24 April 2014

Parenting. It is HARD.

Daddy's back from his trip and just in time, because Schmear* was sent home early from daycare yesterday with a fever, and state law says she can't go back until she's without a fever for an unmedicated 24 hours.

Since Daddy worked extra hours while traveling, and due to some ridiculousness with government contracting, he was going to be home today anyway. He had grand plans of doing some organizing in our garage, which is exclusively for storage, but instead he's on toddler duty because Mama gots work.

So Daddy and Schmearington (yeah... I'm a nicknamer) went for a nice walk and when they came back she came to my office to say hi to me and smacked me in the face. And then the poop hit the paddles: it took an hour and a half for her to say she was sorry. For an hour and a half, she was in time out in her crib, with either Mommy or Daddy stopping in at five to ten minute intervals to ask if she was ready to say she was sorry. She kept saying, "Ohhhhtay," but she would not say the actual word "Sowwy," so there she stayed. For an hour and a half.

About twenty minutes in, I started to regret choosing this hill to die on. But if I had let her out without her having apologized, she would never apologize again. She's so smart and stubborn. She tries to buy her way out of trouble with kisses and caresses on my face, because she just chokes on that word: sorry.

And now I need a nap. We won that battle but it felt like the whole war. But I know there will be another battle tomorrow or the next day!

How do you other mommies handle discipline? We are time-out-ers, primarily, because even though I occasionally resort to a smack on the buns, I just can't see the logic of trying to teach her not to hit by hitting her back. But it's not working; the only place in our tiny apartment to put her in time out is her crib, because everything else is either escapable or full of fun things to play with. But she likes her crib, and the whole "one minute of timeout for every year of their age" thing is laughable with a kid this stubborn. A minute and a half isn't even enough time for her to be even mildly annoyed by her incarceration. An hour and a half sounds abusive, but we went in frequently and talked with her.

I just don't know what else to do!

* Lest you think this is my cutesy way of nicknaming my child to avoid using her real name on the Internet, I'll point out that a) I have already used her name, it's Keira; and b) this is a genuine nickname that everyone on our side of the family calls her on the regular (except maybe my mom).


  1. Hi Colleen! I found you via Kendra =)

    Normally I don't give parenting advice, but since you asked! When this article was posted I was in kind of the exact same spot you are: timeouts, very few spankings (and I have literally been in this position of administering a spanking while saying "we do not hit!" which was not my best parenting moment), etc. I thought Dr. Popcak's approach seemed to make a lot of sense and I've tried to implement it and I think it works (at least a bit better than what I'd been doing before). I also bought his book, which is excellent, even though I've never been much of an attachment parenting person. Just thought it might help you as it did me! -Lacey


    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out. I think I also need to read Dr. Dobson's The Strong-Willed Child. In general I'm more of a free-range parent than an attachment parent, but discipline has to come first!