What possesses a 7-year old to wake up at 3:30 am and have a 40-minute meltdown? The devil is busy. The devil never sleeps.
Mae had to use the bathroom and she didn’t feel like using the bathroom. She wanted to put on her pajamas and she was too tired to put on her pajamas without help. She was trying to enlist my help and then her dad’s after I refused to get up. Fortunately, Jay slept through the whole thing.
We arrived home from SC at about 11:00 pm last night, all tired, and went to bed almost as soon as the car was unpacked. I helped Mae walk upstairs. She said she was too tired to use the bathroom and put on her pajamas. I didn’t dare mention brushing her teeth. I let her go straight to bed in her clothes. I had no idea she would wake up 4 and a half hours later and punish me for it.
Mae came to our bed three times. First, she tried crying and wailing and holding my arm, saying that she was too tired and needed my help. She told me that she was upset and I was supposed to help her. Despite the fact that I told Mae she had a choice to sleep in her pajamas or clothes and that she could choose not to use the bathroom (as long as she was responsible for cleaning up any accident), she did not take note of her freedom and independence. However, once I said she would lose computer time, she went to her bed. I thought she would get tired of crying and go back to sleep. When she came back the second time, she went to Hubby. He tried reasoning with her. Finally, I told her that she had lost computer time for a day. She went away again, still crying loudly.
A few minutes later, Mae came back for the third time. She apologized and promised that she will listen from now on if I would just help her with her pajamas. I realize that if I had helped her, we could have all gone back to sleep earlier. I saw it as rewarding undesirable behavior. The last thing I want her to think is that crying like she’s being kidnapped is an effective way to get what she wants. I told Mae that she could earn back computer time if she went back to bed.
There was no school and work today, so we toughed it out. Mae did have a 9:00 am dental appointment this morning. I thought she would be a monster when I went to wake her. Nope. It was as if the whole episode never happened. She was cooperative and, according to the mood watch she was wearing, “serene.” At the dentist’s office, she had the hygienist laughing with her charming and funny self. You would not have known.
As a matter of fact, when Jay cried during dinner about having to eat his broccoli in order to get dessert, Mae attempted to intervene on his behalf. She explained to me that I was upsetting him and that he probably was too full to eat his broccoli because the acid in his stomach hadn’t yet broken down the broccoli. I told her to focus on herself. She then asked if she could speak to me in the family room. As if? Like a private talk would give her a better opportunity to sway me. I said no to the private talk and turned back to telling Jay that I could save his broccoli and dessert for tomorrow.
I’m not saying that I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. But, work will be a breeze compared to this, and I’ll get paid to listen to others whine and cry.