Kicking and screaming


Watching the snowstorm

It goes without saying that I think my kid hung the moon. And I’m prefacing what I’m about to say with that because the last time I wrote a post similar to this I got a nasty barbed comment from someone who seemed to think that it was disturbing that a parent could be frustrated with their child. So if your response to this post is along those lines, I will say: I really hate to delete comments, so please go tell it to someone else.

That said, can we discuss the tantrums?

The tantrums – or as NSG calls them, the “opinions” – are KILLING me. Yesterday there were no fewer than four tantrums from the time we shut the door of our second-floor condo to the time we reached the sidewalk. It’s been constant over the past week. I know that this is why people talk about toddlers being so difficult, but we’re a little ahead of schedule and I wasn’t quite prepared.

He also has an intense case of the mamas right now, and he’s all about NSG. Everyone loses in this situation: because she’s a daycare provider and is with him all day it makes her feel like she’s parenting 24-7; he feels like he doesn’t get enough from her, and I feel rejected by him because if the three of us are together and I want to spend time with him I have to peel him off her leg to do it. When it’s just me and Roo we’re great, but if it’s the three of us it’s all about Mama, Mama, Mama.

I’ve heard from more than a few people that this is normal too, and that most kids switch back and forth between parents. But we’re still waiting, and it’s been a while, and it’s getting harder. This new tantrum habit is making it that much more difficult, because it feels like I set him off every 5 minutes (NSG usually gets all of 10 minutes between tantrums). I’m so freakin’ frustrated, and I know he knows it, which Im sure is making things so much worse.

It feels awful to admit it, but other than a really lovely 10 minutes here and a half hour there, parenting him has really not been a pleasure over this past week. I’m trying to keep it in perspective – he has a cold, I was out of town without him recently, all 3 of us had a stomach bug this week – but it’s very hard to keep it in focus right now. I know that I’m the grownup in this situation, but I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how I can use that to resolve some of this.

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12 Responses to Kicking and screaming

  1. Julie says:

    I don’t think you can “resolve” it, you just live through it and wait for next week’s newest surprise. J was a bear from Saturday through Monday, but he’s changed into an angel over the last few days. On Monday, especially, he was a pain in my butt. I loved him, but I wasn’t liking him and there were a few times I had to walk away and give myself some space. As usual, we lived through it and a better day came. Your better day will come, too–it’s just a pain in the ass that it’s not here NOW.

  2. artsweet says:

    Going through a serious case of the mamas around here too, although in our case it’s the mommies, since I’m mama, and Pili is the much coveted Mommy. It bites.

  3. techie says:

    We have the same thing here. I am so with you on the different dynamic of one parent and kid versus both parents and kid. My charming boy is fine with me if it is just me and him, but if my partner is around (She’s home with him all day.) He won’t listen to me, do what I tell him to etc.

    It’s not my favorite part of parenting that’s for sure.

  4. DS-L says:

    It passes. It does. I used to sing when my kids tantrumed. Just hum a happy tune and continue to march on. And it’s ok to leave the room to take deep breaths. The mama’s — that one is hard hard hard. It was always me so let me tell you it’s NO fun for NSG. It too will pass.
    DS-L

  5. Liza says:

    I’ll chime in with another “me too!”

    Noah is finally starting to pick Jill over me once in a while, but it has been a long time coming. And believe me, not even getting to use the bathroom without being followed (or causing a tantrum) is not fun either.

    The tantrum thing is hard. HARD. The thing that has helped me cope is to remember that it doesn’t mean anything beyond “Hey! This isn’t what I wanted!”

    I think it helps SOMETIMES if you can give the child options. We have less bedtime drama now that I offer the choice, “Do you want to walk upstairs or do you want me to carry you?” I have to keep repeating it until we’re half-way upstairs, and also keep encouraging the walking the whole way, but 3 out of 4 times, it does at least get going to bed started without a tantrum. The other time, he says, “No mommy,” and continues playing until I pick him up, when he begins screaming “no! walk! walk!” Which frankly, I don’t usually allow at that point — at least not until we’re most of the way upstairs.

  6. Lo says:

    It makes me feel better (as the nonbio mom) that picking one parent over another is normal. I mean, right now, all my kid wants to do is nurse. But looking ahead….

    as for the early tantrumming? Maybe he’s gifted?

  7. Erin says:

    So very completely normal, not that that makes it feel any easier. And honestly, he’s right on target…the “terrible two’s” start way before they are two. The best things for us were: first, always let him know what was going to happen (“We’re going to leave in five minutes…in four minutes…”); second, let him know that it wasn’t going to get him anywhere (“OK, you let us know when you’re done crying–we’ll be in the other room.”); and third, to take those minutes before he comes looking to scream into a pillow, or punch it repeatedly.

    The parent-preference is also really common. It’s incredibly difficult on both parents–on you as the one who wants your child to spend time with you, and on NSG who feels the responsibilities all lie with her. I wish I had some magic answer for that one, other than one-on-one time without NSG around; the reality is that it’s pretty much got to just run the course.

    The person who believes that you shouldn’t get frustrated with your child has clearly never HAD a child. Children are wonderful, wonderful people who can drive you up a wall sometimes.

  8. Chicory says:

    When Sassa is in the midst of a tantrum-streak I just have to grit my teeth and remind myself that it means she’ll be a strong-willed woman one day who knows her mind and is capable and willing to communicate it.

    That is, if I let her live that long.

  9. Susan says:

    Oh, been there, done that, on the tantrums, and being there, doing that, on the case of the mommies. Come to think of it, being there, doing that, on the tantrums this week, too, although 5 and a half year old tantrums take a slightly different form.

    All of which is to say, it comes, it goes, it comes, it goes. Sounds like you and NSG are doing a generally good job trying to take care of yourselves, making time for just the two of you. I know that doesn’t immediately help with the tantrums, but it’ll help keep you grounded in each other, and that’ll help you both as you’re waiting for the next phase to come.

    Curious Girl generally goes through tantrum-y phases when she’s on the verge of some new developmental leap; it’s like she’s got so much in her head/body that she doesn’t quite know what to do with it all. Generally, having more words has helped her (and baby signing was a pretty cool thing, too–are you guys doing that at all? We did it with the help of her speech therapist, who gave us signs for stuff, maybe 20-30 words overall in the end. But it was handy.) SO maybe Roo is just processing a bunch of stuff and you’ll be back to your pleasant routines in no time….

  10. hw says:

    We adopted two children a little under a year ago. A 10 year old and a 12 year old. The 10 year old has had tantrums since the day he moved in with us. I take a bit of consolation that is moved from rages that took 1+ hour to get through to more ‘minor’ (albeit, only comparatively) tantrums. I love my son, but I find it incredibly difficult to parent when he tantrums because for the most part he tantrums over ridiculous things. Like yesterday, when he came in from outside in a fit because his sister was throwing snowballs at the exact tree he wanted to throw snowballs at. There’s only so many times you can genuinely walk through the options to resolve this conflict – share the tree or find a new tree, etc.

    All this to say, I totally emphasize with you on the tantrum front. And, how even more frustrating it must be when they can’t talk. But, on the other hand, when they can talk you’ll find out that the greatest temper tantrums are inspired by such minor frustrations in life.

  11. shannon says:

    Nat didn’t switch her preference from me to Cole until Selina came home and I just couldn’t give her as much attention as before. Cole picked up the slack and now she’s probably got a slight preference for Cole, but is pretty evenly split between us. I’d say, hang in there. He’s still young yet.

  12. reinstate@freewill.com says:

    reinstate@freewill.com

    As people begin to age the gods employ corrupting tactics. They ultimately begin to look down on the children and the wisdom they recently understood:::
    They voluntarily turn their back on their opportunity to ascend and instead embrace evil.
    It’s not old people who go to heaven. Old people must come back because of the mistakes they’ve made throughout their lives. Children are the ones who have the opportunity to ascend.

    Children are discounted by adults in society. The gods corrupt people as they age, use trust-building tactics and soon adults view the children as ignorant, yet to understand the god’s system, and subsequently look down on the children. This is one of the most bitter, painful ironies the gods employ, for people consciously turn their back on and lose their opportunity to ascend::::
    Religions teach that old people to go to heaven when they die. They don’t. Old people are reincarnated. It’s the children who go to heaven.
    The wisdom the gods impart to children, either through their innocence/purity or religious-based educational pursuits are the gods sharing the truth with their most favored people::::It’s the children whom the gods teach the right way for it is the children who have a chance. For example, they teach children to have faith, for understanding the god’s geographical clues hurts people by illustrating negative things, opening the door for the god’s to employ deceptive tactics.
    Old people don’t go to heaven. Old people must come back because of the mistakes they’ve made throughout their lives. It’s the children who have the opportunity to go to “heaven”. They must behave apprioriately, think correctly and be genuinely god-fearing. Their innocence and lack of desensitization ensures they have a real opportunity to achieve this goal.

    This is charecteristic of the gods methodology::::The big prize gone early, deception compels people to chase something that has already been decided. They sent this clue with boss as well. It is also a clue supporting my claim RW&B’s german is in fact Christianity’s Anti-Christ. Logic also dictates, considering the definition.
    The confusion over this multi-dimentional positioning will serve as an effective tactic, eliminating many additional disfavored in the process, for positioning states the Apocalypse to be a continuation of WorldWarII’s Aryan superrace ideals, positioned as punishment for the 5th century invastion of the Roman Empire:::John’s Fourth Reich.
    This amounts only to “nested theater”:::::Levels of positioning enables the gods to scapegoat:::::RW&B merely is the tool the gods chose to execute the final scene of their scripted theater that is human history.

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