Thursday, June 3, 2010

Never Say You're Sorry

People usually call them Pet Peeves, things that bother them on a regular basis.  Haley has several.  For example she hates it when I get water on her shirt when I am fixing her hair in the morning.  She says "Dry" and we have to use the hair dryer to dry the tiny drop away. 

She doesn't like things out of place.  While I am trying to get her ready in the morning she is busy trying to get me to put away the toothpaste, hairbrush and other sundries that her sister has left on the counter.  Big Sis is not as concerned about being neat.

When she works on the computer the desk has to be clean.  If I have left papers on the desk she will push them onto the floor, this is especially annoying to me around tax time.  If I can't find my cell phone I have learned that I should check my desk drawer because she started stashing it in there when I left it on top of the desk.

In my post Nobody's Perfect I mentioned her annoyance with any kind of spill, even those so small that we don't usually see them.  This happens quite often when she is feeding herself.  She will spill a drop of milk while eating her cereal or a grain of rice will escape her plate and land on the table.  This drives her up a wall.  It must be cleaned immediately.  Life as we know it comes to a complete stop.  This is true even if the spill is not her fault. 

I still feed her occasionally.  Haley eats too quickly.  She will continue to shovel food into her mouth regardless of how much is already in there and she rarely chews her food completely.  I have on many occasions had to retrieve things out of her mouth that she was not able to swallow because she didn't chew them properly.  I sometimes resort to feeding her just to slow down the process. 

Soup is baffling to her, I usually have to feed her that.

Haley is a carnivore, she would be happy with a plate full of nothing but meat.  I usually have to feed her bites of vegetables in between her bites of meat not only for her balanced nutrition but also so that she can give her poor throat a break.  I don't know why she does this to herself, but she always has. 

I am right handed and I usually don't have a problem feeding her if I do it with my right hand.  Occasionally I try to feed her with my left hand (I don't know why) and that is usually when the problems occur.  She gets really mad at me if food misses her mouth, falls off the fork, lands on her shirt or her pants or finds its way onto the table or floor. 

I apologize "Oops, I am sorry Haley, see even Mommy makes mistakes sometimes."  It doesn't help, in fact it seems to make her madder.  Haley doesn't want to hear it.  If I say "I'm sorry."  She yells "SORRY!" in a tone of voice that cannot be mistaken.

She doesn't like criticism either or more to the point she doesn't like to be contradicted.  If we tell her "No" she also yells back at us "NO!"  Apparently she doesn't like the word no.  We say she doesn't like being told.

Disciplining her is tough.  I don't condone corporal punishment in general.  Spanking never really worked on Haley's Big Sis and it really doesn't work on Haley.  I am not proud of the times that I have resorted to spanking her, but I can tell you that I remember every one of them and I can count them on just one hand.  When I spanked Haley it was out of frustration, usually for a behavior that was dangerous and had to be stopped or had gone too far.  I knew it was a mistake the moment I did it, but there was no going back or taking it back. 

When I spanked Haley she would then spank herself.  It was heartbreaking.  She showed no mercy.  One little swat on the behind from me and she would start smacking herself over and over, and not gently either.  I usually had to hold her hands still and try to calm her.  I then, being me, would apologize.  I am sure you can tell where this is going.  As soon as I would say "Haley I am so sorry."  She would yell "SORRY" and it would continue to escalate. 

It is extremely hard for me not to say "I'm sorry." it just naturally rolls off of my tongue and I make mistakes frequently.

Just typing these things brings them back vividly.  This hasn't happened in a long time, but the times that it did happen were really traumatic for me.  I hope they weren't as traumatic for her.

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