Monday, May 21, 2012

Can You Say "Strong Willed"?

We have tried very hard to treat the Dancing Queen "normal". We have always let her cry when she was naughty. We didn't give in. We put her in timeout just like we do with TRex. We have purposefully treated her in the same respects as treat TRex, especially with discipline and rules. We don't want her turning into a spoiled brat because she is sick. The Mad Scientist and I decided a long time ago that DQ needs boundaries as much as every other child.

Unfortunately for us, DQ is exceedingly strong-willed. I've always said that is what saved her life as a very little baby when she was so very, very sick. I also knew even then, as she struggled to grab hold of her cords as a newborn under deep sedation, that we would be in trouble when she got older. I always assumed it would be more when she was a teenager though. I never considered that she would make the horrific threes even worse than they normally are and that she would make them last so much longer. (Granted, when she was a newborn, I had not yet learned of the horrific threes. We were barely in the terrible twos with TRex when DQ was born.)

But as much as DQ is incredibly cute and extraordinarily smart and no matter how we disciplined her in the same manner as TRex, she has indeed made the horrific threes last about 2 years now and she is still going strong! My little lady can be a terror. Because of her smarts, she thinks about how best to be naughty and does it in style. Her strong-willed nature serves to make her continue with her course of action no matter what punishment she receives.

She recently lost tv and music in the car for an entire week. She has lost toys. She has been locked in her room. And yet, she continues to push each nerve.

We will put DQ to bed. She will be so tired, yawning and ready.  But then, 20 minutes later, she will giggle and laugh. And when we go up to tell her to go to sleep, she'll put her hands over her face, attempting to hide the biggest of smiles, just mocking us.

She did this last night. We turned the lights out at 7:30 pm (normal bedtime). Both kids were tired, but not overly tired. They should have gone right to sleep.  But DQ didn't. She laughed. She jumped out of bed, running around her room. She giggled. MS and I both went up at various times. First, we warned her of consequences if we came back again. Then, she lost her pacifier until she could calm down for 10 minutes.  Then her pillow, blankets, and pets (stuffed animals).  She still was goofing off and keeping TRex awake. The big guns were pulled out and she lost a toy.  And finally, at 9:00 pm, she had stayed in bed, calm long enough to earn back her pacifiers (the pillow and blankets had been given to her before then).  She then fell asleep.

This morning, DQ was very well behaved, more so than any morning in recent memory. And as she and I walked back to the car after dropping TRex off at school, she told me "Mommy, I don't think I'm going to be naughty any more. I'm going to listen. I don't want to lose anything else."  We then discussed how losing tv, music, and toys doesn't have to happen if she'd listen. She said she understood. I even explained that if she behaved well enough for long enough that she would even get special recognition. She liked the sound of that and promised me she would try really hard to behave. I felt like we had finally broken through to her and were about to turn a corner.

Then, DQ had a rough day at school. She complained of being tired. She was blue a lot. She asked to go to bed early tonight. Both the Mad Scientist and I were worried. DQ was in bed, lights out before 7:15. She promised us she was going to go to sleep. I reminded her of her promise to me this morning.

Yet, less than 15 minutes later, she was out of bed and giggling. I've lost count of the number of times we've had to go upstairs. DQ lost her pacifier for the entire night (the first time ever).  She lost tv for the entire week (after kicking me in playful/joking way as I searched for hidden pacifiers).  She lost music in the car for the week.  Just when we thought she'd calmed down, she jumped out of bed, goofing around some more. She ended up losing two more toys before she calmed down.

Then DQ realized that we meant it when we said she would not get her pacifier back tonight. Oh, the horror!

It is 8:30 now. I'd like to say she is asleep, but she is not. In taking away the pacifier for the night, we've made the point. But I'm afraid this is going to be a very, VERY long night.


  1. Good luck, but remember, if you DON'T stick to your guns, she will try harder next time.  Prayers sent your way.

  2. I agree with Gmah that you and the MS need to be consistent with expectations, consequences and (hopefully necessary) rewards.  That said, I think that stubborn little personality has gotten Izzy through many tough times!  You might have to face the fact, as well, that she's probably smarter than you are--sorry, just couldn't resist.

    Good luck!


  3. You are probably right! She is smarter than I in many respects. Luckily, I'm still bigger than her! DQ did cry until 9:00/9:30 for her pacifier last night. We didn't give in. She was contrite this morning and behaved again. She didn't give me any issue when I reminded her that she lost tv and had to sit in the dining room while her brother got tv. She promised to behave tonight. We'll see!


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...