A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Time out!
(Or, "The Omegas are parenting wusses".) Johnny is a self-proclaimed parenting hard-ass. The lucky Johnny and Sharon have a lovely two-year-old who goes to bed at 7 p.m. Sigh. Can OmegaMom admit that she's jealous? OmegaDotter (admittedly two years older) has a bedtime routine that starts any time between 7:45 and 8:45, and ends between 8:45 and 9:45. She gets a bath every other day or so, then "eleven minutes" with OmegaDad (a very elastic period of time, because OmegaMom uses it to chill in the office, read email, blogs, lists, boards, etc.), then gets one or two stories read to her by OmegaMom, then has to have OmegaMom with her while she goes to sleep, which can take anywhere from one minute to...let's say, "a long, long time". God forbid we change the routine. All hell breaks loose. Then there is the "time-out" thing. We tried time-outs with OmegaDotter when she was a young'un. Note the "tried". One could call OmegaDotter "spirited", I'm thinking. Or perhaps it's a matter of attachment issues. Time-outs are a waste of time in this house. She gets absolutely hysterical, and a two-minute time-out turns into a one-hour ordeal for the whole family, which ends with OmegaDotter hiccuping in OmegaMom's arms, very damp from tears and exhausted. Of course, the OmegaParents are exhausted, too, by this time. "Alone" is a very, very scary thing for her. Disapproval is, too. So we have had to find ways and means to convey disciplinary ideas to her. This is not to say she's a Wild Thang. "Time-ins" (where one holds child in arms fairly securely, facing outward, and "discuss" the behavior in question) work--we get hysterics, but they're much shorter. And OmegaMom is, of course, a Mean Mommy, who has drilled the Fear of Leaving The Store into OmegaDotter to the point where a simple, "Do we have to go sit in the car until you can behave?" has mutated to A Look when mom and dotter are out shopping together. (This required application of only a few carrying-the-tantrumming-dotter-out-of-the-store scenes.) Unfortunately, OmegaDad is a ball of mush when it comes to the dotter--usually--so a group outing can be more problematic. We'd much rather have a happy, healthy girl than deal with the hysterics that go with time-outs, or the hysterics (hours-long, making-herself-sick type hysterics) that emerged about six months after bringing dotter home when we would put her to bed in her crib by herself. But I will admit there are times when it would be nice to have a dotter that goes into time-outs with only a small amount of fuss, who goes to bed by herself at a set time, and who stays in that bed all night long without climbing in with mom and dad and subjecting mommy to the Foot Thing.
posted by Kate @ 2/15/2006 11:04:00 PM  
  • At 2/16/2006 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds a familiar; in our house, Dad is easier to influence, too.

  • At 2/16/2006 11:04:00 AM, Blogger Momma Star said…

    Oh yes, the hysterics. Mine can work himself into asthma flares.

    I am so over the "this works for every kid" parenting theories.

  • At 2/16/2006 03:24:00 PM, Anonymous gigi said…

    This post reminded me of the last time I saw my nephew. He's such a little bugger (at the age of 3) that he is very well versed on the time out procedure. As a matter of fact, if he has done something wrong and is on the verge of being caught, he runs to his timeout chair before anyone can yell at him!

    The last time that I saw him was at a family bar-b-que. He had smacked me in the head and my brother was making him apologize to me. My nephew didn't want to so my brother gave him an option: either aplogize or have a time out. The little sh!t ran right to his timeout chair, laughing the whole way! It seems to me that the whole timeout concept seems to have gone right over his head. That, and it's just not working!

  • At 2/16/2006 05:17:00 PM, Blogger Scott Ocheltree said…

    Bedtime isn't an issue for us at our house, but that's because we found something that works for us. And I didn't get the feel that what you are doing doesn't work for you.

    Like momma star said, "This works for every kid" theories are bulls**t.

    We are on boy #3, a beautiful child (just like the other 2) but a completely unique person. Which is what makes each one of them so fascinating.

  • At 2/17/2006 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Figlet said…

    I am SO relieved you wrote this post because that's exactly our routine. I mean it's a routine of sorts, albeit an imperfect one. Dinner. Bath. Stories. Jammies. ANDWHENAREYOUGOINGTOFALLASLEEPFORTHELOVEOFGODPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE. You know. At least LSP slept solo last night. It's the least she could do for staying up til 11PM.

  • At 2/17/2006 03:19:00 PM, Blogger ThoughtsInsideMyHead said…

    When I was a teen, I babysat for a little boy adopted from Korea. He had major attachment issues, too. I still remember the bedtime ritual I went through with him. His parents were much more adamant about explaining everything to me, the clueless teen, than any other parent I ever worked for.
    Put little boy in the crib, sit in the rocking chair for about an hour,turn on the special music, then when he closed his eyes, crawl on the floor and sneak out.
    I never minded doing this, but I'm sure the elaborate routine wore his parents down. I guess that's why they needed me.

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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