Monday, June 4, 2007

Good Cop, Bad Cop

After a two week break from preschool, I have about hit my "Sydney limit." Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart, but good grief, there has not been one moment of silence in our house (other than when she's asleep) for the last 19 days.

So, having met my quota of Sydney time, I let (okay, forced) Ryan to take the reins this past weekend while I cleaned, worked in the yard and prepared for Vacation Bible School. I couldn't completely escape since I have to be around to feed Liam, but I did my best to stay scarce and enjoy some blissful silence.

I did, however, overhear many conversations between Sydney and Ryan (with some squealing contributions from Liam). I was both amazed and perplexed to hear her speak to Ryan quite rudely several times. "Please" and "thank you" seemed to have escaped her vocabulary sometime between Friday and Sunday evenings. Not once did Ryan correct her behavior and I didn't interfere so that I could fully observe our daughter's lack of manners.

I finally hit my limit Sunday evening and forced her to apologize to Ryan for a weekend of what bordered on pint-sized verbal abuse. When I asked Ryan why he didn't correct her or put her in time out, he said that it didn't really bother him and that it takes a lot for him to lose his temper with her. No kidding.

Deep down, I've always known that I'd be the disciplinarian in our household, but I guess it just sunk in a little more this weekend. It's not that I constantly correct her behavior, but I guess I just put up with a lot less than Ryan does. Maybe it's the teacher in me or the military upbringing, but I have pretty high expectations when it comes to the behavior of my children.

So I'm the "bad cop" in our house. Maybe I can just be a semi-bad cop with a southern drawl like Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer . Or maybe I can be a hot semi-bad cop like Mariska Hargitay on SVU . As long as I don't end up as crazy as this cop, I think Sydney will live to see her fifth birthday.

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