20 June 2005

Go to your room

Father's Day started out so nicely yesterday. Husband and I had been out Saturday night to a fancy seafood place in SONO that served delicious blue drinks in martini glasses. Dinner was a Kobe beef burger -- I always wanted to try Kobe beef and was not disappointed. Dessert was had at Cold Stone Creamery. Yum! Zoë slept until after 7:30am. We all went out for a nice walk after breakfast and the weather was sunny and cool. It seemed like the whole day would just be calm and relaxing -- exactly what I wanted for Husband on his day. Until...

Zoë refused to nap. She is over 3 so ordinarily that wouldn't necessarily ruin an evening, but my father, my brother and his wife and daughter were all due to come over in the afternoon so I knew it was going to be a problem. Zoë has a hard time when her cousin comes to visit. It arouses the green-eyed monster in her. Especially since she is used to being the focal point for the grandparents. I do understand that part, but the way she expresses her frustration with not getting all the attention is to, of course, act out. I felt like all I did was yell at her yesterday afternoon and evening. At one point I stepped outside to see my husband pulling her aside and saying "Don't you ever spit at me again, you understand?" And that was the last straw for me. I took her inside and I told her to go to her room and not to come out. I told her to wait until I came and got her and I warned her not to make a mess. This is the first time I have ever banished her to her room and it was hard on her and on me too. Banishment was my mother's punishment of choice when I was a kid. I never said I wouldn't do it, but doing it just then reminded me of how I felt when my mother did it to me. It was very lonely and scary to wait to get yelled at some more. I left Zoë up in her room for about 15 minutes and then I went up and sat down on the floor with her and I told her that spitting was absolutely not allowed. I didn't yell, but I did make her apologize to her father, which she did quite contritely for a 3-year-old. For the most part things improved from that point on, but I was on top of her every second so that was completely exhausting for me. I have to say, I was happy when she finally went to bed for the night. I hate when I feel that way. I hate when I feel all I did was reprimand her all day.

Happily this morning was much better. Zoë was back to her sweet self and feeling very cuddly as we sat on the couch watching Little Bear together before I had to leave for work. I was incredibly tempted to take a "sickie" just to spend the day with her.

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