It is becoming routine that I will sit outside Bubbles open bedroom door while she flails and screams over something minor (like lack of a purple shirt this morning). It is becoming routine that she gets up on her own, requests a hug and goes back to playing. It is becoming routine that she does all this in less than two minutes. It is becoming routine that when she lays on the ground and does this outside of our home that she expects that we will leave wherever we are, no second chances, and that we tell her over and over that it is unacceptable to have that type of fit in public. It is becoming routine that she tells me “I too loud when I cry, I hurt other children when I kick my feet”.
It needs to become routine. This week, I cracked a book (or five) on attachment. I’ve read them all before. But now, I need to be reminded that while what I’m doing is extremely hard and inconvenient for all of us, that it is necessary. It is necessary that she understands that my reaction to her mini-fits (that occurred 26 times one day last week, we’re down to 11 yesterday), will be the same each time she throws one. Stop what you’re doing. You’re hurting our ears. Come back and play when you are ready. We’ll be here, you’ll know, because you’ll see us and hear us the whole time.
She gets it, I know she does. But, that doesn’t make her behavior any less mystifying to my older (and younger) child(ren). Why is she doing that? All because her shirt isn’t purple? Oh, she really likes that purple shirt? Why can’t she just wear it again? They want to understand why I can’t EVER bend the rules with her, like I sometimes do with them. They’ve worn a shirt they love (GigantoBaby and his Empire Strikes Back shirt) two days in a row if we weren’t going anywhere and they LOVE it. Because they understand the routine, they know when there are exceptions and when a rule is a rule. If I let her wear the purple shirt she loves two days in a row, then tomorrow it surely won’t hurt to wear it one. more. time. And then, when I say no, the fit will be twice as hard and last twice as long. So, for our new little love, there are no exceptions right now. Routine is SO important to her. And, when she gets it, she loves it. Yesterday, there was NO fit, when it was nap time. I eat my lunch, I go lie down in my butterfly bed, every day. When she has more words, and has been here longer, then we will begin to deviate from the routine, and we will explain why. Slowly, she will adjust. For now, while there are few words, and she is so new, we will all suffer a little.
My older kids have lost their exceptions for now. We had a meeting about why we must adhere to this new routine. Fairness is HUGE to Bubbles. If she has to get dressed, why don’t they? So, when she makes the choice to get dressed without having a fit, they show their solidarity by getting dressed as well. And, my boys are awesome, sometimes they do it before breakfast (even though they are STARVING) just to show her that she made a good choice to do it without having a mini-fit. If one brushes their teeth, they all do. Because, fair is fair. If she hits and has to have a 2 minute time in, when they hit, the same consequence occurs. She has told the Diva “You beat me! You sit down!”. Bubbles gets it.
So, I wonder, if she gets it. How long will this keep going? Because it is exhausting to try to make a well-adjusted human being out of a toddler. But, we love her, so we’re in it to win it (as ResponsiBoy would say). And, if the prize is a happy little girl who learns to trust us, then I’m in for as long as it takes.
who has mini-fits of her own when no one is looking.