21 March 2009

At least I did the laundry, which oughta count for something.

I picked up my car today. It's not fixed. My mechanic hasn't been able to replicate the problem since Monday, and when it's working he can't figure out what's wrong with it, which he thinks is likely something boring like a jiggly wire or some such, but he needs it to fail so he can find said boring thing and fix it. So he told me either he could keep it till it did it again, or I could drive it till it happened, call him right away, and he'll come out and meet me and run some tests. So I have my car.
What I lack is confidence in the thing.
I have a car, but I don't really want to drive it anywhere.

Gabriel's still whiling away his days being categorically awful. The worst part is that he's started melting down in situations where I HAVE to give him his way, which just reinforces The Bad. Yesterday afternoon we got on the bus to go home and he started screaming because he wanted to be in a different seat (after already changing seats twice so it was getting ridiculous), and the bus driver says to me, "He can't do that the whole ride you know," so I move seats again because I don't want to get KICKED OFF THE BUS.
Last night my sister took us to the grocery store because we didn't have my jewel of a car yet, and he wants my sister to push the cart so he just starts shrieking. And maybe she would have pushed him if he had asked, but since his initial approach was Tantrum Freakout Mode, you CAN'T give him his way because he's so awful, except that I'm out of milk and we HAVE to go grocery shopping and everyone's staring at you and you can't get him to stop and yeah, Laura pushes the cart.
There have definitely been times when Gabriel has melted onto the floor and started wailing and I've just picked him up and left without doing fill in the blank, but sometimes you're out of toilet paper, and then what?
I don't know if I'll ever get my mom to babysit again after the trauma of Thursday night.
While Gabriel has always been one of those Difficult Children, it's only been the past week or so that I've started to seriously consider selling him to the gypsies.
I'm hoping this is a short-lived phase, since I don't have any idea what I can slap together for the interwebs if I can't fall back on pictures my son. Maybe whoever buys him can set up a shared photosite so I can still distract you with his dreamy eyes.


  1. Oh, I am sorry. The best advise I can give is breath and maybe count to three before responding when he is on the verge of a tantrum and then as calm as you can talk. Also if he starts throwing a tantrum in the store or even the bus pull him out of there. I know it sucks and is a pain but I guarantee it will be easier the next time. Usually the very quick change of scenery will get them to alteast a place where they can comprehend what you are saying. It gives him a feeling of control back (which is probably what he is after)because he can either choose to go back in the store or stay outside/in the car with your sister or for the bus he can either get himself together to get on the next bus or you guys are walking. (they usually choose to calm down) At first things will take longer and you might not have milk for a few days but I guarantee you both will be happier in the long run.

  2. I got nothin on the tantrums. On the car though? Do you have a good friend with a car of their own. A GOOD friend. Your car 'could' find itself in a deserted area with a broken window. It 'could' find itself set on fire. It could then be reported 'stolen.' Damn kids out joy riding.

    Purely hypothetical, of course.

    Recent blog post: Got A Quarter?

  3. Yeah parenting in theory is a breeze - it's the "in practice" that blows - we all have (at least one) story about a children screaming in a store - we survived and you will too - I promise!

  4. I have no idea why I remember this one lecture from 1984.

    It's hard and most often impractical, but never never never give in to his demands.



    Giving in every so often is a more powerful reinforcer of behaviour than is giving in consistently.

    from http://tinyurl.com/c52drb

    "...behavior that is reinforced intermittently is much more difficult to extinguish than behavior that is reinforced continuously. 'This is why many of our student's undesirable behaviors are so difficult to stop. We might be able to resist a child's nagging most of the time, but if we yield every once in a while, the child will persist with it.' (Crain, 187) Therefore, when we begin to teach a desired behavior it is best to begin with continuous reinforcement, but if you wish to make a desired behavior last it is best to switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement."

    Which SUCKS, but there it is.

    He's a great kid, you're a great mom, and this IS just a phase.

    Say it to yourself and repeat as required.

    Recent blog post: the week in review