This is the conversation I’m currently having with my girl:
“I want to play Angry Bird Game for a little while,” she says in a cajoling voice.
“Not today.” I remind her. “Yesterday you didn’t give it back nicely when your time was up and I don’t feel like fighting over the phone with you today.”
“I want Angry Bird. I could try it!” She’s enthusiastic, as though I have said yes.
“Not today.” I am resilient.
Her whole face scrunches up with disappointment and frustration. “I never. Mama you impossible. You being ridiculous. I never play Angry Birds. I never! I never!” With which she takes off into the kitchen. I hear her take several deep ‘ah-hoo’ breaths.
She comes back, wearing a calm expression, “Mama, I please play Angry Bird Game for a little while?”
“That was very polite, but the answer is still no. I’m sorry you feel disappointed.” I smile sympathetically at her.
“AH!” She literally stomps in frustration, “Mama you so mama!”
Now after a few more rounds of this she’s sitting in my lap, watching the letters pop up as I type. I am still smiling at that last ‘insult’ from her.
It’s cool to listen to her develop the language to express her frustration and the control to use the language. It’s also really annoying to be asked for the Angry Bird Game fifty times.
I created this monster, though. I let her play to start with. During this last round of sickness, I let her play a ton. And I made it a consequence of not letting it go politely when the half hour that I agreed should could play is done that she doesn’t get to have it the next day.
All on me. It was mostly lazy parenting too. It was work to try to entertain her while I was sick, so I just let her play with my phone. So for most of a week, she played Angry Birds pretty much non-stop. (I’m such a great parent that we also had the TV running in the background!)
So, now we have to break the habit.
I’m torn between not letting her have the game at all and letting her have limited amounts of it. I’ve chosen limited amounts because she hasn’t done anything to deserve me taking away something she enjoys and, in small amounts, it won’t hurt her. It just makes the job harder.
I’m getting pretty sick of the drama though.