Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good Cop, Bad Cop

I hate being bad cop.

Like today, Oona cried herself hoarse while yelling 'Sorry Mommy! I'm sorry!' from the corner I sent her for a time out. Before that, she was pretending to cry so she could get me to fetch the hankie I was telling her to get to wipe her runny little nose with. She said she didn't want to go because there was a monster. It was broad daylight, a few yards from where I was but I wanted her to get it as I told her to keep it with her because she had colds. Then she started to fake crying with matching tears, saying she couldn't find it when I knew she didn't even try. Any other day her drama queen act would have merited an exasperated laugh and a compromise, processing the monster thing, but I just got so pissed with the fake crying, I swear. I smacked her bottom soundly and sent her to the corner, trying to ignore her while she cried for real and shouted her apologies for not behaving.

I'm the mommy monster.

I know I sound harsh and she's a sweet little kid. I honestly think I can manage better than losing my temper, but I still haven't found the secret to making a willful three year old yield to me without a battle of wills.

Rf tries to comfort me by saying I have to be bad cop because I use tough love better than he does. He should know, cos he's such a push over when it comes to the girls. He's wrapped around their little fingers! He tells me that they do need to learn discipline and the gravity of the consequences when they don't behave, stick to the rules or don't listen.

I really wish kids could listen and reason like adults do but then, they wouldn't be kids. I just have to learn not to be reduced to the EQ level of a bean when my patience deserts me. She really doesn't have authority issues, it's just that Oona's three years old. That's all. And it's all I have to remember.

After she relatively calmed down, we talked, hugged and kissed. I also said sorry for yelling, spanking her bottom and getting mad. She said it didn't hurt anymore and that she's happy now. We said our I love you's and had an afternoon nap.

I still hate being bad psycho cop, even when it's for a noble cause. I feel like such a bully.