“Em” returned from her dad’s house this past weekend; she officially came home Monday night after spending the day with me at Disneyland.
Every summer after she’s been with “Jake,” my parents and I have to essentially “re-program” “Em” back to normal. One year she came back from her summer visitation responding to every request with, “I can’t, I’m too little.” Another summer it was a not-so-cute saying; if you complimented her on how cute she looked, she’s flip her hair with her hand and say, “And I know it!” Oy. Last year we didn’t have any major re-programming, but we did have to re-cut her hair after she cut it while at “Jake’s” house.
This year, it’s tears. Every little frustration or when she doesn’t get her way, she cries. Not quite temper-tantrum, but rubbing her eyes, face scrunching up and water running down her cheeks; enough tears that she needs a few minutes to compose herself. Wrong pajamas: tears. I give her the wrong stuffed animal: tears. I suggest she use a different box to store her earrings: tears.
I’m assuming that while “Em” was visiting “Jake” and his parents, she cried a couple of times and saw how quickly they tried to appease her. And just about every parents knows what happenned then: she learned that tears=what she wants.
We have one week until school starts and I am desperately trying to get her back to normal. When she was little, the rule was she had to sit in the penalty box for disobeying or deliberately doing something she wasn’t supposed to. And it worked; she quickly learned how boring it is and doesn’t do it anymore. So I’m hoping that a few times in the penalty box will fix this little problem. 5 minutes is a long time for a child. 1 weeks is even longer for this mom (and grandparents!) if it takes that long to go back to normal.