Coping Mechanisms: by Winona "Sassy Pants" Lou
I'm learning that we all have things called "coping mechanisms." Today, mom's came in the form of a long chat with a co-worker and fellow mom about "managing attitude"-- out of which she got a frustratingly practical tool that involves some counting and a time-out if she gets to three. I'm learning not to let her get to three because, here's the thing: I hate time-outs. Which leads me to one of MY coping mechanisms: Lists.
I made this list when I was in one such T.O. (yeah, yeah, yeah--she got to three). When mom came up to relieve me of this torture and Talk To Me About Something Important (namely: No Talking Back. No Sassy Pants), I listened, apologized, then asked if I could read her my list of things I was upset about. She obliged--and I share it with you here. For those of you out there who are not 4-year-old-script literate, I'll translate for you: "There are some rules I like and some rules I don't like. I like, "Tell the Truth." That's important. I do NOT like Time Outs. Really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really do NOT."
Mom took this rather well. In fact, she said that I would never have to do one again...as long as I always did what was expected of me. This was exciting news and I ran off to play with my dollhouse, which leads me to Coping Mechanism #2: Pretend Play.
To work through some of my inner-turmoil about this whole episode, I thought it might help to replay it in real time, adding a few things (like a few well-placed kind, thoughtful words on "my" part) and deleting a few things (like the number three). All in all, I think Sister (in red above) learned some very valuable lessons about saying "NO!" to mommy (bad idea) and the importance of time outs (totally a fine thing in my world now that I know I'll NEVER have one. ever. again.)