I wanted to give a quick update on my birthday and The Never Ending List of Crappy Things. The list does, indeed, seem to have reached it's end, and for that I am eternally grateful. Currently, bills are paid (with some money still in our account this time!), we have a new-to-us stove that works great, and my birthday was amazing. Sarah took Cadence, Amelia and me to see Winnie-the-Pooh (which is absolutely amazing), she gave me some cute running socks with pom poms (I adore them!), bought me some really pretty and sparkly earrings for Cadence to give me, and took all of us to O'Charley's for dinner Friday night. She also helped my awesome friend Kris get me a birthday cake - She got the bakery info and picked it up, while Kris so sweetly ordered it to make sure I'd have cake on my birthday. I don't know that I'll be able to repay either of them, but it was so sweet and awesome!
On Saturday (my actual birthday), Mike and I went to Schlotzsky's to eat with some of my birthday coupons, and bought a stove. Sunday was McAlister's with more birthday coupons, and my mom came up with more presents. She gave me the Disney Princess: Cupcakes and More cookbook, and some adorable Pooh and Tigger salt and pepper shakers. It was an awesome birthday.
Today has been pretty eventful as well. This morning I received my first running-related injury when I fell on the asphalt and scraped my knee pretty bad. Then this afternoon, Cadence finally had an appointment with a therapist. I took her to the one at the church, and I think it went well. He talked to both of us for awhile, and for now he seems to think it's all habit and attention seeking. I left with a few things to try, and I can tell the next few weeks are probably going to be hard for all of us. He told me that he wants Mike and I to:
- Ignore and not engage her at all - If she says she's ugly or stupid, agree and go on. If she argues over dinner or chores, tell her one time and don't argue with her. If she tries to pull us into endless logic battles, ignore and don't let her have any power.
- Quit giving second (or third or fourth) chances to do things before I give consequences - If I tell something and give a consequence if it isn't done, follow through immediately and be consistent. Don't keep telling her "If you do this one more time..." before I finally explode.
- Don't yell - This will definitely be the hardest. Don't let her pull us into a yelling match, because it leads us into grown up tantrums, and it's just not productive.
He also suggested a quarter jar. I took two of Amelia's Gerber Puffs containers and let Cadence decorate them. One has about $5 worth of quarters in it, and the other is hers. Every time I see her doing something nice or polite or respectful, she gets a quarter. When she gets angry and throws a tantrum, or barks orders, or is rude or sassy, she loses a quarter. At the end of the week, she can take whatever money she's earned and gets to spend it on something for her. We're hoping the results will be twofold - it will give her an immediate incentive to change her behaviors, and force me to start focusing more on the good/positive things she does instead of getting wrapped up in the negative. Let's hope it helps.
I think I am also officially a Girl Scout mom. The money hasn't been paid yet, but I spent about half an hour on the phone with her soon-to-be troop leader, and already have jobs to do! :) They won't start until sometime in August, but her leader was VERY excited when she found out I'm a graphic designer. They already have a list of community service projects and field trips planned, and I'm so excited!! I've never done anything with Girl Scouts before, so this will be brand new for both of us. And for those of you that live close, be expecting me to come hounding you to buy cookies in January!
Things I'm thankful for:
1) A great counseling session
2) Hope that it will get better
3) Neosporin with pain relief for my knee
4) Birthdays, and birthday cake
5) Girl Scout projects!