Saturday, January 08, 2005

I Had to Remind Myself

About the great things about Mr. Personality with the list from yesterday, because Thursday was probably one of the roughest days I have ever had with him. I was hurt and resentful of his behavior, which was very out of character for him.

He has been fighting naptime like a tiger, and it has been wearing on me. That day, he fought and cried and stomped around for a good half an hour before he would even lay down on the bed. He fell asleep hiccuping from the huge sobs that finally tired him out enough to pass out, face down into the pillow for two hours.

We then went to the park since it had been rainy, and was forecast to rain even more. We were fine until I offered to get the sidewalk chalk I had in the car. It comes in a little carrying case with probably about 12 different colored chalks. I picked out one color, and started to write his name. Well, that was apparently a huge insult, because he fell to the cement kicking and screaming. I told him that if he didn't stop, we were going to go home. He screeched that he wanted me to bring out ALL of the chalks, and when I told him that it wasn't going to happen, the volume increased even more, which I didn't think was possible. Since he wasn't listening to me, I picked him up to put him in the car, wherein he promptly grabbed two fistfuls of my hair and pulled. Hard.

After fighting to strap him in the carseat, which if someone had seen me, it probably looked like I was abusing him the way he was crying and with me trying to hold him down enough to buckle the damn thing.

He calmed down a little after that, dinner and bath were fine and uneventful. Then came bedtime. I had figured that he had gotten all of his previous aggressions out earlier, I didn't think he possessed any more steam. Was I wrong. We battled, and I will call it a battle, for an hour and a half for him to go to bed. Mind you, I have NEVER had a problem putting him to bed. I tried everything, distraction, commands, threats, a little cajoling when I got really desperate. I wouldn't offer to have him watch a video though, because that is a bad habit that I am not even going to put in his head that he can do. He kept putting all these conditions on going to bed, if I would just let him turn off the light, if he could have another blanket, if I could carry him around, the list was endless and annoying. Even more annoying was the hysterical way in which the items on the list were screamed at me.

I have to admit I lost it a little and yelled at him that it was TIME TO GO TO BED, which set off another round of utter hysteria. At the end of about an hour and twenty minutes, he informed me that his tooth hurt. I offered to put some Orajel on it, and that appeased him enough to finally fall asleep, AT TEN FIFTEEN AT NIGHT.

I was exhausted, bitter, and feeling guilty for yelling at him. I felt like a miserable failure of a mother. I am ultimately an optimist at heart, so after I freaked out at Hubba-hubba when he got home from work, I resolved to do a better job the next day. I would like to think that I succeeded.


denise said...

Oh dear...welcome to the terrible two's! I wish there was an easy solution I could share with you, but I'm afraid there isn't one! It sounds like Mr. Personality is trying to show his independence in a big way, and also figured out how to get a rise out of you! I know it's hard to do, but try not to reinforce his actions either positively or negatively.

Bedtime stall tactics are a favorite among 2 year olds, my kids came up with them all. My youngest's newest one is to put things away before she goes to first it was cute and 'Oh look how responsible she is' but I quickly realized she was just putting off the inevitable. So now I just let her put 1 or 2 things away and it's off to bed with her, whether she wants to go or not.


Pamela Aaralyn said...

Oh honey I totally feel your pain. I would like to help out by saying that the twos are almost over, but speaking from experience, I can definitely tell you that the threes are worse in actuality. Lol. Mr. Independent is simply learning that he is a little human being with choices, and wanted to exert his independence. Sit him down and reason with him: he is definitely old enough to understand what you are saying. When my little Mr. Trouble Maker does the same things, I sit him down on his bed in his room and look him squarely in the eye, saying to him, "Cole, I know you are a big boy, and big boys have choices to make. I know it makes you angry when I tell you what to do, but I am the mother, and you are the child. You are to listen to what I say. It is ok to be angry when you don't want to do things, but use your words, not your hands, to be angry. If you say, 'Mommy I am angry at you', I will take you to your room to give you time to deal with your anger. And then maybe we can go to the park and you can run as fast as you want to help you with your anger. But hitting Mommmy and pulling Mommy's hair are both unacceptable options for dealing with your anger. If you are going to want to be able to make choices, be a big boy. Big boys learn how to deal with anger the right way. Let Mamma help you by listening to Mamma, not by pulling her hair or hitting her." Surprisingly enough, my Little Trouble Maker seems to listen and at least attempt to do better after we have these types of conversations. Anyway, if you need any help at all you let me know. I am here for ya, and I feel your pain girl.