But I don't feel bad.
First, let me acknowledge the fact that exactly NONE of my scheduled posts actually posted. Wait, I lie. One of them did. The rest are just sitting there, mocking me. I'll post them manually in the coming week since most of them are crafty and can be translated into the Christmas season.
But before I try and behave like a responsible blogger, let me tell you about something that just happened which makes me feel like both a genius and a jerk at the same time. But mostly a genius.
Emma has reached the irrational, hysterical tantrum age. If she doesn't get exactly what she wants, or is told she needs to be patient, or something doesn't work the way she thinks it should, or she has to do something she doesn't want to do, she will fling herself down on the floor and pitch a total rager. Par for the course when you're 3, really, but when you've spent 4 days cooped up in the house with a baby exhibiting the symptoms of needing to be placed on a 5150 hold, you start to question your ability to allow your 3 year old to age to 4.
Today the random meltdown was so incredibly random that my mind broke just a little bit. You know in the old cartoons, when Elmer had had all he could take of Bugs' bullshit, and as he snapped you heard breaking glass? I'm pretty sure I heard that noise. Emma was sitting in her tiny recliner, with her feet up, watching cartoons. She was ready to get out, but instead of a)climbing the hell out of the chair or b)asking for help, she started to whine and fuss about wanting me to carry her out of the chair.
Well, I had my hands full at that particular moment, and said to her, "Climb out by yourself, big girl. You're not buckled in."
That did it. She started throwing a screaming fit because, get this, she wasn't strapped into the chair. I guess she'd rather I restrain her more. I was about to bust out the Mommy Voice and send her to her room for time outs (which never work, btw) when the phone rang, and inspiration struck.
"Emma! Oh no!" She stopped mid-screech. "Santa knows that you're being bad, and he's calling to give you a warning!" Her eyes got huge. I picked up the phone (it was a telemarketer. I think I'm going to do this every time they call, now, no matter what time of year it is.) and said, "Hello, Santa. I guess you heard Emma's temper tantrum." Confused telemarketer is confused and stammering. "Yes, I'll tell her. I hope so, too. Bye Bye."
Emma's eyes are wide. The crying has stopped, and her little hands are clutched to her chest. Quietly, she asked, "Santa onna phone? Emma was cryin... Santa comin?"
I told her that when she started to throw her tantrum, it activated Santa's Naughty-Meter, and he knew that he needed to call and remind Emma to be a good girl. But he'll only remind her a few times, so she needed to try and remember to be good all by herself. And then he told me that if I needed him, all I had to do was call him.
Worked like a fucking charm. We had another tantrum at nap time, because she was given the choice of laying on the couch or on the floor to watch Sesame Street before bed, and instead she chose to run around like a nut and have a sassy mouth, so she went to bed instead of finishing her show. I had to "call" Santa again to give him an update on Emma's behavior.
Then we talked about rewards for good girls who follow the rules and are good helpers, and no rewards for bad girls that don't mind their mommies and are mean to the people who love them. I invented a new aspect to the Santa story, and told her that Santa was very nice, and he wanted to come down our chimney and give her presents on Christmas, but that if she was naughty, it would clog up the chimney and Santa would get stuck. And she didn't want to get Santa stuck in our chimney, did she?
I know, it's a dick move. But I'm at my wits' end, and what's the point of Christmas if I can't use it to make my kid behave? I won't get to do it for very long, and if nothing else, it's a great way to deflect telemarketers.