It hasn’t even been a week since Irene left for USA and I’m already discovering the struggles of solo-parenting. I’ve had a frustrating day dealing with Zoey and as I am typing this, she is sleeping on a mattress in the living room.
She is a very stubborn child.
It all started this morning when she woke up. I was looking forward to having a leisurely breakfast with her downstairs and then spending some time at the playground. I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and she said “bao” (char siew bao to be exact). So we got out of bed and got ready to go. Just as I was ready to leave the house, she changed her mind and decided to eat hard boiled eggs at home instead. So I told her that if she wanted to eat at home, it means we would not be going downstairs to the playground. She agreed and insisted on eating eggs.
After having 2 eggs, she went off to play and I started to Skype Irene. Zoey comes storming into the bedroom and begins to throw a tantrum about wanting to go downstairs to the playground. I tell her that she can go down after I am done speaking with her mommy. I ask her nicely to come talk to mommy, but she refuses. Instead, she lies on the floor and rolls around whining.
Eventually I tell her that she has to go out of the bedroom if she wants to whine as it’s getting annoying. She begins to throw an even bigger tantrum.
So I pick her up, put her outside the bedroom and tell her she can only come in after she has apologised for her bad behaviour. If she does not apologise, she is not going to the playground or swimming or anywhere at all today. She would have to stay home.
Throughout the day, our helper Siti tries to get her to apologise, but she refuses. Eventually she takes her afternoon nap in the playroom. When she woke up, I told her I was going out and she will be staying at home unless she apologises. She cries, but still refuses to apologise. I come home and get ready for bed. I also tell Siti that Zoey will have to sleep on her own in the living room tonight and not in the playroom. Siti again tries to get Zoey to apologise and Zoey stands her ground. So we all go to bed and leave Zoey in the living room in the dark. She cries for me and I open the door twice to give her a chance to apologise. She refuses. After about half an hour of crying and whining, she finally falls asleep.
This is a very stubborn child.
A part of me wonders if this would have played out differently if Irene was here. We normally have a good cop bad cop routine (no prizes for guessing who the bad cop is) but without her support today, it’s been tough. I started out this morning wanting to spend quality time with Zoey having had a rather busy week at work. However, this Saturday has been a complete washout.
My only consolation is that Zoey should now know that I intend to follow through with the punishments and if she continues to throw tantrums and be unreasonable, there are going to be many nights out in the living room on her own.
We shall see what happens when she wakes up in the morning.