Saturday, November 8, 2008

the plot is thick

You may have noticed the lack of witty commentary about my children lately. If you are cheering this development, I'm sorry to inform you that this is yet another post in the riding herd category. If no kid posts has been causing you to scratch your head and wonder why, YOU ARE IN LUCK!!!

It has been a couple of relatively unpleasant months, kid-wise, over here at Maison Dayton. Miss O started Kindergarten, and is a complete doll in school. This is not a complaint, because I'm glad she's awesome in school. Really. We're just not having so much of the awesome at home. And I'm not going to give you examples and jokes about them, because I'm just not up to the joking, and also? Everything's not your business.

Then why mention it?

Yeah. Why? Huh? HUH?

Because I just can't sort it out in my head. The Mister and I have exhausted our arsenal of What To Do When Your Kid Can't Take It Anymore.

Last year, the same sort of thing was happening with preschool. She pitched fits. She screamed and cried about not wanting to go (she rarely says she doesn't want to go to Kindergarten). It was miserable, but only at home. The preschool teacher looked at me, every day, with surprised eyes, and acted as if my child was the only child to ever be amazing in school and miserable at home. Give me a freaking break already. I was a teacher, and I know that there are two versions of every child. The Home-Game Child and The Away-Game Child.

This year? It's a sort of highly refined, much more technical version, flavoured with more tannin than I know how to handle.

She seems stressed, and has shown us visible proof that she feels that way. This morning I felt like I was suffocating as she was getting ready for school. I picked the wrong cereal bowl, she likes the clear glass, not the white glass. Wee Man spoke up for the one pottery bowl that remains in tact, she wanted that one. Wouldn't eat. Wouldn't tell me what she wanted to eat for lunch. Wouldn't brush teeth. Wouldn't speak nicely. Wouldn't. Wouldn't. WOULDN'T!!!!!

And when she leaps off the high dive platform, Wee Man and HB are right on her heels. It took them over an hour to chill out after she got on the bus today.

We have a pretty structured household. The children know how we expect them to behave, they know the consequences if they do not behave, and they know that there are awards for having stellar behavior. But at the same time, they have quite a bit of freedom, you know, as far as the Five and Under Set is concerned. They wear whatever they want. They make choices about what to have for dinners. They can (mostly) help themselves to snacks.

I'm tired of stressing about the stress and being yelled at by short people, and CONSTANTLY DISCIPLINING PEOPLE. When is it my turn in time out? When do I get a spanking? (Er, umm, sorry, that's a-whole-nother post for a-whole-nother day.) When do I get to yell at someone for DOING SOMETHING THAT PRODUCES THE EXACT RESULT I WANT EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT THE WAY I THOUGHT I WANTED IT DONE?

But mostly? What the bloody hell is going on here? What are we missing? And why can't I make the right kind of cookies?


  1. In regards to the stressed out Miss O: I would recommend some one on one time with her when you get a chance to breath. Let her decide what she wants to do and DO IT. As adults we like to do special things too and the best part is looking forward to them! So if you haven't already attempted this...I would say to giveitashot!

    There is also a great article in the momsense magazine that talks about how our kids can be ungrateful. It's by Julie Barnhill..check it out!!

    Hope this helps..oh and happy Saturday morning at the crack of dawn!

  2. We had the same thing with our daughter last year in Kindergarten. Every morning....the DRAMA!!! Hair not right, doesn't like shoes, and I can't even talk about the screaming matches we got into over blue jeans...too small...too big...too long...too short, even though they all fit.

    I got to a point where I would just keep repeating things without screaming, over and over, I sounded like Rainman and it drove her nuts. Like this "putyourjeansonbrushyourteethputyourjeanson brushyourteeth." It worked a few times.

    I will tell you she is 100% better in first grade, I think K is a big adjustment year. Good luck honey, I feel for ya!!!

  3. seeing as I have no expertise in this area I won't throw in my 2 cents; just my 1 cent. I was thinking along the lines as Kara, I think you and Miss O need to plan a mommy daughter day. Just the two of you no boys aloud. and then make it a once monthly thing that she gets to decide what to do. Even if it is just going to MickeyD's (oops that's a big no no isn't it) ok then go to Twilight Meadows. (that was always my favorite as a kid, The big RootBeer Barrel, Remember?) Or my other 1 cent idea I had was: Kindergarten isn't mandatory.? She doesn't HAVE to go. Maybe 1st grade would be a better starting point.
    I do hope things improve though, coming from a kid that Hated Kindergarten and Cried EVERYDAY while at school till Christmas break! Kindergarten SUCKED! I got in trouble for coloring my person blue, because I didn't have a peach crayan. I new he should have been peach but me and "michelle" didn't have a peach crayan between us so we decided we should color our blue, Damn that miss Gavenda!

  4. This is an entirely unhelpful response. But I like to share the love, anyway. Ellie was like this. Angel in school - freakin' homicidal maniac at home. We are not a structured household and I am not a disciplined person PERIOD in any aspect of my life so our wonderful reaction was to quit sending her to school after 3rd grade. I know - I told you this wouldn't be helpful to you. Anyhoo, she is now 16 years old and in DC at an activist conference, having demonstrated at the mall yesterday and will be lobbying on Monday. She is, of course, required to bring me back an Obama paperweight. So maybe Miss O will one day be saving the world and screaming at a protest rally while holding a sign, instead of in your house and in your face. I have always said that the qualities we hate in our shorties (to use your adorable term of endearment) are the exact qualities we want in our grown, adult daughters. So hang in there! You're obviously doing great.

  5. I don't remember that long ago to be much use sweetie, sorry... but I suggest chocolate - for you.

  6. i know this isn't very helpful, but.. it's normal. ;)

    i've heard the same thing from many moms. as for the why? she feels comfortable at home. all that 'not so nice' behavior that she didn't do when she was at school? she's going to let it ALL out at home.. at the same time as unwinding from the excitement of the day = hell on wheels. she's 'letting her hair down' so to speak.

    since we homeschool, our limited experience with this occurs after 1) a trip to somewhere exciting and 2) time spent at grandparents or friends houses.. or even with sitters.

    in short, any time spent in a setting where they need to behave themselves (which they do marvelously) is always followed by some time at home being HORRIBLE.

    advice? sure, i have advice. ;) but it comes at a price.. muahahahahaha!! seriously though, if you want to know, email me.. or you are welcome to check out my message board (though, not knowing your discipline stance, i don't know if it will be 'the board for you') at

  7. Audrey yells at us too. I assumed she's 3 going on 13 and stuck my head in the sand.

  8. My kindergartner is going through the same thing. And after speaking with the moms of her school friends, THEIR girls are going through the same thing, too.

    I think someone already mentioned about her being so good at school, so she's go to let everything else out at home, and that's the ticket. She's comfortable at home, she's comfortable with YOU, and she's going through a MAJOR CHANGE in her life so you get to be her punching bag.

    We actually took Alison to see a psychologist because she has separation anxiety disorder as well, and we got some great feedback. Not to say she's an angel at home again, but the psych at least gave me some confidence that we'll get through this.

    We've been using Love and Logic ( and it's worked wonders. We've also started putting her to bed earlier and THAT'S worked wonders.

    Good Luck!

  9. ack! i've been through seasons with amelie where i feel as though my day is spent constantly correcting disciplining her and it's so frustrating. i was beginning to think i was crazy until i read about a child study in which the doctors discovered that when kids near their half birthday they go insane and then seem to level out emotionally/behaviorally around the time of the their birthdays. apparently it's cyclic and apparently it's going to be the death of me =) i'll say a little pray for you and your young miss--for peace and patience and more.

  10. Poopedy doo. I just soak a washcloth in clove-infused whiskey (stop all the outraged facial expressions, it's top shelf) and give it to screaming/whining/following baby to chew. But, since Miss O has academic duties to attend to, I will offer something else next time I see you. And for those of you reading this comment, I will tell you what it is: Special Playtime. But it is very involved and I'm not going to explain it here.

  11. I haven't any advice for you. Just wanted to let you know that it'll all get better eventually.

  12. It' s just a big change..for the whole family. My kindergartener went through some of that this year,..I think girls are a tad more dramatic about this stuff - but he did experience some.

    And I agree with CPM above, oldest acts this way after time at his dad's, time at meemaw's, and right after school. It's just readjustment I think.


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