discipline strong-willed Support


September 29, 2010

Brynna-tude: | bri-na-tood | a show of individuality manifested in boisterous actions and behaviors; typically loud and attention-grabbing, often unbecoming, usually embarrassing (for her or me…or both); most always funny (after the fact)

Exhibit A: Gymnastics
Brynna has more energy than her little body (and certainly mine) can handle.  She often refuses to nap during the day because she’s just that wound up and can’t lay down for fear of missing something.  (I’ve tried to explain all she’ll miss is me trying not to fall asleep while doing chores, but she is convinced I spend her sleeping time throwing parties with fabulous people).  This summer, we decided that a good way for her to expend some of her energy would be in a gymnastics class once a week.  Her daddy was a gymnast, she’s built just like him, she’s not afraid to sacrifice her body…it made sense.  We had to wait for her to be 18-months-old, so when that time came around, we headed to ASI for her free trial and to sign up for monthly classes.  I purposely chose a Wednesday morning because there were no other classes happening and given her tendency for short attention spans, I felt it best to minimize distractions.  So last Wednesday morning, we loaded up and off we went…
10:00 – pulled up to ASI, Brynna finished her (imaginary but apparently hilarious) conversation with Papa and we walked in as she laughed like a goofball
10:05 – Checked in and met another little girl named Riley
10:10 – First up, trampoline – Brynna didn’t love it, but I jumped with her and she started smiling.  Until I stepped off (since I wasn’t actually allowed to be on anyway).  At this point, she threw herself to the tramp and began rolling, kicking and screaming.  Meanwhile, Riley is standing 4 feet away, staring at the crazy girl but continuing to jump with hands on her head, belly, etc. as the teacher instructed.
10:15 – Twin boys arrive, happily run to their spots on the trampoline and join Riley in the fun – the fun being following the teacher while watching Brynna who is by now army crawling off the trampoline toward the “fun zone” where she wanted to slide.  (I know she wanted to slide because she was crying, “SLIDE! I wanna SLIDE!” at the top of her lungs.)
10:20 – Next up, circle time – After trying to jump but having difficulty thinking over the sound of Brynna’s fit, everyone moved to the circle area for music and movement.  They walked.  I carried my child, still kicking and screaming for the slide.  For about 17 seconds, Brynna’s crying abruptly stopped, while she determined if this was fun enough for her discerning taste.  It wasn’t.  As though brought about with the flip of a switch, the red face, tears and screaming started back up in full swing.
10:25 – Mommy needs a time out because she got smacked in the face…twice.  Brynna refused to calm down whether I was holding her or not, so we went to sit on the bench and watch from afar.  As we walked away, one of the moms looked at me and said, “It’s ok.  Patrick didn’t like it at first, either.  It’s just new and scary for her.”  My filter was non-existent at this point, so I smiled back but said, “This girl isn’t scared of anything.  She just wants to do what she wants to do.  But sadly for her, I win.”
10:30 – Brynna and I put shoes back on, spoke briefly to the lady at the desk about maybe trying again in a month or so and promptly went home.  Her (still imaginary) conversation continued as soon as we got in the car as if the previous 30 minutes didn’t happen, and she was saying, “Sorry for that interruption.  I’m back.”
If i were a drinking woman, it would have been a start-before-noon kind of day.  I’m not.  So instead, I put Brynna in her bed with some books and her Minnie Mouse doll for some “me time” and went on the back patio for some “me time” of my own.
Exhibit B: Shoes
I take full credit and responsibility for Brynna’s love of shoes.  (I share with Honey K, NayNay and Auntie Kel, but I’m her mom, so I’ll fall on the sword.)  Although the “SH” sound is not all that easy to say, “shoes” was one of her first words.  She insists on picking out her own shoes each day and has for months.  I lay out 2 or 3 options, she puts back the ones she doesn’t want and starts the attempt at putting on her chosen pair.  Yesterday was chilly, so I gave her options, but all were tennis shoes so she could wear socks.  Brynna did not want to wear tennis shoes.  She wanted to wear her butterfly flip flops.  In her defense, they matched her shirt well, but they weren’t an option.  I explained that we do not, under any circumstance, wear socks with sandals and began putting on her Pumas.  A Fit then ensued while I put shoes on a moving target.
If you need a play-by-play of what a Fit (capital F) looks like, see Exhibit C: The Video.
As usual, it took a minute, but I won.  We loaded up and headed to school.  I handed her over to Mrs. Kelly, who put her down to play with the other kids.  But did my chid begin to play?  No.  Brynna Grace Johnston sat in the middle of the room, looked straight at me and started removing her shoes.  I told her no and explained our morning.  Thankfully, Mrs. Kelly knows Brynna very well, and she ensured those shoes stayed on all day.
Now, don’t think I’m a shoe Nazi.  I love them, but I normally don’t care if the shoes stay on or off.  But ages 13-18 are going to be exciting enough without her learning now that if she doesn’t like Mom’s rules, she can change once she gets to school.  Lord, give me strength! 
Exhibit D: ……………………
Another day…I’m exhausted just writing about it!
Please note before watching:
1.  I am not responsible for the repercussions if you watch at work with the volume too high and get in trouble.  Consider yourself warned.
2. This video was a few months ago, but it still pretty much looks the same.
3.  Yes, Miles has become so accustomed he just walks by without acknowledgement.
4.  Yes, you are correct.  I chose to record it before addressing it.  This was not the first or the last.  I needed documented proof.  I am not crazy.  If I keep saying it, it will be true, right?  I am not crazy.

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  • Brittney @ britandtheboys September 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    This is hilarious.. your writing is wonderful! and.. I feel you. Brady will be 5 in April and still does this. Every single time, I feel like I am crazy.. Stay strong mama!

  • TOLIVER FAMILY September 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    this was my favorite line:

    “I explained that we do not, under any circumstance, wear socks with sandals”…

    glad for the opp to see THE VIDEO again…lol

    brynna brynna brynna…that’s my girl!