Dale and I have definitely been blessed with 2 very sweet little girls that are the primary reason for a lot of "ups" in our family. But we have our share of "downs" here, too. Things that the kids (mostly Ivie, since Macie can't intentionally do much yet!) do that make Dale and me shake our heads and wonder what got into them. Last night was one of those nights...
We'd had a fairly normal Saturday. Both the football and basketball Heels had games, so we spent the afternoon and early evening in front of the television. And, as is typical on "away" game days, we had Papa John's for dinner (their thin crust pizza, by the way, rivals, but does not quite surpass, Domino's version).
Around 7:00p, I headed upstairs to put Macie to bed. Dale followed shortly thereafter with Ivie for her bath. After bath, TWO successful episodes on the big-girl potty (go Ivie!), and a quick read through her book-of-choice for the night, Dale and I both told Ivie goodnight and headed downstairs. She was happy when we left; she had her book in bed with her, which is very common, and she continued to "read" after we left her room.
About halfway through this week's DVR'd version of Grey's Anatomy, Ivie started calling for Mommy. I gave it a few minutes, hoping she was calling out just before falling asleep and would forget that she wanted me for something. No such luck, as the calling continued.
So I headed up to her room. When I opened the door, what I saw turned my stomach. Ivie had, in the last 30 minutes, ripped EVERY page out of her book. The pages were lying scattered all over the bed. I was so upset! I've always adored books and loved reading. So to see her tear one of her favorite books to shreds was very unsettling. What was going through her mind? Did she think we could fix it? Had she been mad about something?
Trying to get an explanation for absurd acts out of a 2-year-old is next to impossible, I discovered. After repeatedly asking her why she had "broken" her book, I finally gave up searching for a reason. I tried to explain to her that she would never again be able to read that book at night before bed, but I worried that I wasn't really getting through to her.
So, to make it "hit home", I decided that we would go without any TV in the house today (Sunday). I'm not really sure if the punishment fit the crime, but I figured that a day without Noggin would at least make her think about "why". Each time she asked to turn on her TV (which didn't happen as many times as I feared it would), I asked her why it was that we weren't watching television today. She responded each time with "I ripped my book." So I think she's starting to understand that this is NOT okay.
I must say that there are times when TV is convenient. Like when I'm trying to feed Macie and Ivie is climbing all over me, shaking both me and the bottle, resulting in Macie not wanting to eat. If I could have turned on Max and Ruby or Oswald, she would have left Mac to eat in peace! But I'm convinced that we are all better for the time without the TV today. We found fun ways to pass time (like dancing to the iPod in the kitchen and playing in the garage, with the door shut, since it's cold outside!). And Ivie now knows there are consequences for making bad decisions. I'm hopeful that she'll ultimately grow to respect books as much as her mommy does...