Shaunna Faye

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

At my wit's end.

There was once a time when every single day with Martha was 100% joyful and perfect and I couldn't soak up enough of her amazing spirit. Then she turned 2. And all hell broke loose. Now there isn't a day that goes by that I don't have to stop and say a silent prayer to help me through the next five minutes without totally and completely losing my mind.

I'm convinced that these aren't normal toddler fits. They can't be. If everyone's toddlers acted the way that Martha does on a daily basis, the world's population would come to a screeching halt because pro-creation of a second child would be absolutely out of the question. No one would voluntarily put themselves through this more than once.

Yeah, I got pregnant with Abel before the freak show started.

If you ask me right now if I want to have a third kid, my answer would be an astounding "HELL NO." I'm already dreading this stage of Abel's life. I look at him now and think that there is no way he could ever be as defiant as his sister, but I have a feeling I'll be looking back at this post in 2 years laughing. (Laughing because I've gone insane.)

Tonight I found myself googling the phrase "defiant toddler." While I was trying to put Martha to bed, I tried harder to keep my cool. I tried some of the tips that other parents gave on dealing with a child that does the exact opposite of what you need them to do. They didn't work, so I took my own approach. I let her win some of the battles.

It went against everything I believe in. I don't know if by doing so will make tomorrow harder because now she knows that she CAN win. But at least, for tonight, it got her in bed. It took another 20 minutes to convince her to let me lay in bed with her for a few minutes, but I knew it needed to be done.

Laying in bed with her with the lights off is the one place that I feel we can really connect and that maybe, just maybe, she will listen to me. The girl that just an hour earlier was kicking, screaming, hitting, taking off her diaper, and yelling at me to "GET OUT!" was now sharing her pillow with me, covering me up with her blanket, touching her nose to mine, and staring into my eyes not saying a single word. I grabbed that moment and told her how much I love her and how much Daddy loves her. But I also told her that it makes us very sad when she yells at us and doesn't listen to us. I said "We've had kind of a rough week so far, huh?" She said "Yeah." And that was it.

This is, by far, the most difficult time I've had being a parent. I've been told (by my parents) that it won't be the worst. If that's true, I'm going to need a lot more patience. Or knowledge. Or a miracle.


At 7:01 PM , Blogger kimberly dorris said...

Hopefully this will make you feel better...Cohen is a turd too! He will flat out do the opposite of what I tell him which leads to about five minutes of threats followed by me going "whatever" and letting him do what ever the hell he was wanting to do. Now that he is getting a little older, Daniel and I are trying to really stick it out and do the sit in time out thing (using a timer) and then asking him why he was in time out. Patience in a must. Good luck...a three and four year old is not much better than a two year old!

At 7:20 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

I feel your pain, Ashlyn completely exhausts me everyday. Not a morning, afternoon, or evening goes by without some kind of battle. On top of that A.J. and Ashlyn fighting and being obnoxiously loud can very easily push me over the top! That silence prayer is necessary and then each night while they are sleeping soundly I am remind how lucky I am yo have them! Got to love these kids!

At 8:05 PM , Blogger Daniel D said...

It baffles me on a daily basis. I could be completely wrong, but I don't remember being openly defiant toward my dad when I was four. My four-year-old, however, seems to have no problem with it. I seem to remember a time when "because I said so", though I never liked it as a kid, was sufficient enough for me to do what my parents told me to do. I've tried every approach I can think of (nice, quiet but stern, loud and intimidating, time out, spanking, caning, chaining-to-his-bed-for-hours-on-end), and I am yet to find the magic one.
I don't know how, but I am determined to find a way to make my child view me the same way I viewed my dad when I was four.

Ps. I'm not denying her existence, but I am yet to meet this defiant child you continue to speak of.

At 12:14 PM , Blogger Covenant Reformed Church said...

i can totally relate! i got pregnant with ava before adeline turned two. two hit adeline hard and she still isn't over it (she turned five two months ago). i still haven't figured out how to deal with her, but she listens to phillip. it's hard. but the good news is that ava is almost three and she is awesome. the terrible twos still haven't affected her, but the independent threes have. so there is hope for abel! hang in there! surely these days of feeling like a bad mother (me, not you) won't last forever!


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