Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Little Ms. Mini-'Tude

"Ohhh, she looks just like her Daddy!", "I just can't believe how much Stone is in that little face!", "Look, look, Bethany's smiling....awwww, it reminds me so much of Corey's smile", "Oh, she's just like her Momma, look at that 'Tude!"

Yup that's right folks, Bethany has begun on a very strong note the development of her very own "Mini - 'Tude". In fact, some days I affectionately and maybe a little frustratedly refer to her as Little Ms. Mini-'Tude.

When I was little my Mom used to tell me about my out of this world, stand-out-on-the-front-porch-so-the-neighbours-don't-think-you're-beating-her temper tantrums. Yes, apparently they were that bad, bad enough that my poor parents who'd tried spanking, talking to, cuddling, reasoning with, yelling at, leaving alone and probably everything else short of hanging me from my toenails - had to resort to a swipe of soap over the tongue. It worked, first try and a few bouts later the tantrums had ceased, or so they say. (Side note = I had a "tantrum" at about 12 years old over a pair of jeans, long story, Mom tried soap then, which I promptly spat in her direction. Don't do that girls, don't ever spit in your mother's face, the wrath and grounding that followed was for the books. Deserved? yup, well received, not so much)

As I grew and my 'Tude developed, the dynamic changed. I, who was shy and hopefully perceived as sweet could also be cranky, cantankerous and sometimes just plain mean. Unfortunately that was directed at my poor Mom again or my little brother, who in my defense deserved it half of the time. The other half well, maybe I started it but he was sure to finish it.... Anyways, on many occasions, while my 'Tude was festering or after a blow out with my Mom she'd say " I hope you have a little girl with a 'Tude just like yours"....I'd laugh, or sneer and we'd carry on.

Well, Mom, I think your wish is coming true. Now don't get me wrong, Bethany is a sweet little girl 90% of the time, whom I love with more that my whole being, and who I'd be desperately lost without. However, in the other 10% of the time moments, I could scream, rip out my hair and revert back to those old temper tantrums, it seems easier. She's learned the word No, and although she doesn't say it, she shakes her head with a vengeance and then refuses to do whatever it is she was asked or continues to do what she was told to cease. Case in point:

Today, it was almost lunch time and Bethany was getting whiny. I was being empathetic as I knew she was hungry and a little sleepy so I decided to put the office work (we were at work today) aside and go for lunch. I held out my hand for her and said "Come on let's go change your bum and have lunch". Now normally she toddles over, grabs hold and we go about our way. Today however, Bethany started to whine. So, like any parent trying to teach their children the value and importance of obedience, I repeat myself more firmly. Still, more whining and no obeying, so I now use the "Mommy voice" and take hold of her hand. Now, here's where it gets good, or something. Bethany throws herself backwards in a very large display of displeasure, and starts to wail with tears and all.

Are you kidding me? You're the one who's hungry with a wet bum and you're screaming at me? Seriously I could leave you soggy and feed you more goldfish, or better yet, I could start screaming too and relieve some of that built up tension I have from I don't know, PARENTING YOU! Yes, that's what was going through my head but no I didn't say that. After two futile attempts to get Bethany to stand, I let her to the floor gently, again scolded her and then walked away to let her complete her tantrum.

After about 15 seconds with no audience the strangest thing happened. Bethany, quit crying. Amazing! She peaked under my desk saw that I was still watching and all of a sudden the tears were a flowin'. Again I left her be and again it quit. This time, I came around the desk, knelt down, asked her if she was sorry for her tantrum (which she nodded to immediately) and if she was hungry. She came bolting across the carpet and flung herself at my knees. Hanging on for dear life. A hug, a kiss and we still walked hand in hand to the bathroom and then for lunch. 'Tude deflated.

My mom came home a little later and I must confess, I apologized. You see, if that's what she had to deal with, I can't believe she has more than 3 strands of hair and I can't believe I saw my 3rd birthday! She's a great Mom, a wise mom and aside from the fact that she laughed, a little too hard when I told her this story, she's a pretty amazing lady.

We managed to survive the rest of the day 'Tude-less, Bethany and I. However, if the Mini-'Tude works like Mommy's Mega-'Tude, it will rear it's ugly head at the most in opportune moment, but this time I'm gonna be prepared. Let's just hope for Corey's sake, the Mini and the Mega 'Tudes don't show up together.


Anonymous said...

Oh guys I laughed until I had tears reading this. Ashley, you did have a temper, a big one. It went from temper to tude. I learned a lot of about myself and my love for you through all that. The love you learn to show through a tude will get you through the times that your "babies" are 13, are PMSing and think that independance is the only thing in life to aim for. You learn that the love you have for them can sustain all that.. that is what Bethany is teaching you now. Oh yes I remember the jeans day. Folks... they were 80 jeans. She had never asked for expensive jeans ever and I wanted to get them for her (seems she paid some too if memory is right). Anyways...I asked her about 20 times are you sure they fit and feel good. She said yes, oh yes... they are great. Yup they sat in the closet. There was exchange of words that were not exactly nice. Yes, in my desperation I thought the soap might work. hahah never said I was smart. When you get it spit back in your face,.... well... a young teen has great spitting power shall I say. I makes you wake up and see they grew up. I learned a lot that day and so did you Honey. Remember all the things Bethany is doing that get under your skin, share them with her... and then laugh because they are just as special and always ended in a hug and a prayer that God would teach you (and when it was Dustin too) and me too. Thanks for the reminders Honey. Bethany, thank you for being you. Your Tudes make Grammy laugh in side and yes sometimes outside. Thank you for your smile, your frown and for loving your Mommy and Daddy so much. You are indeed a little Sweet Pea.

Amanda said...

I feel your pain. I had quite the 'tude as a kid (and still do some days!) and Avelyn seemed to inherit that gene from me. Makes me crazy!

Kami said...

Oh your mom is going to be laughing her butt off for the next oh, about 15 years!

My kids have some serious attitude too but honestly I don't have a clue where they got it from.

Mom! Stop laughing and rolling your eyes! MOM, I SAW THAT!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Ashley,Praise the Lord for you both..I just love your stories so much, I just want to hug you as I am reading this one, as, of coarse,as a mother I have been through the tempertantrums, mostly with Corey...Yes your dear husband. He was the most stuborn on them all, well maybe Wyatt beats him. I did get a good laugh out of you story, thanks. I love you guys so much. God bless you all, Love Mom Kimmie