Stubborn, just like me and most of the people in my family. Little Ms. Gwendolyn is a tornado of energy and for the most part I let her be what she has to be, silly and free. I won't bash her mother because she really is a good mother, but she has a hard time controlling the kids once in a while. I don't know what to tell her anymore because for a very long time she has undermined almost everything I tell the kids, but when the kids are alone with me there is absolutely no problems. Everyone co-exists calmly and we all have fun together. There is no bad behavior because there's no reason for it. When mom is around they act like they've lost their freakin minds and I know it's because of the tension in the air, so I cut them a little slack.
Everybody is always telling me that once in a while kids need a good smack on the ass, but I ain't down with that. Those of you that have been reading along know why. I've never hit or touched either one of my kids harshly, ever. I don't yell at them either, there's no reason for it. For some reason people think it's cool to hit your kid, and whether it actually hurts them or not it instills a fear in them that may never go away. Children are innocent and should be treated as such.
Last night I come home after a 16 hour day, there have been a lot of those lately. I don't mind working afternoons too much except for the fact that I don't get to see anybody, but Gwen is usually up when I get home. She's a late night person like the rest of us. She's been having some real issues with staying in her bed once she's put there and last night she was just off the hook! I talked to her for a minute and tucked her in and within two minutes she was out running around. At first it's kind of silly so I let it go but put her back in bed. Two or three more times and she's just getting more out of control than anything. When she first started sleeping in her bed I could get her to lay down and go to sleep, but when she tested the waters as all kids do, her mother would always eventually let her out. This is the problem and I've talked about it calmly and reasonably but it never changed. So, last night I had to deal with it once and for all because my wife just threw her hands up. She was done.
I sat on the floor with her and tried to reason with her about why she had to stay in bed and that I didn't even care if she stayed awake as long as she stayed in bed. Didn't help. Then i had to basically hold her there, gently, so she would calm down....but she only got louder and kicked harder. I just held my arm over her and sat there quietly, with my eyes closed trying to stay calm. She yelled and screamed for mom who actually almost came in there to get her but she left. Screaming dotted with pauses to catch her breath I just sat there quietly and tried to reason with her a bit when she calmed for a few seconds, but she just kicked harder. That freakin kid is stubborn! I didn't know what I was getting myself into trying to have a power struggle with a three year old. Her last ditch effort was to go to the bathroom but I called her bluff and just sat with my eyes closed, resting my head on my arm on the side of the bed, breathing deeply trying to give her some of the calm. The pauses grew longer and then she says "Daddy, I want to stay in my bed!" I didn't hear her clearly, I thought she was still fighting with me. So I asked her what she said. "Daddy I want to sleep in my bed!!" I could tell the tears were real now, so I let go of her and rubbed her head. Covered her with her blanket because at some point in there she took her shirt off in a fit of rage. She rolled over on her belly and I told her I still loved her as I kissed her forehead and she tells me "I still love you too, daddy. We'll talk in the morning." I always tell her when I tuck her in that we'll talk in the morning. I rubbed her back until she fell asleep which was about thirty seconds.
This morning the first thing she did was jump on me and hug me and tell me how much she loved me, and I knew I did the right thing. It's crazy to sit through some of the emotions of making your child scream like that, especially when you feel the way I do about the whole situation. It was tough. That whole situation lasted fifty minutes, and that child pushed me to the limits of everything I swore I would never do, and I feel quite fulfilled. Tears welling up in my eyes, but it was just another day, and there will be more like it. I'm just glad to know that I've got them, because they're helping me more than anything I could ever do for them.