so… you may have gathered that things aren’t going so great around here. my little rant yesterday elicited a LOT of advice. mostly good advice that I probably needed to hear.
and so I have channeled my inner nazi-mom, and laid down the law on my flighty, flakey, head-in-the-clouds, getting-quite-defiant middle child.
mornings, bedtimes, and general routine is tough for her.
last night, layla fiddled around a dinner time. she refused to drink her milk ( a BIG issue with her), and so she was excused from the table to go get ready for bed. this basically ends the night for her, and eliminates her right to complete any of her evening chores and thus earn a ticket (tickets are earned by completing all of a set of chores – morning, afternoon, or evening). tickets are good for stuff like tv shows, computer games, video games, going to a friend’s house, etc. I told her to chose the clothes she was going to wear to school the next day and put those on. the rest of us finished dinner and cleaned it up. then I went to check on layla, who was wandering aimlessly around her bedroom, humming, still in her clothes (this is a good 15 minutes later). I proceeded to remove her clothes, and put the other clothes that she had chosen ON her. she was not thrilled. I informed her that by not doing as she was told to do, she had lost her bedtime stuff (story, snuggling, tucking in), and sent her to the bathroom to brush her teeth and go potty. she was VERY upset and insisted that she would NOT go to sleep because of it. but she got in bed, I told her goodnight, and left. she did, contrary to her prediction, go to sleep.
this morning, she woke up on her own around 7:15. we have to leave for the bus at 8:25, so if she hadn’t been up already, I would have woke her at 7:25. after a few groggy minutes, she decided she needed to go to the bathroom, and when she came out, she said she wanted breakfast. I informed her that breakfast had been moved to when she was done with everything else she needs to do before school, except brush her teeth. layla’s morning chores are not outrageous. she needs to get dressed (which was fortunately already done), feed the dog, make her bed, have her hair done, eat, and brush her teeth. SHE WAS FURIOUS! she stomped off to her room and insisted she wasn’t going to do it. I went about my business of getting micah ready. when I was in their room getting him dressed, she revealed herself in the closet. I informed her that we would be leaving for the bus at 8:25 whether she was ready or not. she gave no indication of even hearing me, and I went about my business of helping micah make his bed and brush his teeth. when his morning chores were completed, I gave him his ticket and told him he could play. layla came out of her room and sat down at her desk and grabbed a marker (something she knows she’s not supposed to do in the morning). she looked at me and I looked back. she told me she wanted to make a big heart on a piece of paper. I informed her that it was 7:55 and we were leaving for the bus in half an hour. she verbally agonized for the next 5 minutes over whether or not she should make the heart, which she eventually did, and I ignored her. I sent a preemptive email to her teacher, explaining that it was likely that layla would be arriving at school for a few days, looking disheveled and without breakfast. I explained why (her teacher knows ALL about layla’s tendencies in this department), and begged her not to call CPS on me. I then went and did some other things I needed to do, while layla cut hearts out of paper. at 8:15, I fed the dog. at 8:20, I announced that it was time to put shoes on and get ready to leave. layla said she was hungry. I told her that eating breakfast would solve that problem and it was too bad she chose not to do it. I helped micah with his shoes and coat, she put hers on and grabbed her backpack. we walked out the door at exactly 8:25, with no tears, no yelling, no breakfast, and bed head. we made it to the bus in plenty of time, and layla was happy as a clam.
SO… was this a success? I have no idea.
tomorrow morning there is t-ball. we forgot her practice on monday night and she was VERY upset. I’m hoping that getting to the game will be motivation enough for her to get it in gear tomorrow morning. we’ll see.
as far as next week goes, I guess I’ll continue with this pattern. it is my hope that being hungry and not earning her tickets will motivate her to actually DO what she needs to do without me prodding her constantly.
I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.