Gah. Why can’t she listen? Or why is it that she seems to have the retention of a gold fish. It’s so frustrating. Dinner tonight was:
Me: Teagan please don’t crush the cheerios on the floor with your toy Teagan: Crushes another cheerio Me: Teagan, please stop that. I’d like you to pick them up and throw them out. Not crush them. That makes it harder to clean up. Teagan: Stops, looks at me, and crushes another cheerio.
She was totally ignoring me, then blatantly disregarding what I said. So, I pick her up in one arm, as I already had Ashlin in the other, and go to her booster chair. The chair she doesn’t really like sitting in any more, because she’s a “big girl”. Stu takes over with her and starts buckling her in. She does not like this at all. Crying that she can do it, that she’ll stop.
Stu ends up distracting her and we get through dinner. Ashlin is completely tired out, so Stu takes her up as my folks wanted to Skype with Teagan. While we were waiting for dad to connect, Teagan sticks her finger in her mouth and starts “painting” on the table. The table I had just cleaned from dinner. I ask her to stop painting the table. She hesitates, but then continues. I ask again. She stops, chatters about something, dogs eating sausage, her orange piggy tail, I forget. And then starts smearing the spit around. AHHHHHHHHH!!
I ask her what she was doing. She doesn’t answer. I ask her what I had asked her not to do. She doesn’t answer. I tell her that when she doesn’t listen to me it makes me sad. She asks all the time if she makes us happy, or if we are sad.
I suggest playing a game, a game where she tells me what I just said. I say that we had pasta for dinner, and then asked her to tell me what I said. Giggling she said that we had pasta. I then told her that she had green eyes. Again asked her to repeat what I said. She giggled and said green eyes. Ok, so when it’s fun, she plays along. Then I asked her to not paint the table with spit. She sheepishly looked at me. Almost grudginly repeated not to paint the table with spit.
Why can’t she do it when it’s not a game? In the moment? Up until recently we didn’t yell at her very often, usually only when it was dangerous. Even now, we try not to. Sometimes we’ll shout her name, just to get her attention, then continue on in a normal voice. Of course, she’s already melted in tears sobbing that we shouted at her. Yes. We did. She wasn’t listening. At all.
Sometimes the lure of a sticker works, but not always, and I don’t want to get her to behave just for the reward. She needs to behave because she’s a part of society. She will need to live in this world, a world with rules and societal niceties and people she might want to have as friends.
I”m hoping she’ll grow out of this, soon. It’s very frustrating, makes me feel like a bad mother, as I seem to be yelling a lot, more than I want. It makes me feel very ineffective and incompetent. A bad mom. Can’t make my little girl listen.
PS. She had an accident today. Her first in a week. Sigh.