I have heard several times before that a small change in environment can really effect a child. We have moved several times since Sydney was born and she never really showed that it effected her at all. I always thought that maybe she just wasn't one of those kids... Oh boy was I wrong!
My brother in law has been staying at our house for just over a week. Sydney LOVES her Uncle R, so she was really excited at first. But after a day or two we started to notice little changes in her attitude. She is four, so obviously we have attitude coming out of the rear with her, but this was a bit different.
Last Wednesday started out pretty good... I got up at 5am and went to the gym. When I got back she was up and in a great mood watching cartoons in our room with her Daddy. I sit down and have my tea/watch tv/read blog posts and all is good in the K house. I know that we have story time in a few hours, and I have promised her that I will curl her hair when I curl mine. So I eventually start getting ready. She is still being really good at this point, but I am starting to notice that she has a ton of energy!
We get to story time and the energy level is through the roof. She wanted to immediately run off and play rather than returning her books, which she normally really wants to do all by herself. She finds her friends and all is right in her world. But she won't stop running and being loud, and we are in a library, so I have to repeatedly tell her that she can play, but she needs to settle down. 10:30 rolls around and it's time to go into the story room, but this week we have a different librarian reading, so Sydney isn't as interested. Instead she loudly tries playing with her friend the entire time. So I am having to repeatedly tell her to pay attention or we will have to leave. After our story and craft are over she darts back to the library to play some more.
I am periodically having to tell her to stop running and squealing into the library, and the other parents are having to do the same with their kids. Then when I am sitting down and talking to another mommy we all hear the librarian actually yell at the kids to stop running. The children's library is actually it's own separate library closed off from the main library so they have more room to safely roam. The entire group of girls were just playing and having fun, but after not listening to us got in trouble with her. At this point I tell her at she has five more minutes and then we need pick up any toys she has played with so that we can go home and eat lunch. She says okay and I give her time.
Here is where it gets worse... At the end of the five minutes I go to get her and help her pick up toys. She sees me coming and starts running around the isle to avoid me. I go down that isle and she runs the other way. She thinks if I can't catch her then we can't leave. I start counting to where she can hear me, which normally tells her that she is in trouble and she listens... No such luck. She still kept running. At some point she could tell that I was pissed and she finally came to me. I leaned in and told her that if she couldn't listen and be a good girl while we are at the library, then we wouldn't come back next week. Now it is time to clean up so we can go eat.
Cue the EPIC Sydney tantrum. I am talking about the ugly cry that makes it look like I am standing in the middle of the library beating my child... People stare and she walks over to the toys sobbing. One little girl even asked why she was crying. I explained that she was in trouble for not listening and running away from her mommy and she just kept staring at Sydney like she wanted to hug her. Lol. We cleaned up the toys while she ugly cried the entire time. Then when she was done she tried to run off and play again. I stopped her and told her that we needed to get our coats on and leave.
This is when she very loudly stops, throws her arms down, and said "I just wish I wasn't here with you anymore!". I stopped in my tracks. My feelings were hurt by my toddler, I was humiliated by her behavior, and I was just pissed off in general. So I looked at her and told her to get her coat and I would take her home. She knew she was in trouble and cried the entire way out the door and the entire drive home, which is only like three minutes. When we got home I sent her to her room for a long time out and let myself cool off. She apologized several times and I have explained to her that because she behaved so poorly, we would not be attending story time next week unless she somehow earned that privilege back.
Her attitude wasn't as bad the rest of the day, but it wasn't great either. After she napped Chris happened to snap this picture.
I love this picture, but I see it and wonder how on earth someone who has been behaving so badly all damn day can look so freaking sweet! Her attitude really did get better as day went on because she knew she had been bad and was in trouble. Plus we did ground her from any tv or cartoons for the rest of the day. This was such a hard punishment for her and she thought that if she was good we would cave. Then add on my mother in law wanting to go out to dinner and we said no because she was grounded and we weren't rewarding her for poor behavior by taking her to a restaurant. She knew that she had done something really wrong because she wasn't getting to do these things. Our night didn't end badly. But we did notice bits of that attitude poking through on Thursday too. It literally started after Uncle R started staying with us. But the longer he has been here, the better it has gotten. So I do think that it is just that her world is disrupted, because she is normally nothing like that. I do look forward to when the stay is over thoug, so that our lives can get back to normal.
I'm sure some of you are wondering why the heck I posted this. I am posting this because most of the time people just share the positive moments in their lives, and if you are a parent you know that it is not all lollipops and gumdrops every single freaking day. It helps to remember that no family, no parent, and no child is perfect. But you love them anyways. Last Wednesday my daughter was an absolute shit... But I look at that picture that was taken the same day and I know that with all of those shitty moments, there are so many remarkable ones to remember as well.