Every night around 6, Edith and I FaceTime with my parents. My parents are preparing to move in with us, and are currently in Tennessee packing up their old house; my mom already lived with us for most of the last year and doesn’t want Edith to forget her.

At first, Edith really enjoyed FaceTiming with her grandparents — at the end of the day, when I was too tired to engage with her anymore, she had a freshly invested audience to perform for, and really their interest in her goings-ons (unlike mine) is inexhaustible. They will act convincingly astonished to see her appear from behind a chair even if she does it a hundred times in a row.

I also enjoyed this, because it enabled me to lie on my back on the floor and tune out for awhile before the bedtime wars began.

But for the past couple of nights, after Edith has clapped her hands and pranced around a bit and received some initial praise, she’s been over it. She pretty quickly escalates from disinterested to furious at me for continuing to split my attention — after awhile, she starts marching over and taking my hand and pushing it onto the keyboard, trying to make me hang up. And when that doesn’t work, she has a meltdown.

Immediately after I hang up, she cheers right up and falls backwards into my lap with a satisfied grin, as if some overstaying party guests have finally beat it.

And this is all fine, as it goes, but this is also the pattern of how she behaves when I pay attention to anything at all other than her, and I have a vague sense that she is now at the age where I need to start setting limits on this behavior. In fact, my paperwork of “tips” from her 15 month check-up earlier this week includes this disturbing bullet point: “Use brief time-outs to enforce discipline.”

What the fuck? Are people really doing this with 15-month-olds? How would one even begin to give them a time out — tie them to the wall? I know at some point, I have to stop letting Edith do whatever she wants and/or doing whatever Edith wants, but I just feel like my life is far more pleasant when Edith is charge of it.


  1. Zandy says:

    > but I just feel like my life is far more pleasant when Edith is charge of it.

    Ok, this was my instinct with Grant, and with two 5 year-olds also to contend with, it was also the path of least resistance. However, it has backfired majorly! It is much worse to have a 5-year-old command your life! He routinely tells me he’s going to call my boss and have him fire me, if I don’t give Grant enough attention!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zandy says:


      Liked by 2 people

    2. Elizabeth says:

      Ok, how do I stop this?


      1. Zandy says:

        hell if I know.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Elizabeth says:

          Ugh, what do I have you for.


          1. Zandy says:

            HELL if I know

            Liked by 1 person

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