Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Terrible Mommy

It was just one of those days.

I took the boys to storytime at the library in a neighboring town. Meatball slept through the whole thing; The Boy just wanted to run around the library pulling stuff off the shelves. No interest in what was going on, at all, until after it was over. He then decided that he wanted to play with the display posters and then he wanted to play with the shakers and bells that had been passed out. After I saw another kid put it in his mouth.

Every so often I tried to bring him back to where the other kids were (not that they were all perfect but they at least stayed in the general vicinity). Fitfitfit.

Got home and tried to figure out if I wanted to go to Trader Joe's or if I wanted to get him to nap first, and also time the visit with Musical Daddy's prep so we could stop by and get kisses. He ate a bowl of cereal and then after various home things (changing of diapers, feeding of Meatball), we went, because he didn't seem tired.

He was falling asleep in the car on the way home. Thinking about it, I should have kept driving and kept the nap going. Nope. Moved him in, where it took him well over an hour to fall asleep.

We wanted to keep our 3:30 PM playground date, which I initiated. Stupid me, I woke him. I had, in the meantime, been having some quality Meatball time.

I woke him, with medicine. Even dumber. He was physically fighting me the whole way.

He didn't want to wear a coat. He didn't want to wear shoes. I got him to wear shoes by the time we got to the park.

It was a bit cold. I should have pushed the issue of the coat but it was the sort of cold that if you are walking around and playing and such, you don't really need a coat. He started out not walking around. I shouldn't have stayed, because he wouldn't wear the coat.

This playground is new to him, and it has some familiar fixtures. I was proud to see him climb the step wall (a bit like a rock wall except with wood blocks that are easier to navigate). That's about all he did physically.

We had friends show up just when I was about to leave. I should have left.

He was shivering and still wouldn't wear his coat. Finally we did leave.

I had offered him food before we left the house. I had offered him food when we arrived at the park. When we were leaving, he throws a fit because he is hungry.

Meatball is also fussing at this point. I just wanted to leave.

When we got home, The Boy throws a fit because I took him out of the carseat and put him down. Generally, he walks into the garage without an issue. Sometimes, usually when it is most inconvenient, he throws fits. So I brought Meatball into the garage.

It gets a little fuzzy after that, because both children were screaming at me. Meatball needed to be fed. So did The Boy. But The Boy wouldn't tell me what he wanted. Finally, I just shut The Boy in his room for a minute because I couldn't take it anymore.

At least then I could calm Meatball a little bit and then figure out what in the heck The Boy wanted without him getting agitated by Meatball's yelling.

It's very trying. They call it the Terrible Twos. It makes me feel like a Terrible Mommy. Because I'm always agitated with him.

But I am careful not to yell at The Boy, or smack him. Why? Because where can I go from there? If he already knows that I'm going to yell or hit him, why should he bother listening? There are plenty of kids whose parents do spank or smack their hands, and they do something wrong and hold out their hand for a smack. Seems pretty counterproductive. At least if I continue to be gentle, even if I am angry in my head and my teeth clench twenty times a day, I can hope that he will eventually do what he is supposed to do, with the knowledge that it is asked of him with love.

In the meantime, I'm going batty. And must re-read Love and Logic. Twenty times.


The Reluctant Crunchy Mama said...

I wish I had something insightful to tell you, something that would help. All I can say is you are doing your best, you are an awesome mommy, and we are human. These things happen. I felt like you today, except I only have one child. I was feeling like even Love & Logic was not cutting it today. You have two babies, one with a special situation, post-partum hormones, not enough sleep... No wonder... Try to be kind to yourself. You are not a terrible mommy. You are a tired mommy who is trying really hard to do the right thing. Hugs. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you and the boys.

Musical Daddy said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I put him in his room to sleep, or when I leave in the morning and he's screaming, it absolutely rips my heart out. The thought of smacking his hand, or whacking him one in the bottom... it actually makes me sick. I honestly can't imagine doing it, which is strange because I've always been a pro-spanking person.

You're not doing anything wrong, honey. You're doing a great job in an amazing situation.

Rebecca said...

Oh how your words speak right to my soul!!! I had the "To spank or not to spank" conversation with my mother this evening. She is very pro-spank, and I am against it. It doesn't work. At least not for my guy. When I have attempted to spank him, or smack his hand he has only turned my aggression back around on me, Dad, the dog, the couch, table, or himself. I've only attempted to spank or smack his hand a handful of times, and each time I regret it the instant I do it. Typically, the decision is made out of frustration, and then guilt sets in immediately after punishing him. The other times have been because I was around "spankers" and felt their glaring eyes as my child is misbehaving and I am trying the loving way of getting him to stop. So, out of pressure, I have smacked his hand. The "spankers" give me pats on teh back and reassuring words, but all I want to do is hug my baby and apologize for hurting him. I just don't get spanking. I don't understand how physically hurting my child is supposed to help him develop into a compassionate, gentle grown man. Then, there is the whole argument of how do I teach him not to hit, when I punish him by hitting? It just doesn't make sense to me. So, kudos to you for not resorting to the mindless, easy discipline techniques.

Unfortunately, I don't have any words of encouragement. I am in the same boat as you, and I am struggling with these issues myself. I must read Love and Logic myself....for the first time. I've been reading Positive Discipline, but I just started. So, I will pass along any advice it gives! :)