Last Friday was spent reevaluating. Alice was fresh off an I'm-sick-and-I-can-do-anything-I-want high. She walked around like she was queen of the castle and I was her lowly servant. Demanding tv at all times of the day. Eating when and what she felt like with no regard for the schedule. And the screaming. Ooh the screaming! Choice word being NO!! Not like a two year old who says it because it's novel and fun. Rather because I piss her off with my rules. How dare I try to control her and the things that go on in my house! Just who the hell do I think I am!
Traditional time outs weren't working. Removing privileges didn't bother her. I was forced to think outside the box on this one, outside the house maybe. In my head, I pondered the genius idea, my evil hands rubbing back and forth. I may have even cackled a time or two. My desperation had caused me to sink to a new low. I was going to use my knowledge of Alice's fear of bugs to my advantage. I don't think I've covered Alice's bug phobia yet, have I? She has an extremely grand, unwarranted, debilitating fear of bugs. It's so gargantuan it deserves it's own post. Soon, I promise. Anyway, I know that Alice hates being on the back porch by herself. You know, those man-eating flies. I've threatened before to stick her out back like I do with the dog when she's plucking my nerves. (I seem to compare my child to the dog a lot. Maybe I should reflect and get to the bottom of this.) The time had come to stop threatening and follow through. The next high pitch "NO!" she belted out and I was off. I took her by the arm, said nothing, put her on the back porch and shut the door. For a few glorious moments it was silent. When reality of her predicament settled in, the tears and the pleas to be let back inside started. She quickly waved the white flag, begging to be given a second chance, all the while looking back at the porch in fear of the imaginary bugs that were obviously coming to get her.
I had won. I wasn't proud of my below-the-belt tactics, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Eventually I hope she will want to be kind because it's the right thing to do, it's who we strive to be. Until that day comes, I'm okay with her choosing to be good to avoid consequences. And if I have to, I can ride the bug phobia for a very long time. Rest assured, dear Alice, juvenile detention center's are laden with insects.