Okay, so Alex and I go to the mall today to have an Auntie Anne's pretzel (yum!) and so he can play in the play area that they have. We walk down to the play area and he kicks off his shoes and goes to town. There is a little girl there about his age so the two of them start to play together. And then I recognize her. This is the same little girl that was there a few weeks ago with her dad (she was with her mom this time). What are the chances? Why do I remember her? Read on ...
Last time this little girl pushed Alex off of one of the riding toys, so I intervened and told her/them to take turns and that we don't push. Two minutes later they were in the little play house and she is hitting Alex in the chest. Not hard, but still. So I tell her no hitting and look over at her dad, who is somewhere else (la la land). I ask him if this is his daughter, at which point he wakes up and comes over to her. He says, "Do you want to leave? You need to stop hitting, okay?" OKAY?! WHAT?! Like she has a choice to stop hitting? NO!!! You WILL stop hitting or we ARE leaving. And you WILL BE sitting on the bench for a few minutes to chill out! Ugh!
So today ... she didn't hit Alex but she screamed and squealed (high pitched, kill your ear drums squealing) the entire time we were there. At one point she looked over at me and I put my finger to my mouth (shh!), so she stopped ... for about 3 seconds, then continued right on doing it. In the meantime, her mom was too busy playing with her little sister to pay any attention to her, which is probably why she was screaming in the first place. Geez!
I mean, I'm not like Mom of the Year or anything, but I don't tolerate misbehavior from my kids. If Alex was doing that (and he did, since she was), we would be out of there. But he got warned and he stopped. He gets three chances for a misdemeanor :) like running or screaming (in the mall play area where it is inappropriate), but hitting is an automatic time out. Or in this case, an automatic "get your shoes on, we're leaving!" He did have to be told twice to stop running also, and he did, because he knows Mom means business.
It is certainly not easy being consistent with the discipline, but it is definitely worth it. We still have a long way to go. I just know the next time we go play at the mall, if that same little girl is there, we will go play somewhere else.