We wrote down an afternoon/evening routine that didn't even make it out of the box yesterday due to a wild goose chase trying to find new school clothes. (Sabrina goes to her dad's house wearing her favorite school clothes and then comes back on Monday wearing clothes that she doesn't like. I'm not helping at all by agreeing that one of the dresses that she has come back wearing is hideous.)
And of course spring break starts tomorrow so Sabrina will be with her dad until a week from Tuesday. But I decided to give the routine another shot tonight.
I aimed for in pajamas by 7:30, stories, in bed by 7:45. We missed by about 20 minutes, but here's the key take-away--at 8:05, Sabrina was in bed.
Then she was "really really really really really really really really really really scared" (yes, she counted the "really"s on her fingers, so I know there were 10 of them) so I lay down in bed with her. She normally doesn't let me do that, so I relished the opportunity to be almost snuggling with her. Then this, that, and the other thing happened, and then it was 9.
I won't go into the rest of the boring details between 8 and 10:15, but at about 10:15 I was just about to lose it. Sabrina was just trying to engage me, so I explained to her that I had told her enough times that she needed to go to bed, so she knew it without me telling her. I said that instead of telling her that she needed to go to bed, I was just going to not talk to her until after she was asleep. I listened (in case anything really needed a response) but did not respond at all expect a few fingers pointing to her bedroom. About 15 minutes ago (11:00ish) she let me pick her up (!!) and carry her to her room. She has been there ever since.
I am filled with large amounts of doubt about whether this was the right thing to do. It was horribly guilt-inducing for me, and I can only hope that it wasn't damaging to her.
The adventure did produce some interesting Sabrina quotes. I didn't type (most of) them as she was saying them, so I'm missing a lot. But here are a few:
- "I thought you was my friend!"
- "If you're not going to talk ME, then I'm not going to talk to YOU."
- "What did I do to you? I didn't do anything to you."
- While bawling and one would, therefore, expect her to do not much more than call for Mommy and Daddy: "You hurt my feelings! You really hurt my feelings!"
- "I want to make you laugh!"
- "I need to tell you somethin'! Foster Ima, I need to tell you somethin'!* When's it gonna turn Friday?"
* It occurs to me that earlier in the evening (the event, actually, that provoked the bawling "you hurt my feelings") she called me to her room and said "I need to ask you something. When I go to my auntie's house, I'm going to give a piece of candy to my cousin and she's going to say thank you." I got annoyed because she said she was going to ask and then told. I wonder if she is confused about what is asking and what is telling.