• Lifeissweet16

    I believe my daughter first informed me that I was ruining her life when she was about 5. I think I told her that was my mission. She hasn’t said it since, and she’s 15 now.

    I think you handled things very well. But you should have said the Africa stuff out loud.

  • TheCraftyAngel

    I would have busted a gut trying not to laugh because really, that drama gives me the giggles.

  • fableq

    Seems to me you kept pretty level headed. Well considering. I was a 5 year old going on 14 too, I hate to break it to you, but if Leta IS like me, then you’ve got years of insanity up ahead! But who knows, perhaps she’s not QUITE so dramatic as I was! Here’s hoping :)

  • table4five

    Kaitlyn’s almost 4, and she’s been a drama queen for years already. Her normal mode is to burst into tears because she’s not getting her way. But the other night, she suddenly said “I wanna watch POWERPUFF GIRLS and Ryan won’t change the channel and NOBODY LIKES ME and I’m NOT HAPPY, waaaaahhhhhh”.

    *blink*

    As far as threats go, my favorite one to use is when the boys are bitching about what I’m serving for dinner. I like to say “well, we could go down to the Salvation Army soup kitchen, see what THEY are having for dinner”. Shuts ‘em up every time.

  • Mari

    My second child can pout for DAYS. Drives me crazy. Ends quicker if I ignore it.

  • RebeccaNYC

    Advice from comment #192 must be taken immediately…. memorize the following dialogue and use liberally:

    “And I can guarantee you, Leta, that any time you dare talk to me like that I will make you sad. Very, very sad indeed. Now. Finish getting dressed before I make you even sadder.”

    Nip this in the bud, or you will have TR-UH-UH-BLE. Well, you’re gonna have trouble anyway, but at least she’ll be dressed for school.

  • Tiggerlane

    Wow…the teenage years are already upon you!! But wait – appreciate the pouting now. Because later, you’re going to make her life so miserable that she will SCREAM and SLAM THINGS and call you HORRIBLE NAMES…and somehow, you’ll still be the one feeling sad and guilty.

    Oh, and it happens all month long – just accompanied by crying jags when she is OTR.

  • Jennifer June

    I found that sponsoring a child in Zimbabwe and keeping his photo on the fridge helps. You might then want to create a sibling relationship with the sponsored child. Then you can point at him while you look with accusing disbelief at your daughter.

    “If your poor baby brother, Chinouyazue had socks…”

    or

    “If you aren’t going to wear your clothes perhaps I should send them to little Mudada?”

  • megnstuff

    No judgment here. My parents “played games” with me, bribed me and threatened me and I plan on doing the same thing to my boys!

  • William

    Are you saying that my 5 year old SON is going to menstruate. he behaves the exact same way.

  • renee

    My daughter doesn’t get me with words. She can turn on the water works ON DEMAND and those break my heart.

  • lizzieindublin

    Hahahahahahaha. Sorry. Wow, I don’t like ANY kids right now. Especially not my own.

  • Ariel

    I made my daughter Emma SO SAD this morning too. SO SO SAD.
    Leta and my daughter should play together. It would be super fun to see which one is more dramatic. And we could totally drink and laugh while we watched.

  • Tricia

    Instilling fear is important. My parents did it, and I’m working on it with my three year old. It’s not only useful for getting dressed and out the door in a timely manner; it’s critical for kids to listen and obey their parents’ voices immediately– “stop right there!” can keep a kid from getting hit by a car or something similarly horrible. If you fail to use these small moments to teach your child what is and isn’t acceptable, then you can’t be sure that they’ll listen to you when it REALLY MATTERS.

    My dad explained this to me when I was about 7 or 8… it helped me to realize that his job was to keep me safe, and my job was to LISTEN, whether I understood why or not.

    My point is, I think you’re on the right track with Leta. She needs to know that what you and Jon say goes, whether it hurts her feelings or not.

  • Momma

    I remember those days. My oldest daughter used to respond to me telling her no by dramatically dragging her feet precisely 3 paces before flinging herself to the floor sobbing. I should have video taped those for blackmail now that she’s 16.

  • TexasKatie

    The part about instilling fear made me laugh out loud. Because I find myself instilling fear on a somewhat daily basis.

  • CrazyApple

    Girls. Girls are moody and dramatic, Forever and always. I feel your pain.

  • Momma

    And a little fear… always a good thing. It goes a long way toward making them behave the way they should.

  • Anndruh

    Tomorrow at my 20 week anatomy scan my hubs and I find out the sex of our first baby. Every one of my other cousins has had boys (9 and counting), so my whole side of the family is like PLEASE BE MAKING GIRL PARTS IN THERE!

    And I’m like, gggggeeeeehhhhhh…..

    Ps my favorite French phrase to throw out there is “Je suis un ananas.” That’s right, “I am a pineapple.”

  • hapamama

    This is a narrative of every morning in my house. My five year old told me this morning, “Mom, you are not so nice before school.”

    I was like, “Oh yeah? Well, you are not so nice before your daily allowance of high fructose corn syrup.” *sigh*

    I’m hoping it gets easier?…. maybe not.

  • meanestmomintheworld

    Sounds familiar… my four year old daughter is incredibly dramatic. About three months ago during a bedtime routine that could be compared in length to an eon or era I finally told her I was leaving, kiss kiss, good night. She threw her arm over her eyes and screeched “You’re ruining my life! And my family!” My response? Thank God I got that mom job out of the way for you…at age 4. Now when she’s 15 and wants to stay out past midnight with a senior who has his own band and I say no I will be immune to the “you’re-ruining-my-life” schtick…’cause I already took care of it yearrrrs ago!

  • Wildlifes Words

    This is hilarious! I am SO not ready to be a parent, but I am taking a lot of notes!

  • ravengrace

    A healthy dose of fear is GOOD for any child. I always tell my BFF (she has twins 1 boy 1 girl) I want a girl next and she then looks at me like I’ve lost my mind and just giggles…I guess this is why!

  • sarahdoow

    Never mind the parenting side of things, I want to applaud Leta for that true piece of menace regarding hiding the Nintendo. That was a masterstroke and one I’d plan to use, were it not for the fact that I’m an adult now and people tend not to confiscate my stuff when I refuse to get up. I guess being self-employed is my masterstroke in that regard, because I can’t get fired for being late.

  • sarahmichelef

    Somebody really smart told me that five is like a preview of the teen years, and hoo boy were they right.

    Might have to take the “timing her getting dressed” idea, though.

  • littlebitsocracker

    Why that sounds like typical 6 year old behavior. Get ready because…ugh…six sucks.

  • Mom2Gizmo

    I hope you know how much I like you because I don’t join communities for just anyone…
    That said, you have AMAZING patience. My 6 year old has mumbled that stuff, too, and I agree…If I had spoken to my dad like that…WOOHOO…well, I wouldn’t have walked for a week…or ever…
    You never told us…DID you take the DS?

  • mrswilson

    Dude. I’m TOTALLY with you. I think you pulled it off right :) I also have a child with similar GOING TO HIDE THE DS SO YOU CAN’T TAKE IT AWAY and YOU MADE ME SAD, MOM, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME SAD? tendencies.

    You’re an amazing mom.

  • Phatchik

    I think it’s sad that all the judgement thrust upon you has forced you to add disclaimers. You’re real a mother talking about real interactions with your [very dramatic] daughter. THAT is precisely why I love to read this blog. It’s REAL! Good luck with those teenage years, though! *wink

  • dreag21

    Leta is an evil genius! Threatening to hide her DS. Man, I better hope my 7-year-old doesn’t read this, she’ll def pick up some ideas.

    Aside from that, I say instill the fear, INSTILL THE FEAR! I’m all for it. These children are cut-throat, you gotta take whatever measures you can now before you’re old and they’re picking your retirement home!

  • kristin k

    um. She is scary smart. I’m thinking of trying this tactic if ever the repo man comes to take my car. “Oh no you’re NOT, because I’m going to hide it and drive it WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!” She should write a “how-to” book.

  • betsyashbrook

    Hahaha, awesome. I can hear Leta saying that.

    Your haircut looks phenomenal and best. masthead. ever.

  • OldGrayMare

    You know, I’m dreading Leta’s teenage years on YOUR behalf…but looking forward to them on mine, since they ought to make for some pretty funny blog posts.

    My five year-old’s favorite phrase when it is time to get dressed in the morning is “I can’t! I need help!” He has such anxiety about it that I have to literally displace my emotions into a giant impenetrable safe locked in cotton just to get through the process of dressing him without killing him. Its cuh-razy making.

  • JackifromDE

    “instilling fear” is the new “accountability”..and there is far too little of it… love & respect is a lesson that needs to be taught from day one, and the benefits last a lifetime…I required it of my 2 girls..they are now 19 & 20 & the most remarkable, loving young women, and a joy to be around. Make it so Moms…you deserve it!!

  • www.motherlawyercrazywoman.blogspot.com

    No judging here. I am certain my six-year-old (boy) is about to start his period sometime soon too. Judging by this behavior.

    My favorite line in this: SOCKS THAT KIDS IN AFRICA DO NOT HAVE. I used a variation on that theme last night (but less creative): SOME KIDS DO NOT HAVE PIZZA. NOW EAT YOURS AND BE APPRECIATIVE.

    Fear can be our friend. But I am sorry to hear that Leta is now forever doomed to a lifetime of bad days. That IS sad.

  • kwallca

    I have twin eleven year old daughters. My new name is YouresomeanIhateyou. I will answer only to that.
    The more they hate you, the better job you’re doing. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m lying in bed, curled up in the fetal position.

  • playrawkstar

    sounds like someone is ready for her introduction to the smiths – morrissey can teach her all about misery!

  • InfamousQBert

    if you don’t give into the urge to invoke africa, you’ll be truly failing in your parental duties. think of leta, 20 years from now, with her own kid. she’ll have the urge to use something totally overblown as a reason her own kids should be grateful for socks. but where will she be? she’ll have no recollection of having been given the same threats, and the great cycle of first-world parenting will be broken. and it will ALL. BE. YOUR. FAULT.

  • KT

    It’s not just Leta. Ava is 5 and used to be so much fun to be around. We used to get compliments on how well she behaved.
    Until last week when we served her a breakfast that she didn’t like. She threw the plate across the table and used all of her body weight- all 35 pounds- to stomp her way to her room.
    Trying desperately to re-cage that kind of attitude.

  • Lunaticinthehouse

    I think our girls were separated at birth– only ten years apart. Not only do I get to enjoy the everlasting DRAMA only a 15 year old girl can muster, but she still takes off her pants the second she walks in the door, will only eat foods that are white and even then, only if different foods aren’t touching.

  • wendyf

    Boy, did I laugh when I read this..and not AT you but WITH you. My 4-year-old daughter is exactly like this: Supreme Emrpess of Drama-Land. It took me a while to realize that her version of a temper tantrum is giant crocodile tears and crying so hard that she hyperventilates and coughs to the point of vomiting. My husband still doesn’t quite get it.

  • deepthoughts78

    No judgment here. Life kind of sucks sometimes, and I think that if kids grow up knowing that they don’t always get their way, they will be happier for it in the long run. Now I don’t mean we should with hold anything from our kids, I am just saying we shouldn’t sugarcoat the crummy stuff like the fact that we all have to get up and go to work/school. It is life.

  • kellys

    Love #20′s response and couldn’t agree more: “a little healthy fear is the difference between kids I don’t mind seeing in public places and children I feel the urge to dropkick.” HA!

  • kristenf7

    My SON tells me frequently “you are making me DIE”

  • jda127

    Yet another “amen” from the parent of a five-year-old girl. Not only the a.m. struggle to get dressed and ready for school in a reasonable manner, but also the “oh no you won’t, because then I’ll do THIS to you, mean, mean Mommy” business. I get that daily.

    Why are you so mean, Mommy?
    Because I am an ogre, dear child. Live with it :)

  • sallymegan

    Speaking as one of the childless, I’m sorry, but I just laughed SO FREAKING HARD at that post.
    Getting dressed tomorrow morning is going to be hard without excessive giggling.

  • Bratfink

    My mother would have knocked me across a room, even at 5 years old.

    And people call YOU a bad mom?

    You are a Model of Restraint. LOL!

  • leafgirl

    My 4 yr old and I have been having talks about how him saying I’m a bad mommy hurts my feelings and he can be upset with me but he doesn’t have to say hurtful things. So the next time he was crying under a blanket he stuck his head out and said “Mommy I love you so much, but I’m sorry you are a bad mommy” :)

  • Kona

    I’m listening to Harry Potter book 3 in the car right now, and it has allowed me to properly diagnose you: You are a DEMENTOR! You suck out all of the pleasant thoughts a person has EVER HAD, MOM.

  • Lorena13

    You are so going to have to take the NintendoDS away from her now! If you don’t, she will have even more power than she does now! :)

    I just can’t imagine why in the world people want girls instead of boys! Girls are E.V.I.L. And it doesn’t get any easier as they get older, either!

    Good Luck!