Little Miss Muffet came home from school early as I mentioned. I had her change out of her school clothes as usual and she was quick as a whip about it. Her attitude has been good... very good actually.
Later I had her change back into those school clothes for her music lesson because the school clothes are way more appropriate for going out in public than the play clothes she chose. Something about outlandish style and BRIGHT green leggings and a pink shirt .... So, upon returning home I suggested she just get her pjs on before supper. She disappeared for a while, but came back saying she couldn't undo the buttons on the shirt. My hands were full with the care of the two babies. I told her to go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and work on it there. She came out 10 minutes later crabby and still claiming she could not undo the button. I almost reached for it, but then I had second thoughts. . . .
"Sweety, you have had this shirt for 3 weeks and this is the first time you have had trouble. My guess is that you actually can undo the buttons with no problem, and this is not really about buttons. Somehow I think that you are playing this card to get attention for some reason, and I don't know why. AM I right?"
She frowned and pouted.
I got down on my knees and looked her in the eye with a big smile on my face.
"This is about attention, isn't it? You're playing games with me, aren't you? "
A slow pouting nod.
"I knew it!! I knew it!! (in a teasing manner) Okay, don't undo the buttons. Here's a glass of water. Sit on this bench for awhile and drink your water. When you are done and you feel ready to change into pjs you go ahead and do so. Then get ready for a bowl of potato soup."
I went outside to inspect the paint job and was chatting with Steve on the porch.... Missy came out on the deck in less than 5 minutes in pjs.
I made sure to take GREAT notice and exclaim over her ability to get changed all by herself. She got this twinkle in her eye, put her finger to her lips to shush me and started blowing kisses with her shushing finger. We all had a good laugh.
When she's not struggling the behaviors show up because of habit.... but the difference is that we CAN work with her and using a little humor, or quick thinking we can avert a major scene. When she's struggling this isn't possible. I'm always so thankful when she can choose to turn herself around. She still attempted to get attention and I told her that we didn't mind giving her attention if that was what she needed, but she didn't have to manipulate to get it. She smiled and it was all she needed.