I certainly feel like the worst Mommy on the planet. I know I'm not; in fact I know I'm doing the right thing, but I really hate it when the right thing makes me feel so sucky.
I've grounded my eldest.
She's got some pretty unsavoury bad habits, and Husband and I have tried for a long time (4 years in some cases) to get her to wise up and behave like a person and not an animal. Yesterday, in the course of a half an hour, she blatantly exhibited the following (degree of offence is on a 1-10 scale 10 being the worst and time We've spent trying to stop said behavior):
I picked her up after school and she...
1) Walked in and out of several private home-owner's flower gardens rather than use the sidewalk.(7 : for seven months)
2) Told me to carry her bag for her..not ask, and never said please. (9 : since she was a year old)
3) Picked her wedgie while walking down the busy street. (4 : for three months)
4) Then chewed on her hair. (4 : three weeks..new bad habit)
5) Stopped on the pavement, hands on hips, and shrilly shouted "Mummy, Stop telling me what to DO!" (10 : That's my job, it's what I do)
6) She then walked 20 paces behind me, one foot on the lawn of some poor home-owner...just to bug me. (5 (but felt like a 9) : see above)
7) We got home, and she didn't take her shoes off at the door and tramped mud onto the carpet all the way to the stairs. (7 : nine months, since the baby spends all her time on the carpet)
8) She "heavy sighed" me when I asked her, nicely, to carry her lunchbox into the house. (5 : about a year)
9)She walked over her sister, who was sitting on the floor, to fetch the lunchbox rather than walk around her. (10 : nine months, since baby was born)
10) She asked me, nicely, if she could play on the Dreamcast...while jumping on my sofa. (9 : she can use the "P" word when she wants to, but she's NEVER allowed to jump on the furniture)
That was the pre-clincher, I gave her one warning: Be naughty one more time, and you're grounded; no TV, No Dreamcast, No going out to play with her friends. While opening her mouth to complain about that...
11) She wiped her runny nose on the inside of her cardigan while a box of tissues was two feet away from her. (100 : Three years!!!!)
She then had a tantrum about it, called me a "Stupid mean Mummy!" and I grounded her for another day. (It got so easy after the first time.)
After a while she had calmed down, and was behaving herself again. The doorbell rang. It was her two wee pals from across the way. I told her she had to go and tell them she was grounded and not allowed to go out to play. The look of fear and shame that crossed her face was crushing to me. She was terrified to admit she had been naughty.
"Can you come out to play?"
"Just stuff. Sorry."
"Today and tomorrow."
A tear was in her eye and she shuffled her feet upstairs and lay quietly in her bed for about a half hour. I felt awful, awful, awful.