1:14 AM

I am dealing with some parenting issues that while are pretty normal in a sense I honestly never thought I would have to deal with them. I always thought that I would be an excellent parent who would teach her kids proper behavior from birth and never have to deal with what I have had to deal with during the last week and a half. Screaming, kicking, banging head against the wall (me included) have all led me to get some professional help. Now, I am using the singular person here because as usual Principe is working late these days, in fact this week he is in Madrid for three days straight. So all of the disciplining is falling on me.
     My mother is here also, which is great but at times even more exhausting. Who wants their kids to suddenly act out in front of their parents? Even as understanding (and usually uninvolved) as my mother is it is still embarrassing and she can't help but make some comments or suggestions. Some I agree with and some I don't. And while she always ends with, "But you have to decided what you are going to do, I don't always have the right answer either," telling her (or showing her) that I am not taking her advice on this topic or that one, is always met with a certain look.
     Yesterday Firecracker played out a 25 minute temper tantrum because she didn't want to have her poopy diaper changed. Since getting home I have changed the "corner" from the play room to the "gym room" (a tiny "bedroom" that is tiled in gym foam squared and is host to Principe's kickboxing bag.) In this room I close the door on them telling them not to open it until they are done with their screaming. It works with Firecracker as she doesn't yet make the connection to open the door, all she wants is to scream until I give her attention. Which I am learning not to do. So she stays in there until she is done crying. Yesterday when she was done her entire head of hair was wet from tears and she immediately asked to take a nap. At 11am. I placed her in bed and she didn't come out until 2pm. Okay, so she was tired, but let's face it, kicking, screaming and generally being a pain in the arse is not a reaction I want to encourage.
    More than anything I am learning to ignore and not talk as much. Which is hard. Really, really hard. When Queenie keeps on repeating that she doesn't want to watch THIS MOVIE or Firecracker keeps repeating that she want CHOCOLATE it is hard to not give in to screaming at them "BE QUIET!". Because the screaming doesn't work. Neither does telling them in a nice tone to be quiet. It just doesn't work. They aren't listening and apparently my kids have no concept of what shutting their traps actually means. So I am ignoring. Not that I came up with that. Remember how I said I started looking for professional help? Yep, that concept came from a professional. I used to make fun of the other parents on the playground in Madrid that talked about their sessions with their child behavior expert. What kind of parent needs an "expert" to teach their children right from wrong?
    I'll tell you: THIS parent.
    I have extremely head strong girls who have been poorly parented for the last few years. There I said it. I wasn't doing it right. We weren't doing it right, but now we will be. Hey, I know that some people don't need the help, that they are just that bright and just that good at parenting and they have naturally good kids and everything is so rosy that it makes the rest of us want to puke. I know. And I know that they will laugh at me or shake their heads just as I did to those parents a few years ago before my Queenie became a bossy, screaming, defiant, temper tantrum throwing little girl. *shrug* What are you going to do? My goal now is to reverse the mistakes before teenagehood. I have exactly 10 years.

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