How can this pretty little face ever do anything wrong or get into any trouble? I know any of you moms of 4-year-olds aren’t fooled! So, Courtney, here’s the 4-year-old stories I’m sure you’re dying to hear!
My precious little angel is, shall we say, a bit on the stubborn and strong willed side. Our friends who live with us over here would laugh and say that is even an understatement. She is constantly challenging us to see what she can get away with. I wish I could say I am always the perfect parent, never getting frustrated and being so patient with her, but unfortunately that is not the case. Let me just tell you some of her strong willed stories so you can see what I mean.
I can’t remember if I’ve told this story here or not, so forgive me if this is a repeat. Last year, we decided to send her to school a few days a week to get acclimated to going this year. By day 2 (DAY 2!!) she decided she wanted to eat her lunch in the sand pit. When another teacher kindly informed her that lunch is eaten at the picnic tables, she decided, rather than giving in, she wouldn’t eat her lunch at all. This lasted the REST OF THE YEAR!! Stubborn, I tell you.
On our recent vacation, she started challenging us again. Every morning she simply refused to get dressed. Joshua and I went to the mall one morning and waited an hour and a half for Jeremy and Emma Grace to join us. She simply would not get dressed and when we tried to dress her, she squirmed until it was impossible. Then she decided not to use the toilet when she had to pee. She would hold it all day. I don’t know how she did it, but she found a way. Until she realized that you reach a point where you can’t hold it any longer and it just comes out.
So Jeremy and I were left with a decision on how to handle this because it didn’t just last one day. We decided we weren’t going to let her run the show and ruin our vacation. Or have one of us wait in the room with her ALL DAY until SHE was ready to go. It simply wasn’t fair to anyone. So we started (both of us, mind you) holding her down and dressing her. And when she had to go to the toilet, either I would hold her on the toilet until she went, or if she peed, I would discipline her.
This actually worked really well. One day she even decided she liked what she was wearing! And the peeing thing stopped quickly because she realized it wasn’t worth getting the discipline.
Now that school has started, getting dressed in the morning can still be challenging and sometimes stubbornness rears its ugly head. But we will stick with it, knowing that she is testing us and knowing that (fingers crossed) this too shall pass. I keep thinking that I really need to go ahead and read Have A New Kid By Friday!