Monday, October 02, 2006

Behaviors under the microscope

Copyright 2006 by mamalang
If you aren't reading this at
it is stolen!

It's just a short ways into the new school year, and I'm already longing for break...spring, winter, summer, I don't care, just the break. I hate this wishing my life away feeling, always looking forward to the break. But sometimes it just gets to be so much, the girl scouts and the soccer and the field hockey and the special events. I'm so proud of my girls with their activities, and we do limit them...but it still seems so overwhelming. And I want to find some sort of little activity for my baby boy to do, but it all interferes with work or something or other and so I put it off just a little longer. And now we've seen the ugly head of tiredness and all that it brings with it...stomping feet, whiney voices, hurt feelings, refusal to move, etc. Princess Bear can be the most stubborn person in the whole world...and I have non family that will totally agree with me on this one. When she decides she isn't doing something, she will simply plop down, refuse to move, and wave her hands and repeat the word no like a mantra. Nothing you say breaks that threats wear it down. In the past, we simply carried her to her bed and left her there to scream it out and wear it down...but she is now 8 and we can no longer safely carry her anywhere. And while I know that more sleep will help, this is also the child that will do whatever is necessary to not sleep outside the hours of 9:00 pm and 7:00 doesn't matter that she is propping her eyes open with toothpicks, sleep is a demon that can only be allowed to roam during those hours. I'm really ready to call in a shrink and see what they have to say, because none of the strategies we've tried have worked yet...and I'm afraid of doing bodily harm to her.

I was reading another blog and the mother was discussing shutting her son outside in the back yard to play so that she didn't cause bodily harm. And I feel her pain so deeply. I understand how easy it is to cross that line into child abuse with some children. I've locked PB in her room so that I wouldn't harm her. Yes, I felt guilty doing that, but I would have felt much more guilty if I had harmed her in some way.

Luckily, I know I'm not alone. Catherine's newest post at Wondertime is about the changes that take place as children start school. It gives me strength to find the right way to deal with this...


LibraryMomma said...

(I'm posting!!! not only cause you did on mine... but I have to comment!!!!)

So with you on the bodily harm thing. I have 2 boys, and while I love both of them tremendously, my first son is sometimes much easier to like. He goes with the flow, even when it comes to sleeping, eating, or whatever. He bends. Now my second son... he is hilarious, spontaneous and (as you say, "non family have said this too") extremely cute- I think it is really the naturally blond curly hair...
Anyhow- Son Number 2 can really do a number with the stubborn do-it my way or hit the highway routine.
And he often doesn't react to redirection (shouting, screaming, yelling)- Son Number 1 would always cry or apologize- show me in some way that he heard what momma had to say!

Now that is telling as a parent- why do I want them to respond accordingly? I fear it is one of my weaknesses.

LibraryMomma said...

love Catherine too!

Jenn (formerly gibby23roarof84) said...

Great post--I completely understand the looking forward to a break by the second day of school. Around 7 each night, I find myself thinking of setting the clocks forward so that I can convice Big A to go to bed--I'm so exhausted at that point. Instead, I sit there and tell myself what a horrible mom I am for feeling like's a fine line, this thing called parenting.

Melanie said...

My rascals completely exhaust me. I just said to my husband last night, "I am so tired of being tired."

It's difficult to function without a time out for ourselves! Like, say, a massage and a latte? :)

Amber said...

Oooooooo... You're giving me the big preview on how life is going to be when my own most-stubborn child in the world is older. My little gem is only 21 months old, but if she doesn't want to do something, she's not going to do it. According to my parents, I was the exact same way. (lol... FANTASTIC!!!! I'm raising myself!)

Not sure if you want the silver lining in this, lol, but the good news is since she's so willful and determined, there's probably going to be little to nothing she won't be able to accomplish later on. Or at least that's what my Dad told himself when I started digging my feet in and being stubborn.... lol

Becky said...

Hi Mamalang-
Thanks for your comment to me on Catherine's blog page. I had to come check yours out and find out what it is we have in common.

WOW! PB sounds just like my Sasha. Sasha is my oldest and is 5 1/2. She's always been very strong-willed, even as a tiny baby. At 3 months, when I went back to work, she would scream from the time I left her at the sitter's until the time I came to get her. We had a bad few months that first summer. My sitter started calling me at work within an hour or two of when I arrived. I started having to just leave and get Sasha. As soon as I would walk in the door, though, she'd be all smiles and giggles.

Now, at 5 1/2, if she decides she doesn't want to do anything, she won't! And we can't make her! She'll sit or lay down and do the limp noodle if you try to pick her up. She's only just under 40 lbs, but 40 lbs of dead weight (which is all arms and legs!) is too much for me. And if she fights back, she's alot stronger than me (surprisingly... has been all her life!).

I'm at my wits end. Almost every morning we have meltdowns to get up and get dressed. Her father and I jump around, yell, scream, hit furniture and walls (to keep from hitting her) and she lays in a ball and pretends to be sleeping. She won't move! When we have good mornings, they are lovely, but few and far between. The bad mornings are just unbearable and then I spend the rest of the day at work stewing on how bad of a mother I must be for wanting to bring bodily harm to my child and for being so pissed off that I almost hate her.

Night times can be pretty much the same. Lately, I've had fights with her on taking a bath/shower (which I really only make her take about every other day). Then, the whole getting jammies on and getting her in bed! There are times that I just want to sit and cry and bang my head endlessly against the wall.

And I can't lock her in her room... there are no locks on the doors. I have pushed her forcefully into her room and held the door shut before, though. But most of the time, if I try to make her stay in her room, she comes right out. And if I try to go to another room and shut the door, she just follows me in. I've actually had her wrap her body around my legs so that I can't go anywhere, too.

But Sasha is not always bad or out of control. When she's good, she can be so sweet and she's so smart and funny. And she can go from being sweet and cooperative to an out of control tantrum and back to being sweet and funny in the blink of an eye. The tantrums themselves can sometimes last more than an hour. But as soon as it's over, there's no trace of it.

Anyway, here I am pouring my life and woes out to a complete stranger. But it's just nice to know that I'm not completely crazy and not completely alone in this!

We were going to go talk to my daughter's school psychologist to see if he has any suggestions... but I do not have alot of faith. I've known quite a few psychologists over the years and they pretty much like to talk to you like you're an idiot and tell you to do all the things you've already tried - like they've just come up with a new brilliant idea that is sure to work!

I'll let you know what happens... and will definitely be lurking around your blog to see what's happening with you & your kids!

Thanks for sharing with us.


mamalang said...

Okay, I'm a complete doh head. Somehow I didn't realize I had moderations set for my comments, so I had a ton waiting to be posted. DOH!


I'm glad you stopped by. That all sounds very familiar! It's very hard to live with...Come by anytime for some sympathy!

My PB is my mini-me too...I wasn't as strong-willed as her, as she seems to have gotten the double dose from both parents, but I was very strong minded as well. I think the difference may be that I was an only child with one parent...who knows.