Jp is going through a phase. Yeah, it’s a year long phase called the “terrorizing three’s”. Let me just put it like this to paint a picture for you: if a fully grown adult acted in any way like he does on a daily basis, they would most certainly be forcibly institutionalized for extreme schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder. Or -at the very least- highly medicated for bipolar.
It’s like he is two different children. And, if I am honest, one that I gaze upon and think I am beyond blessed to graced with such perfection rolled up in child form and one…um…I…okay, I don’t even like the other one. He’s a stone cold brat. Alright ladies, you can pull out the pitchforks if you like…but it’s the truth. I’m just stating a fact here.
What else would you call someone that screams, cries, hits, and yells day and night about every minor thing under the sun? Ev. Ery. Thing. It feels like it never ends. It is constant screaming and whining about things no one on this planet could possibly control (like the weather or that is is nighttime and the sun is “sleeping”)….or being the cutest child to ever grace the earth. Absolutely no middle ground.
Even my husband looked at me the other day and said, “Man, I can’t even take that anymore.” I was like, “Yep, welcome to my world, buddy.”
When he was just a twee of two and throwing these massive sensory and transition-related tantrums, I used to scoff at well-meaning moms that would tell me to “just wait” for three with these all-knowing, smirking eyes. What do you know, lady? I just carried my child sideways out of a mall while he kicked me!
Guess what? They were right. Perhaps the tantrums aren’t worse in nature, per se, but they feel worse. And that is because a three-year-old isn’t a dew-eyed-doesn’t-know-any-better baby anymore. They are tiny people with thoughts and feelings and whims and wants. The trouble is, they are the most irrational and mostly incorrect beings on the planet. Jp will lose his mind over the drop of the hat about things that cannot be done. Unless I was a magician. Or a real-life wizard like in Harry Potter. Yet alas, here I am a mere mortal just trying to raise a “spirited child” without losing all sense of sanity in the process. It’s not like I had much to start out with…
It’s also this constant internal struggle between picking my battles and putting my foot down so I don’t have that brat kid that no one wants to be around. And yes, he acts that badly sometimes. Like, throwing his plate on the floor if you won’t give him pizza when he asked for chicken ten minutes ago which is why the chicken is on the plate in the ever-loving first place. Like, screaming as loud as he can in your face when he doesn’t want to put on his shoes and go to speech even though if he doesn’t he just loses the appointment and you are out the money. Like, crying and kicking when you are trying to pick him up when he doesn’t want to go (anywhere).
So yes, every day is a battle. I can’t even stand the sound of my own voice saying, “No!”, “Stop!”, and “Do you want a time-out?”, as many times as I need to in a day to rectify all of the naughty but at the same time I know that I have to. But if all he hears is “No, no, no” it will lose it’s effectiveness since that is all that he ever hears and I actually am a pretty “rah rah cheerleader” type parent. Le sigh.
I know that all of books say that I should put this plastic smile on and call it by different and more positive words and the positivity will just flow into him by osmosis…but I also know that the reason that I had any modicum of respectfulness when I was young was because my parents didn’t take crap. East Texas didn’t take crap. I knew if I threw a fit in a store that I would get the raised eyebrows and, “Do we need to go outside?” And the answer was always no. No, thank you, I don’t want to go outside. I didn’t really need that doll anyways.
In this day and age, however, parenting has taken on a different approach. We are supposed to be these saintly characters of never-ending patience and overflowing understanding. I mean, I’m patient but I am human, too. I love my son but I can’t just let him kick me when he’s in a grumpy mood and distraction just isn’t/doesn’t cut the mustard. If it did he would have stopped ages ago.
I am a logical person. I know he’s not doing it to me. I know all of the advice that the internet has to offer. That does not make it any less frustrating. Or infuriating. Or easier.
No, I leave that job to wine. Some days the only thing that gets me through is frequently going to kitchen to salivate over the bottle and know that dark will come soon enough and, on the worse days, take pride in the fact that I don’t open it and pour it down my gullet before noon.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go console a child that is crying because his hot dog is gone because he ate it. *Eye roll*
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.