When my youngest brother was a kid he was sporadically demonic. He was the sweetest kid on earth about 90% of the time, but the other 10% was devoted to irrational and hopeless defiance. Once, when he was in first grade, he turned around backward in the lunch line, just to be silly. The principal, walking by, told him to turn forward. Instead of just TURNING AROUND my baby brother got a mulish look upon his angelic countenance and remained backwards. When told to turn around again, he maintained his ridiculous and futile determination to stay facing backwards … and he kept it up until it escalated to the point where he was carried, kicking and screaming, out of the lunchroom by the principal and another teacher. He was thrashing and hollering so loudly that it took two adults to transport him. All of this was because he decided NOT to face forward until HE was ready. Mom had to go get him from school, much to her embarrassment and chagrin. When she asked him WHY, in the name of all that is holy, he made such a fuss over NOTHING his only response was, “I just don’t like being told what to do.”
He still doesn’t have a great relationship with the concept of authority, although he uses charm to get his own way now … because it is more effective that stubborn truculence.
Unfortunately for me, Stitch appears to be the heir to his heedless rebel throne. Yesterday was particularly bad. She was just in a “mood”, and fought everything. She was so difficult it took both Sweet Babou and myself to tag team parent just to keep from going around the bend and paddling her. As it was, she did get a swat on the bottom once. She was so defiant that I didn’t even get to blog, because there was a new drama every five minutes that required all hands on deck.
What makes it worse is the fact she is so wonderfully sweet-natured the rest of the time. The days or episodes where she challenges everything and fights like a cat getting a bath are so different from her normal behavior that they stand out in even more unpleasant contrast.
Sweet Babou and I are trying a new system. She will get an X on her “behavior card” every time she is abhorrently disobliging. If she gets three X’s during the week, then on Saturday she won’t be allowed to have family movie night with popcorn … instead she will go to bed early. It seems to be working thus far, in that she is now in mortal dread of getting an X and is responding with alacrity when we threaten to break out the pen.
Wish us luck with the new scheme, because we are at our wit’s end.