Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I'll give you a hundred dollars if...

The Dictator is a bad little girl.

And that's why I had to take a couple days off from blogging. It's because the baby I only very recently bragged about being such a nice little girl has...turned on me. Yes, she has turned on me!!

I'm exhausted.

How could I have been so naive to think that I could escape the Terrible Twos? I mean, The Dictator is now two..and a half!

I honestly believed I was lucky. (Of course, the only things I've ever won was $100 at bingo when I was 18, and a free pair of shoes from a store on Bloor street, which, I'll admit, was kind of nice.)

Literally, I can tell you the day The Dictator turned from good to bad. June 1st, 2006, I can even tell you the time. 9 p.m.

"Time to go to bed," I had said to her.

"No," was The Dictator's response. She had never said that to me before. She always willing went to bed. (At least she's living up to her nickname!)

"Yes, time to go to bed," I had said.

"No. WAAAAAAAA!!!!"

Argh.

Also, the other day she showed me she was eating a box of raisins. Then she dumped all the raisins on the floor.

Also, the other day she took a cup of water and then dumped it all on the floor.

Also, she's torturing Ruby, the nine-pound-dog-who-limps.

Also, when we had to leave the park she had a temper tantrum.

Also, she gave me a bloody nose. Don't ask. Don't even ask.

When I ask her to do something now, she just says, "No." And then I say, "Yes" and then she says "No." We can go on with this round of "yes" and "no" for twenty minutes.

I'm not good with people who say no. Actually, I'm not good with adults who say "no" to me. If any adult says "no" to me, then I'll somehow manage to get my way, either by begging and pleading, crying, or going to some other adult who will give me what I want.

I do not know how to get The Dictator to do what I ask. I mean, I can't beg and plead with her. I can't cry to her. I can't go and find another baby who will do what I say. I'm stuck with the one I have.

She's so bad, in fact, that I was planning to take her to Toronto with me next week, where I have to go for a couple cocktail parties and meetings, and I thought, "There's no way. She's too bad."

So I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I've been too busy bribing. That's right. Bribing.

"I'll give you a piece of gum if you get into your car seat." And, "I'll give you your baby doll if you go upstairs." And, "I'll give you a bottle of milk if we get you into your pajamas." And "You can only shower with me if you be nice."

Bribing bites. Bribing is tiring.

The Gods are not looking down at me kindly. I think this mostly has everything to do with the fact that I had blog-bragged about what a nice baby I had.

The Dictator is bad, bad, bad. Do you hear me Gods? Can you make her good again now? I'll give you a hundred bucks...

16 Comments:

Blogger bubandpie said...

Oooh, the bragging is so dangerous! Just recently I bragged, "The Bub is so gentle with his sister" and "The Pie is so laid-back and easy-going." Arggh. Let's just say: he pushes, she screams (lather, rinse, repeat).

Do you think it's the pollen? My Bub is about the same age as your Dictator, and he is in full-on rebellion about the bedtimes (which is not so bad, really, as the ear-splitting screams when he wakes up at 5 a.m. and discovers he has been tricked into going to bed in the first place!).

I would totally do the bribing, if only he had the receptive language for it. As it is, I solve most of these confrontations by picking him up and carrying him away screaming. (But he's a nice boy - really he is! Just not right now.)

1:27 PM

 
Anonymous Nina's Mommy said...

Don't call her bad. Tell her she is behaving badly. Big difference. And it's true -- she's not bad. She is conducting herself badly ... or, well, actually, she is conducting herself like every two-year-old in the history of mankind. Wait til you get to four. I found that worse. Tons of fun.

2:43 PM

 
Anonymous MOTP - mother of the pants in the family said...

Ah, only the begining of the bribing! First, its the gum, then it's the juice, then it's be nice and you can have some candy when we get home. But the pants in my family now gives us the ultimatum - If you give me candy I'll do (fill in blank). SHe's 3 1/2 and a piece of work. It's a good thing she's so darn cute!

2:49 PM

 
Blogger chichimama said...

So, so sorry. No one escapes the terrible twos, even if they happen at 17...

I wish I had advice but I'm in the thros of it for the second time and it hasn't improved any, nor have I found the key to solving the issue. i can tell you that by 4, my son is somewhat rational and I can (generally) convince him to do things my way.

3:00 PM

 
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Oh that sucks - but I've missed you!
Seriously, the last couple of weeks with my son has not been fun either and he just turned two.
I'm with you on the bribing. But, I have learned this week that I should not bribe with food that inducing pooping. It has not been pretty!!
Hang in there - I hear it gets easier.

3:17 PM

 
Anonymous chelle said...

hmm bribing works for sure, but it should not be the only way...Car seat...Start the car, my daughter jumps right in.

Start not asking and start telling her what is going to happen next.

Give her time to think about it. % minutes till bedtime (not that they know 5 minutes but at least she can get used to the idea or think it was her own idea!)

Give her a controlled choice "Do you want to read OR play with your toys" Always make the choice you would prefer better than the other choice!

If she is misbehaving at the park...LEAVE or threat to leave if bad behavior continues.

Ok now that I have wrote a mini book...take it or leave it just some ideas to help keep a mom sane! :)

9:12 PM

 
Blogger Jenn said...

Bribing works better at 3.
nothing works at two. I know. I've done it 3 times now.
Try negative bribing. "If you don't get into your car seat right now, I will have to take away ____X____" Make sure that X is something they *really* love. It's even better if X is in their hands at the time. Take it away.
I told my kids that any toys they left on the floor would go in the trash. It was hard, but I had to throw out some good stuff. They learned really fast that when I say "clean up time" they better clean up.
I can now bribe my 5 yr old to keep his room clean for money - but this is the first month we've been able to do that.
Good luck. 2's are hard; 3's are worse. 4's there is a light at the end of the tunnel and 5 up to puberty is starting to look fun. I have no experience beyond 5, so I may be eating my yummy words next week - who knows....

8:07 AM

 
Blogger Rebecca said...

Have you tried taking things away? Losing a privilege has always worked much better for me than bribery. Or even better, losing a toy - not one that's required for sleeping, heaven forbid! - but one that is well-loved and used during the daytime for play.

I have to agree with the other poster... call the behavior bad rather than the child. They sometimes internalize that and you don't want that to happen.

Good luck with her!! This is the "fun" part!!!!

9:58 AM

 
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

PLEASE let me know immediately if the gods respond to bribes

I have some requests that I need to put in.

My thinking on bribes: whatever works. What. Ever. Works.

And keeps you from going insane. Mommies need to be sane.

10:11 AM

 
Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

Maybe she just needs to vent. Set her up with a blog and teach her to type. Stupid advice? Sure. But all advice ends up being stupid when you're in the throws of the terrible twos. Seriously, it feels like nothing works. This too shall pass. :)

10:29 AM

 
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

I can't help. I've repressed those memories of a two year-old who went bad, because right now I've got a sixteen month-old who is more willful and stubborn than her older sister has ever been (yet).

For what it's worth, it all sounds normal. Sometimes infuriating, but normal.

7:53 AM

 
Blogger bubandpie said...

I told my cat last night, "You're a BAAAD kitty." And I thought of this post, and how when you say that your daughter is bad, what I really see if how much you love her.

8:29 AM

 
Blogger Food Mum said...

My first child had the terrible twos from 1 to 4, at least two tantrums a day. The next two were angels by comparison...but only by comparison. I should have bought earplugs, that might have helped, but in the end you just have to live through it, don't take it personally and eventually come out the other side, where unfortunately they get to be able to out-reason you at about age 8...don't know what happens next. I think I'm going to be bossed around when my kids are grown up.

12:25 PM

 
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Everything she's doing is normal. Sorry!

But here's a variation on the bribe that works surprising well (some of the time at least). Instead of "time for bed" or "if you go to bed I'll give you gum" (LOL) say, "hurry and get in bed so I can sing you a song!" or "after you're in your carseat, then I'll give you your snack, toy, sippy cup, Dora (or whatever she brought with her for the road)"

It's like bribing only less exasperating for Mom, and it often works. When it doesn't work I'm not above crying or pleading...

11:02 PM

 
Anonymous Nancy said...

Sigh. Age two is tricky. My little one (20 months) is already 2, if you know what I mean -- she's definitely got some of the terrible in her.

Bribing is tiring. But you are in that difficult stage when she's trying to figure out things for herself, and she often isn't sure what she really wants (hence changing her mind all the time.) That said, I think you should definitely use bribing as long as it works, and until the Dictator gets a little more reasonable (what I mean is, until it is easier to reason with her.) Good luck!

2:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can truly feel your pain. Our monster has figured out he's bigger thatn the family pet and that he can assert his control. Including peeing on the hall carpet becasue he was "not going on the potty."

Even my sanity saver "Who's the boss?" his answer is supposed to always be "Mommy" (even when Dad asks)has been a delayed reaction.

I though him having a personality would be fun...

2:46 PM

 

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