This weekend’s highlight: a visit from one of my oldest school friends and her family (featuring “Boston Joey”, so-called to distinguish him from one of their best friends and sometimes even directly addressed as such). Boston Joey has done some skiing; his five-year-old sister “Roofie” has not.
So as my friend took a year off the limited life span of her lower back by taking Roofie up the J-bar and Lily decided she wanted to hit the chair lift, I offered up Lily’s kiddie lift, a sort of strap thing you use to help kids off and on the lift while they learn to ski. Basically it puts a handle on the back of the child and I really think they should market them in other contexts. Tantrum lifts, maybe.
Anyway Lily had said she did not feel that she needed to use it, and we didn’t use it the last time we went on the lift–but even so, I tried to pass it off subtly.
Which didn’t work. “I want my–my strap thing, my handle, my lift thing, I need it to go on the big mountain.”
I said no. I offered a bribe of Starburst in exchange for allowing the loan. Lily refused, unless we could skip the actual skiing and go right away to the lodge for the Starburst. Which I really should have just rolled with, but no, I said she had to ski down once first…
I put her on the lift, screaming. I lowered the bar on her, screaming. I told her that if she kicked a ski off by kicking and screaming and banging her skis on the bar we would “ski right down the mountain and shove you in the car and buckle you in and slam the door and you are spending the rest of the day there!”
This is a threat I would be repeating many times over the next hour. Because she screamed all the way up the lift–and I mean, screamed. “I want my thingy! I want my thingy!” Rob could hear her three chairs away, and I’m sure even more people heard me when I finally shrieked “I want you to SHUT UP!!!”
So that was really good. And then we got to the top and I told her she had to ski down to get her thingy or–insert threat here, with some variation–so she got up and skied ten feet and then I picked her up. And she skied ten feet and I picked her up. Keep in mind that she is still screaming.
So we went on like that until about two thirds of the way down the mountain, with slight variations in the screams and the shrieks and the threats, until she refused to go any further and I yanked her skis off and threw them into the snow and carried her away, declaring that we would “leave them, leave them for someone who can use them and take care of them and is not a complete selfish horrible beast who is ruining everyone’s day like YOU!”
So that was really good. But at least that one worked, because she begged to get them, begged to ski on them, and when I told her that she could have them back if she finished the run and didn’t fall down again on purpose or whine or scream anymore…she did. And the one time she did fall he yelled “I can get up! I can get up.” Which sounds like some sort of triumphant moment for horrible parenting, but it wasn’t really. It did get us off the mountain.
So we got back to the lodge, and retrieved the thingy from the friends, who were stopping for lunch anyway. I handed it to her, told her I hoped it was worth it, gave her to her daddy and told her I was done with her, and she couldn’t be with me anymore. She cried. I left, which was the best thing I did all day, cooled off, came back, allowed her to wheedle her way back into good graces and ended up skiing with her all afternoon, and never having to pick her up once.
I have no idea what the point of this is, other than that she is supremely gifted at pushing my buttons and I have to struggle to remember that Sam was actually like this too. I hated her on the lift, I hated her on the slope, I hated her the whole time she acheived her grand heights of unreasonableness.
And I have just had to take away her morning tv because she won’t stay in her bed. Which means tomorrow morning will pretty much be filled with hating her too, as she eats breakfast on the floor of the bathroom while I get ready so that her brothers can watch tv without her, but I couldn’t come up with a better threat.
No nice neat little twist at the end of this one. I have not learned a lesson. She has not learned a lesson. We just get to return to the impasse in the morning.