Tuesday, October 23, 2007

4-year-old Shenanigans

This past weekend was a rough one for Lindsey. I think that getting off of a week of staying home due to illness made it difficult all around. It started with her refusal to go to KinderCare on Friday. It culminated in Saturday's scream fest, in which she 1) bit Marissa 2) cried at the slightest parental rebuke (i.e. "Lindsey, don't bite your sister!") and 3) refused to do anything requested of her. We started her bedtime routine at 7 pm. because she was such a little shit we didn't want to deal with her anymore. But she didn't get to sleep until 10 pm because of the screaming and crying she had to do for the next 3 hours. Busy busy!

On Sunday, Wayne and I both awoke before the girls and thought, "OK, it's a new day, let's go do something fun as a family. Pretend yesterday never happened." So we decided to go to the Mall of America. While Marissa doesn't like the rides she has a good time taking in the sights, and the rides are Lindsey's absolute favorite.

We get there around 10:40 am, about 20 minutes before most of the stores and the amusement park opens. There's one store nearby that's open: Sports Authority. Wayne needed a new pair of athletic shoes so it was the perfect time to get that shopping out of the way until the rest of the mall opened.

We barely walked in the store when Lindsey ran off. She ran off so quickly Wayne didn't even know that she wasn't with me. He hit the shoe department and Marissa and I start casually walking the store, looking for Lindsey.

I figured Lindsey would be too scared and shy to leave the store, so I didn't panic. There were very few people in it besides ourselves and the employees, so I also wasn't concerned about someone grabbing her. And, after the previous day's behavior, I wasn't so sure I wanted to find her anyway.

After about 10 minutes of looking, I go back to where Wayne is still trying on shoes and ask if he's seen her. That's when I find out that he thought she was with me the entire time. (And I thought he was being as calm as I!) So he quickly makes a selection and we all set off through the store, looking for her.

Wayne finds her 5 minutes later trailing behind two employees who were leading the way, trying to help her find her parents. She was visibly upset and the minute she saw Wayne she clung to his neck, crying.

We settled with her and didn't scold her -- clearly she was upset by the situation and didn't need scolding. However, we did tell her that she was not going on any rides because she ran off. We almost left the MoA right then, but poor Marissa was being so good and having so much fun, and has so little clothing that we had to pick up some pants and long-sleeved tops for her. The girl can't wear shorts and halter tops all fall and winter! So we hit a couple more stores, with Lindsey the entire time trying to convince us to let her on some rides.

We even had lunch IN the amusement park right next to the rides, which Lindsey could see but couldn't ride on. We made it home without giving in to any of her requests.

Monday morning was more of the same -- we ended up depositing Lindsey kicking, screaming and in an all-out temper tantrum into her room because I wouldn't let her wear her sandals to KinderCare. (It IS only 50 degrees out, not exactly sandal wearing weather.) The center director ended up removing her from the classroom until she could calm down.

By Monday evening when we picked the girls up everyone seemed back to normal. We had leftovers for dinner, which left lots of time for hide-n-seek and doggie-doggie-where's-my-bone. Marissa's not very good at hide-n-seek yet (she comes out at the same time that the person counting finishes) and just likes having the blankie put on her for the doggie game without ever looking for the bone, but it was all good family time.

Even better, both girls were asleep on time and appear to be back in a routine now. Thank heavens!

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