Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bad mommy

I just wanted to write a post to say a bit more about getting told off by the pediatrician.

I do think that Ella is getting more bratty every day. We are doing our best to deal with her increasingly contrary attitude to everything, sticking to our guns and trying to hand out appropriate punishments/time outs. But it is an uphill battle at best. Right now, we resolve one situation only to have some other issue crop up, and she goes at us even worse than before. I think the entire building probably heard her shouting at me yesterday when she got sent to the naughty chair for throwing toys at me when she got angry about me turning off the TV.

I think what bothered me most about what happened was having it pointed out that other people are noticing how bad Ella behaves. Its like when you are 15 and you look in the mirror in the morning and see an enormous pimple on your chin. You fuss with creams and make-up and finally convince yourself that you have it hidden, only to sit down at the breakfast table and have your little brother point out that you have an enormous red lump on your face, possibly making reference to the gestation of alien lifeforms or volcanic eruptions. You hate him (and say as much, possibly giving him a noogie in the bargain) but its not for making fun of you, its for destroying the illusion that you had anyone fooled with your "concealer". A misnomer if there ever was one.

So the doctor was a bit like my little brother. Atleast she was honest. I am now fully aware that Ella's getting the reputation for being a bit of a punk. I would always rather have the truth than some gentle lie. Just because no one says it outloud doesn't make it not true. She acts like a brat. And I'm not being too hard on her when I discipline her, its absolutely necessary in order to keep things in check- and possibly, not quite enough.

But I don't think that she said those things to hurt my feelings, and I take them in the spirit that they were intended. Pretending to be insulted would just be a cover. Like I said, I was horribly embarrassed to have to hear what I was trying very hard to ignore. Ella was being a very naughty girl.


Anna said...

When you turned the TV off, what alternative distraction did you propose to Ella? If she's being "bratty" maybe she's bored?

Please don't label her bratty too quickly... I do think that the French are so hard on children!

afoos said...

I've been trying to leave comments, but for some reason it doesn't work! Maybe this one will.

Anyway, please, please, please don't feel bad about yourself or about Ella. Gab went throught he same exact thing about 6-9 months ago, and he's finally, just for about the past 2 months, been coming out of his phase. It was so bad I took an appt. with the psychologist at the crèche. She kept cancelling the appt. Finally, by the time we could meet, I didn't need to meet with her anymore because Gab was doing just fine. It was definitely a phase. He would hit us, when we'd come home and we'd make him walk he'd drop on the floor in the middle of the parking garage and throw huge fits, and when we'd come to visit our then empty new apartment, it was literal hell because he would scream and cry. The worst was when we were at Ikea this summer and we made the mistake of not taking the stroller and he ended up crawling on his back on the floor, running everywhere so we couldn't look at anything. Finally, it got Etienne so upset that he started seriously talking to him with a rather severe voice, and he picked Gab up by one arm and practically dragged him out of the store with EVERYONE staring us like we were child abusers. I can't even count how many times we changed our plans because of Gab's behavior.

But, now it seems that we can count on him most of the time to act okay. He still has his fit or two, but he is so much more understanding when we say 'no' and gets over things much more easily.

Hang in there, this too shall pass, I promise.

Sally Lomax said...

Nicole - it's normal for her age. believe me. I've had five.

Your're doing a great job. Really. Don't doubt yourself!


Nicole said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody. What I am trying to keep in mind is that if we stick to our guns and are consistent, it will be just a phase. Its good to be reminded of both those things.