Thursday, February 21, 2008

Empty

I did it. I emptied out her room. I've come to my end. Out they all went. Toys, books, the princess tent. Everything.

We've been working on being a "big girl" for a long time now. It's time to get serious. The will the Lord has given this girl is only matched by that of her mother. Just ask the Hubs.

So. After a morning in un.dies, successful independent trips to the bathroom, she wanted "baby diapers." I figured she needed to poo.p. (hey, I'm motivated, but not that crazy...that's a whole 'nother ballgame, friends). Allowance was made. Naptime came and I reminded her she needed to go before she took her nap.

"Nope, Mom, I already went in my baby diaper."

Grrrrr. Deep breaths. A calming walk around the circle.

"Ok, if you are not going to be big girl, you do not get to have big girl things in your room."
A few whines.
"You need to help me put all of your toys out of your room."
A few more whines.
And then...
Humming and singing.
"Clean up, clean up, everybody do a share...."
"Don't forget this one mommy!"
"This be awesome."
"Bye-bye, tent!"

WHAAAT? Is this grand plan forged from months of frustration going to unravel right in front of me? Has she decided to see if I'm bluffing? Does she think if she's good she'll get to keep some things?

I asked her to look around her room.
It really looked very empty. Even to me.

And then the tears came.

I can't say that seeing my children in tears ever brings me joy, but it does give a hint to the affect of what is happening around them.


We sat on her bed. I cuddled her. I looked down at her beautiful blue eyes, looking at me through watery tears.

I spoke to her firmly, but kind.

"The toys and books can come back, but only when you start showing what a big girl you are. I know you can do it. I love you."

Well, not sure if this is the best tactic (not asking for advice, friends), only time will tell.

Ps. To show that I haven't totally lost my heart...I did allow her to have "Blankie," her blanket that she usually sleeps with, plays with and, on occasion, puts in timeout. Blankie was not in her room and I told Ellie I would go look for her. (Oh yes, Blankie is definitely a "her"). Back to her room, I handed her her 'comfort a la cotton', gave her a smile and left. *sigh*

8 comments:

emilymcd said...

Oh, Kris- I appreciate your mother's heart. You did a brave thing. You really did. Thanks for sharing your frustrations; I look forward to hearing about the success from this venture. (It will happen!!)

Dave and Jenni said...

I'm going to be joining these ranks very soon. I came up with a very elaborate potty-training plan that I'm sure will unravel in the first week. Oh well, at least I can put my best effort into it - and it is very evident that you have too. I agree with Emily - it will happen! You can do it (and so will she)! :)

Dave and Jenni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary@notbefore7 said...

No advice here...just a "we've been there" and it will happen.

I am glad you let her keep blankie - you did the right thing there. Blankies are sacred in our house too.

Sittintall said...

It certainly is hard to see your kids cry, especially when you don't know whether or not you are doing the right thing. I have moments of uncertainty almost daily it seems. But you followed through! You are a great mom, and I hope this idea works. Lots of love.

trevsmom said...

Go Ellie Go, we are rooting for ya. Great idea Kris! I got a laugh about her saying bye bye to everything, that would of worried me a bit. I am praying this will be the time she goes for the gold! Hang in there Sis, you can do it! :-)

Beth said...

I do love the freedom that we've gotten from taking everything away. We did it for a different reason, but at least they now play with the toys that are out! Good luck--we're going to be there with our little one soon!
Beth

Short Stop said...

Cheering for Ellie. Cheering for you!!

We just finished with Jack. I'm too exhausted from the process to even blog about it.

It indeed will happen. Great job, Mom! Keep it up!