nice Jewish girl here, cracking up about the Advent calendar. I could not stop laughing about how she ate 14 through 25 in one go. That is priceless! :)

    I'm seeing some uncanny similarities in our situations, which makes me nervous since we are still 2 weeks away from four--will it only get worse? The blatant naughtiness in our faces, for one. Taking things no matter what we say (and then falling over these things later.) Oh, and the imaginary sister. Jarrah has a brother, too. She's always telling me I forgot to pick them up from school.

  17. It's just a stage.
    (uh, sorry, no it's not! lol)

    I think this is about the time I started crying alot. And it lasted til about age 15. I think once they start school, the start developing their sense of self...and testing limits. Just set firm limits. And buy tissues. Lots of tissues. lol.

    This too shall pass. But I'm afraid it's gonna be a few years, sorry.

  18. Don't take this the wrong way. I am so glad she is acting out. That means my girl is not the only one driving me to bang my head on the wall wondering where did my baby go.

  19. i'm sure it is just a stage... but a horrible one! I am actually going through a similar stage with the 4 year old i have charge of. completely ignoring me, calmly telling me NO as if he was given a choice and all out screaming. It's almost more than I can handle. but just be vigilant and don't give in to what she wants. i started sending him to his room instead of timeout and somehow that is a FAR WORSE punishment in his eyes. toys aren't far off either... but don't give in! that's all i have to say. the stage will last FOREVER if you do!

  20. The good news is - it's stage.

    The bad news? You might have learned this already. At the end of every stage comes... some other "stage". It's called having kids and there are days when I don't question my sister's decision NOT to have any. Ever.

    But so worth it! So have some egg nog and be merry, because someday you are going to be sitting in a silent house near Christmas - remembering THESE days with a smile.


    RIGHT NOW. ;)

  21. Well, our tree is only half dressed since I have two toddlers running around poking at the tree all the time.

    Gabi is so funny, I love that she shoots rubber bands, maybe not from your view, but picturing her doing it is simply f.u.n.n.y.

  22. Maybe you need to get an Elf on the Shelf. It's working WONDERS for my secretary's kids.

  23. You will SO look back on this next Christmas and get a good laugh.
    For now though just breathe and count down the days until you can take the tree and what's left of the oranaments down and pack them safely away. :-)

  24. Little G broke one of our favorite ornaments tonight. We got it on our honeymoon. So... I feel your pain. Problem is, he's still a little to young to realize he even did anything wrong...

    p.s. I see you got the Mr. Linky up. I will give it a go tomorrow or Monday...

  25. The rubber band thing had me laughing out loud. I've got the same irrational fear and do this weird kind of shaking thing when I think I might get pegged. My husband finds it hilarious, which only serves to piss me off more.

    I managed to decorate our entire tree with nothing but fake flowers and ribbon. Couldn't risk it with a curious climby bean.

  26. Oh my god! That is hysterical about Gabi dragging the barbie around and commenting you can't leave her alone. Oh, that child has a place in my heart for her creativeness. I think I laughed for 5 minutes.

    We didn't even bother with ornaments on the tree. Actually, there are 2 ornaments on it because I forgot to put them away last year. The tree is propped up high. Next year I'm thinking of just a picture of a tree.

  27. My daughter actually knocked down and broke the Christmas tree Sunday morning, so I can completely sympathize with your frustration. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that after the holidays she will go back to normal.


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