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Bad Mommy Day

The past couple of days, my darling Maddie
has disappeared and an evil twin has mysteriously taken her place.
I’m running on empty in the patience department, and
don’t know how much more of this I can take.

Maddie has been pushing boundaries like I’ve never seen
before, running away when I tell her to come to me, refusing
point-blank to take a break, hitting, and more. Coincidentally,
she’s skipped her naps for the past three days, which tells
me that even though she’s almost four, she’s definitely
not ready to give up the naps.

What do you do when your child refuses to
obey you? There’s only so much you can take away from her.
Yesterday, Maddie lost both books for nap time, one for night time,
her video, playing in her beloved “hiding cave” in the
game room for the whole day, and even a much-anticipated play date
after dinner. Forty-five minutes before her bedtime, I told her she
had to stay in her room the rest of the night; it was the only way
I could think of to keep her disobedience at a minimum. I believe
she took a break (my version of time-outs) over a dozen times,
clearly without any long-lasting effect.

There’s a limit as to how much I can control my child, and I
know this is a foreshadow of things to come – dating boys I
won’t like, listening to awful music, throwing money away on
crappy things – but my heart is breaking for my girl. I see
my sweet, lovely, inherently good staring at me in bewilderment,
unable to figure out why she’s being so disobedient and
unable to make it stop.

Sure, I can physically force her right now – when she runs
away from me at the park I pick her up and forcibly carry her all
the way home. But I won’t be able to do that forever, for one
thing, and for another, isn’t that just a watered-down
version of physically dominating her? At some level, she’s
going to have to learn to choose to follow me, not just do it
because she has no choice.

I know, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself. But I feel like
a big fat failure right now, not the least of which is because my
poor Cora’s been a sweet angel the past couple of days and
has gotten remarkably little Mommy time, since I’ve been so
busy disciplining Maddie and keeping her in a tight line. So both
my girls are suffering, and boy, Mommy is too. I can’t stand
seeing my child on a self-destructive path, and don’t know
how to help her. I do know that after I got Maddie to bed last
night, I poured myself a tall glass of Kahlua and milk, easy on the

It was either that, or grabbing a frozen pint and a spoon.

We’ll get through this, I know. My girlie is so wonderful
that there’s got to be a reason – molar coming in, bad
allergies, developmental growing pains – something. And I
know our relationship will be stronger on the other side. I just
wish I could fix it all for her now.


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