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2005-06-06 - 10:52 a.m.

There is quite a downpour here now! The girls are watching BABE which was one of the gifts Sadie received from Grandparents on SAT. WE discovered that MICROWAVE POPCORN pops just perfectly over the stove top in a pan! Since we have a huge box that we brought from Westely's parents house I am pleased since we haven't a microwave here! (I forgot that when I agreed to take the big box of Popcorn she bought and will never get through!)

I am glad we took advantage of the wonderful weather and went out all weekend now that it is rainy. This is where we spent yesterday afternoon:

The girls enjoyed watching the African Drumming and Dancing and then they happily made their own drums. Sadie and Raitlin also then made what I think of as hot plates (I hope they let me use them as such!) by gluing tiles onto cardboard. Katie was so funny absolutely absorbed in her own world drawing pictures and then cutting them out. She just REFUSED to leave the table where she was working and wouldn't go over to do anything else (even though she could color and cut with markers at home!) She had no interest in ANYTHING else at that point. So we limited ourselves to the room where I could watch her and have the other girls at a nearby table with the tile rather than fight with her and head outside to the courtyard where they were making the plaster sculpture. Oh well....

After Katie FINALLY got out of her creative "Flow" and re-entered the world with us it the COMMUNITY DAY events were over, but we stayed at the musuem longer as the girls seemed to still have energy for it. WE then found the most fantastic interactive kids space in the basement where we sat at a table working with clay for a long time. Sadie made a clay FROSTY and a clay CATERPILLER COCOON which she then was able to display on the shelf with kid art. Its such an awesome place! The girls then had a ball in the costume room dressing up- EXCEPT Raitlin, who despite a nap on the drive to the museum, at age 2 1/2 clearly had been pushed beyond her limit and just couldn't undertand the constraints being placed on her that SHE HAD TO WEAR SOME CLOTHES and couldn't run around in her underwear at the museum! She didn't really get the idea of dress up clothes going OVER her other clothes. OR she got it and stubbornly refused to play THAT WAY. IT was clearly time to leave, so after trying to work through the tantrum and finaly resorting to taking Alexy the baby OUT of the stroller and letting her crawl around the floor of the museum happily, and stapping 2 yr old Raitlin IN THE STROLLER for all of the two minutes it took her to break free--- THEN PLACING HER IN IT AGAIN WITH TIGHTENED STRAPS, that SHE ALSO broke free of, SHE DECIDED to calm down as the subsequent threat of being placed in the stoller while I carried the baby HELPED motivate her to allow me to start to dress her and stop being utterly out of control. (IT didn't really sink in to her THAT SHE CAN GET OUT!) She said "NO STOLLER!" as if it were the worst thing ever! She was still fighting over getting her socks and shoes on though...

She then noted her sisters playing with magnetic paper dolls and I finally was able to dress her fully while she played with these.

I am glad that even in such moments I happen to see humor. In fact my biggest challenge is not to LAUGH when laying out a rule or discipline consequence.

What REALLY helped get us out of the museum and end the melddown was then the bribe: "I have candy in the car for good girls who leave appropriately now."

Well it worked to an extent, as when we passed by the bathroom she said "I need to use potty" so we headed there. It soon became clear she intended on PLAYING with the sink, the dryer etc... bathrooms are really a fascinating place for a two year old!
I put her on the toilet and she said "I don't have to go potty" so I super quickly, whisked all the girls back out of the restroom and we made a pretty quick exit now with a wrist strap ATTACHED to Raitlin's protesting little self! That is indeed the utlimate consequence for her being out of control. I swear it's WORSE than getting a ride in the stroller (which I actually USED to be able to push when necessary while holding the infant- but now ALEXY is really getting big herself and also has her own will and is a "wiggle worm" as she's called, so there is no way now I could REALLY push Raitin and hold Alexy at the same time anyway! But Raitlin hasn't actually figured that out!) The strap is on my intended JOGGING STROLLER and I believe is meant for the running mom or dad to attach to THEIR wrist so they don't ever accidentally lost the stroller! I have found it to be a GREAT toddler strap! The only problem is I have to make sure to have a very steady hand on the stroller at all times so tantruming Raitlin doesn't pull down the stroller!

So we left the building with her shrieking "I HAVE TO GO POTTY!" just FURIOUS I wouldn't let her play in the bathroom as she had planned!

We got outside and to Raitlin's surprise I stopped next to a tree and pulled down those little Strawberry shortcake panties and croched her down with bent her knees and said "Pee if you really are in an emergency."

At which she quietly said "I don't have to"

and with that her protesting was over, and she was transformed back into delightful little girl. Soon enough she had her freedom again and the strap was off and we then enjoyed a picnic dinner of ham and cheese sandwiches, tortilla chips and wonderful white peaches on the grounds of the museum while watching the fountain there.

And this time, only RAITLIN kicked off her shoes and ran into the fountain. IMPROVEMENT over the day in the fountain in CLINTON SQUARE when she ran in socks and shoes still on! I had told the girls "NO" when they asked to play in the fountain like a few other kids who were doing so. I said "NOT TODAY. I did let you the other day, but we are having a picnic now and I want you to remain clean and dry"

As soon as Raitlin was done eating, and I was feeding the baby - she took off quick as a flash for the fountain. She was in it sooner than I could get there! But fortunately her sisters all were very well behaved and I just re-directed her out and back to our table where the promised candy was brought out and her (in that fleeting moment of sitting down and not fighting me) good behavior was rewarded! We successfully walked by the fountain on the way home later with her saying "I don't need the strap!" and me reminding me that if she wouldn't hold my hand and runs off that only then does that wrist strap go on! She was indeed holding on and had ceased fighting!

WOW! The rain stopped in the time I was writing and it is once again sunny here! That was some sun shower!

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