push pull methodology….


She stood in the threshold to the kitchen and tapped her foot in annoyance. “Mom” she said, shooting me a look of disdain which beckoned me to look back at her and ask, “Do you feel better?” I asked. Rolling her eyes she replied “No!” “You don’t feel cleaner?” I returned. “NO!” she emphatically replied.  “Well too bad because you look a heck of a lot better than you did ten minutes ago” I explained. “So you say…” She said in a huff and walked out of the room angry that I made her take a shower this evening.

Last night after the doll finished up her homework I suggested she take a shower. “No it’s too late” she informed.” “Oh, well then go to bed” I replied. “Mom my bedtime isn’t for an hour” she explained. “So in that hour you don’t have time to take a shower and wash your hair but you do have time to read and generally goof off?” I asked. “MOM! I don’t look that bad, I don’t need a shower.” She explained. “Doll, you played in a basketball game today and you haven’t had a shower since Sunday. Go. Take. Your. Shower.” I dictated. “It’s my body I’ll wash when I want to!” she said quietly-but not quiet enough. “What did you say?” “Nothing”. “No what did you say?” And so we went back and forth in this ridiculous conversation until I finally said “Go take your shower…obey your mother’s wishes.” She stood up to walk toward the bathroom but stopped and slapped at me saying, “I hate you!” Instead I caught her arm in mid strike mode and held it down saying “Don’t hit me, you don’t hit your mother.” As if to reinforce to her dislike for my authority she challenged me to a staring contest-her eyes filled with contempt-mine equally so until she blinked and I declared victory “You blinked, I won, go take your shower!” When she entered the bathroom she reached back grabbed the door and yelled, “I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!!” then slammed the door shut. Standing on the other side of the door I said, “I hate this behavior in you…but I love you!”  and then walked away.


This morning I was pulled from my slumber by an over reaching laugh. Wincing when the clock read 5:45 am, I wondered who in their right mind would be up and laughing so heartily at this ungodly hour of the morning. Then I connected the laugh; The Boy. “What the heck..?” I thought to myself, trying to ignore him and return to my slumber, before the realization of why he was laughing so loudly came to me: He’s watching a video on his nook-which he is currently grounded from for grades.

What to do…what to do…

I could have let it go, rolled over and hoped his penetrating laugh would subside or I could confront him with his apparent will to disobey his parents.

Walking into the living room, there he was, molding his body into my couch cushions, giggling and laughing until he looked up and spotted me. His eyebrows rose high into his forehead, a smirk of “OH NO!” crossed his face, before turning into an all out frown.  Not saying much, I simply held out my hand and he complied; removing his headphones, turning off the device and handing the nook to me. “Bay, being grounded from your nook means, no using the nook, regardless of the time of day. If you want your nook back, crack open a book and improve your grades.” I said before leaving the room, taking his nook with me.


This morning both kids gave me a kiss before leaving for school and said, “I love you Mom”. I guess these occasional pushes back and forth are necessary to our overall growth. I just wish sometimes they weren’t so stressful.


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