Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mary Ellen Is Two

Mary Ellen is two. This may seem obvious to you, as it clearly states in the sidebar that her birthday is December 27th. In fact, she is nearing three even as we speak. But she has hit two in her personality, and so as to make sure she doesn't miss anything she has hit it particularly HARD.

Mary is our most stubborn, rebellious, and downright naughty child to date. She makes Leah look positively tame! We didn't catch on in the early days to the extent of her unruliness because she hid behind the cloyingly sweet exterior of a petite, blonde haired, blue eyed, quiet child. She spoke later than my other children, and when she did it was in a tiny voice coveted by Whos all over the world. Boy, were we bamboozled - not so, anymore!

Mary screams when anything is not going her way; and I mean screams. She refuses to wear anything she did not pick out herself. Mary squawks at sitting down for dinner, standing up for getting dressed, laying down for going to sleep, and in all other instances willfully chooses to be contrary to the generally accepted norms of body placement protocol. But to all this I would be willing to turn a blind eye if she would but stay (prone positioning being optional) in her bed for nap and bedtime.

Mary hoodwinked the tent! We finally took the silly thing down, and instructed her to stay put. This worked marginally well if you count success being quiet and out of bed versus being loud and out of bed - either way she was constantly out of bed. When we moved it was apparent that her crib was not going to make it into the new room. We transitioned her rather abruptly into Leah's big girl bed, moving Leah to one of the bunks. Mary was thrilled. Of course, I don't know that she has spent more than 5 minutes in it over the past 4 weeks.

The other night I finally had enough. I was tired, feeling icky from the pregnancy, irritated with the still chaotic interior of our home, and generally fed up with my little ogre. I told Christopher that I thought we needed to bring back the crib. He wasn't here to listen to her stomp around with her sister's boots on during nap time. He didn't have to deal with picking up every toy she destroyed during her quiet time. He wasn't listening to the heartbreak of her sisters that once again their diary, doll, game, book, dress, stuffed animal, or blanket was taken hostage and had war crimes committed against it while in her camp. Yep, I was done.

Christopher brought me back to reason, as he does so often. He reminded me that putting her back in the crib would not solve the problem, and would probably only make matters worse. He pointed out that she needed some better boundaries (like a stone wall), and firmer consequences (I'm thinking Siberia).

That's all fine for you to suggest, but I am the one home alone with her! I am the one that has to manage adding this to my already packed day!

You're right, hon. Well, I think our only other choice is clear - military grade reform school.

I am making inquiries in the morning... unless she kisses me first.

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