Monday, December 16, 2013

The Threat of Santa

Does any parent ever really withhold presents from their child at Christmas?  You hear the threat all the time, "Santa is going to leave you a lump of coal in your stocking."  "Santa is watching you."  "If you don't straighten up, I am calling Santa!"

Yes.  We have Santa on speed dial this time of year, and have called him a time or two (thanks Uncle Jim). 

The only reason I have not taken every one of V's gifts back is because I don't think my parents, M, or anyone else would be supportive of me depriving her of gifts.  But her behavior this weekend really made Santa very upset.  Santa really wants to put a rock in her stocking and be done with the whole thing. 

I could only imagine when she goes back to school, and someone asks what she got for Christmas and she says a rock.  Her teachers may laugh, and understand.  Or they may award me with the worst parent of the year award, and make a mental note of how awful I am to this child.  I can hear it now, "No wonder she behaves so poorly.  Her parents must be so mean to her."  Then when the media gets a hold of the story, "Child really gets Nuttin for Christmas - the full awful story when we come back at 11:00."  So I may be blowing this out of proportion a little bit - but you get the drift. 

Why make these idle threats to our kids.  We really want them to believe in Santa, and really want them to be on their best behavior.  But when it comes down to it, they are all getting gifts of some sort.  No matter how bad they have been.

So why the idle threats?  Just another desperate attempt to make an unruly child behave?  Just something our parents said to us - so we say to them?  Do we as parents really believe that the threat of Santa is going to make our kids magically better?  Kids are smart.  They know they have us over a barrel.  They might not be able to tell us why - but they know that they are getting something from Santa no matter how bad they have been, so what is the incentive to be good?

Why am I carrying on about this?  V was really bad yesterday.  I took her (and her sister) to see a ballet in the area called The Nutcracker.  Last year (because the prior year was a nightmare), I only took DQ.  This year I asked V if she would be on her best behavior, and if she wanted to go with us.  She assured me she would, and asked if a young woman who babysits her now and then could go.  We arranged it, and I had high hopes that two years of maturity, the meds, and her promise to be good would be in our favor.

M pointed out to me that it was my fault she was misbehaving because she just can't handle all of the over stimulation of the lights, music, being quiet, the thousands of people.  He thought I was a fool for taking her.  My point of view?  I have this child that accuses me of always spending time with her sister, the well behaved DQ, while she never gets to spend time with mommy.  Honestly, I hate taking her places with me.  There is usually a fight and a  lot of heartache.  Yesterday, she laid on the floor of the prestigious ballet venue in her dress (hiked up to her hips), and tried to kick me, with her tights clad legs.  While hundreds of people walked by, gawking.  I hope none of them were sexual predators... snapping photos.  This is only one instance of how unruly and horribly behaved she was at the venue. 

The young lady we brought to the show with us asked if I was accustomed to the gawking of onlookers, as she is familiar with V's behaviors.  I nodded and said, "Yes, I usually smile, wave, ask if they're enjoying the show."  But deep inside - it is embarrassing, and it hurts.  I wonder what they think of me.  Some people probably think she needs a good spanking.  Some people probably think I should "do something" to control her better.  There is probably a small percentage of people who actually understand and sympathize with me. 

On the car ride home, she beat her head on the headrest of the car seat, she tried to pry the wooden molding off the door of the car.  She slid down in the seat...  again with her dress hiked up to her hips, and tried kicking the young woman who was our guest.  She tried to hit her cousin with some kind of book.   If she wasn't physically assaulting people she was being as loud and obnoxious as she could (attention seeking behavior).  All while I am trying to drive a car at 65mph on a highway.  I ended up telling DQ she could not go to eat pizza with all of her friends because I could not justify bringing V along with her acting as badly as she was.  Luckily for DQ, her dance teacher was kind hearted enough to make sure she could go, giving her a ride there/back, so I didn't also have to punish DQ.

I took V with us because I really wanted to be able to spend some time with her.  I really wanted to be able to show her that I do try to take her places, that I do love her just as much as I love DQ, and that I do try to give her chances.  But obviously she couldn't handle it.  After all was said and done I sat down and cried.  I called my mom and cried.  I called a friend and cried.  I have this new baby that I will be bringing into all of this chaos in about 6 months.  An innocent little being who doesn't have my resolve and will power to handle the force that is V.  I can't help but feel that this poor baby will suffer because of V's behavior.  DQ suffers, and I feel bad about that.  I suffer.  M suffers.  I love this child with everything I have, and I won't ever give up on her.  But the plain truth of it all it is, she takes a lot of joy out of being pregnant when I worry about how all of the throwing things, yelling, screaming, hitting, kicking, spitting, and pinching V still does will affect this new baby.

The sad truth of it all is that I know withholding any Christmas presents wouldn't make a difference.  She has improved a little in the past few years, but she is no where near where she needs to be in my mind.  Her behaviors yesterday were reminiscent of 2-3 years ago, and were really difficult for me to cope with.  I honestly couldn't wait to put her to bed, to have a bit of peace and quiet.  All the while, I just wanted to have a good day with her.  Hurts my heart that she just can't seem to let either of us have that. 

Aunt TT


  1. This just breaks my heart. I'm so sorry this continues to happen with her. I have a difficult child, but I can normally control him to some degree, and he seems to be getting better with age. I'm always here if you need someone else to talk to. Hugs!

  2. that breaks my heart to hear that. i hope it gets better before the baby comes