Saturday, September 20, 2008

Discipline...Or Lack Thereof

Okay, so I think that any day that goes really well and is filled with spiritual revelations must be immediately followed by a day that makes you want to pull all your hair (or perhaps your 2, almost 3 year-old's) out by the roots! Today made Thursday seem like a dream! We experienced the mother of all Target meltdowns today. I am talking tears, screaming, unkind words, threats and staring (from the poor shoppers forced to witness the terror). The whole experience was one of those that has been niggling at me all day like popcorn stuck in my teeth. What did I do wrong?

The day actually started pretty well (should I start taking that as a sign?). We had lunch and then went to Target. I had to go back because the other day we accidentally removed an item from the store that we hadn't paid for (yes, you can read that "stolen" because we took it, albeit unintentionally). Sooo, I got frustrated as soon as we got out because Josie had taken her shoes off. It only took us 5 minutes to get there-why did she take off her socks and shoes? Definitely just to vex me. Anyway, we got in the store. There were great deals everywhere! All the school/college clearance was 75% off. I am getting pretty excited when I discover Josie had removed her shoes (and of course her socks) AGAIN! Not happy, Bob, not happy. In the process of replacing them (actually yelling at her to do so) I find a book from Ross that is (cue drums) not paid for! You've got to be kidding me! I am certain at some point I am going to be arrested. You can only be allowed so many of these "mistakes" before someone assumes that you are just lying. At this point Josie is crying, Carson is crying (of course all pacifiers are safe-in Josie's purse because isn't that where they belong-in the car!) and I am about to cry. Issuing threats between clenched teeth, we go back to school supplies. At some point while deciding between lunchboxes for $2.98 Josie loses it. Weeping and gnashing of teeth ensue. So much for $7 backpacks and $5 lamps-we are headed at the door, all of us wailing the whole way. The clerk had the audacity to tell me , "Have a nice day!" Could she not see that I was on the edge of violence? Every tearful Picker loaded in the truck and Josie starts mumbling through her tears. I unkindly bite out, "What is wrong, now?!" Then I realize she is saying the dreaded phrase, "I want my daddy!" I was crushed. He is always the disciplinarian, I am the comforter. What did I do?

I apologize, she apologizes and we head to another Target (okay, I am a glutton for punishment, but also a sucker for a sale!). We successfully navigate the 2nd Target (good deals had all around). But I am still reeling. I prayed, I know the Lord knows our hearts. I just kept replaying the drama. Somehow, I feel like Josie's behavior can be excused, but I am an adult. I did not maintain self-control, so how can I expect her to? I remembered (too late this time) Dr. Dobson's sage advice to apply disciplinary action "anywhere along the timeline that it is convenient for you, the closer it moves to the front of the conflict, the better." Thankfully, I will have another chance to remember that I am the mom. I do not have to cower in the face of a toddler tantrum. I can be forgiven, and victorious. Here's to next time!


  1. Lara,
    You are my hero! You never give yourself enough credit for hard you try stubborn toddlers can be! I know we have lots further to go, so please know I am praying for you and soon we will be two peas in a very sad pod:( Love~Me

  2. Whenever you get upset with the kids, just remind yourself, "they could be twins."

    The toddler stage is but a short stop on the way to adulthood. It won't last forever, and hey, you did get to cash in on all the good sales, so all was not lost. Lots of love!



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