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Sept 04 mamas - summer thread

post #1 of 202
Thread Starter 
Just thought it was getting on to time for a new thread...
post #2 of 202
Yeah for summer! Today is the warmest day so far and it feels great! No more : for me!
post #3 of 202
Thread Starter 

this is not my beautiful son

(you know, like the song by Talking Heads... "this is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!")

I'm listening to the song "Get a Grip" by Aerosmith right not in an attempt to do so... don't know if it will help, but a little Steven Tyler won't hurt my mood.)

My son... my son. Ahhhhhhh, f***.

... just got off of a full week of great gobs of attention from his great-aunt and -uncle, in a different state, where it was really HOT, and they spent a lot of time indoors, and he watched a lot of television.

... just spent a morning at his preschool where one of the kids who is frequently the most violent was in fine form, and it always leaves me asking, "why do you continue to enroll this child? You're a private preschool. You are not obligated to take everybody, even if their parents are native speakers and there are no other options for immersion preschool in this language in the area."

... got up at 6:15 or so this morning.

... has a mama who right now has been feeling sick to her stomach for 2 months, and who feels like the blood in her veins has been infused with lead. Even walking around the block makes me feel exhausted. I'm considering raiding Jo's Floradix to see if it makes a difference.

... is readjusting to spending his time during the day with me, and not with Jo and great-aunt and great-uncle and, to some extent, grandma (but I heard she was actually pretty disengaged with him).

He has just been such a little *@(! today. Getting to preschool was fine, he even got to eat his lunch with his classmates, which is a Big Deal, and coming home and watching Mr. Rogers was good too, but after we had a little snack after that (which he helped himself to out of the fridge, eh, so what), he started getting positively awful. Singing along to the album he asked me to put on in this ugly, horrible voice which I KNOW children do because they think it's funny but it gets him all wound up, and then he starts throwing toys around, and goes up to the cat and does something that more closely resembles pounding on her than petting her. That's usually my trigger is the cat. But he has no mechanism for calming himself down, and everything that I do to try to get him to calm down makes him more violent. A naughty stair? He moves around and around to see just how far he can push me. A spot on the floor? same as above, usually reaches out and hits me. Being held on my lap firmly (but not causing pain)? He scratches, pinches, hits, bites, wiggles and slams his head backwards/sideways/whichever way he needs to to cause pain.

Who is this kid? I do not scream at him. I do not hit him, ever, despite being sorely tempted because I think it would be the only thing that would break through his big tantrums and violent spells and shock him out of whatever that zone is that he's in, and plus I secretly feel like it would make him so upset that he'd want me to comfort him, and I ache for him to want to come to me and cry on my shoulder and get love because it seems like all of the interactions lately have been negative. Any physical affection I get is fleeting and has to have an element of silly combined with it - or just plain mean crap, like here, I'll hug you, but before I let go, I'm going to pull your hair.

I do not do this to him. I try so hard. I see these wonderful young people - the class I first met in 1st grade is graduating 8th grade this week at the school where I used to teach, and all those kids are just so awesome, and sweet, and kind and good and smart and beautiful and I can't understand what I'm doing WRONG, what is wrong with me as a mother, why doesn't my child listen to me, why do all of my neighbors' kids do what their mothers tell them, why don't they talk back or say no or run away?

Maybe I'm just destined to have a kid who is an obnoxious brat? But why can't he be nice to me like the angel he is at school?

Jeez, I'm so exhausted. After I came downstairs and found him shredding the newspaper and just snapped, I picked him up and put him in the car. I figured in his seat he would be restrained. I wouldn't be able to touch him and he wouldn't be able to touch/damage/break/rip/hit/bother anything. He seemed really excited that we were going somewhere, and then fell asleep within 2 minutes.

Obviously, he was tired, which was feeding his behavior. And luckily we ended up on a parkway and I was able to pull over and sob, and got myself under control enough to be able to drive back home before someone saw me bawling in the car and call 911 because they thought something was really wrong. No, just a pregnant lady with a preschooler testing her every limit.

I wish I could figure out what to do with him to get him to calm down, but there is no room in this house that would be safe from him. The bedroom is the closest but I am uninterested in refolding and hanging all of his laundry because I could see him just taking everything in the closet off of hangers and out of drawers and throwing it all over the room just because he knows it would tork us off.

Heck, I bet he would rip open a feather pillow to strew the feathers everywhere because he knows that wanton destruction of stuff really makes me mad, whether it's an anthill, a flower, anything. He LOVES to see me react to that and I can't pretend "gee, that doesn't bother me that you just smashed the picture of our friends". He will find something on the floor and just smash it, instead of setting it back down, or handing it to me, or whatever. Oh, gee, there's a butterfly! Think I'll STEP ON IT. WHAT THE HE(!#(#$*!#(_)@($*)(*!!!!!

Help. *sniffle* I can't figure out for the life of me how I could ever have thought that having two children would be a good idea. I am feeling so doomed right now.
post #4 of 202
Oh Jen! I wish I had the magic words to make this all better for you! I only have two things, and they're probably not at all helpful, but you never know.

Rescue Remedy -- for both of you! Whenever Elizabeth has one of those meltdowns, some RR rubbed into the soles of her feet works wonders (the dosage is four drops by mouth, but that doesn't agree with her, so I end up double-dosing her with four drops in my hand per foot). Then I take some myself.

Four is the age of the Great Testosterone Surge in boys. It can come a little before or a little after. I think this is what you may be seeing. Not much you can do but wait it out, though. :

You're a wonderful Mama, and you are raising your son to be a wonderful boy. You are respectful of him and his needs. You have a loving home for him to live in. He is lucky to have you!

Oh, I thought of three more things! Can you give him something to destroy when he's like this? When E went through her hitting phase, I gave her a pillow to hit instead. It worked well. Have you tried whispering when he gets like that? Or singing your requests? It just may catch him off guard and inspire serenity.

More for you!!!
post #5 of 202
Oh Jen, !!! I felt this way when Thor was a difficult 21 months and I was about to have Anna. It passed very quickly... that's all I was thinking as I read your post, the ol' famous (but very unhelpful) This Too Shall Pass. I really think that it sounds like a phase, however cliche and unhelpful that is. One suggestion, have you read Connection Parenting? That book totally changed my worldview. I don't know if that would help you at this juncture, but it sure did change the way I viewed my kids and myself for like a good 3 months. I still think of chapters from that book all the time.

BTW, it's all harder when you're pregnant and hormonal and tired... sigh. again.
post #6 of 202
Jen - big bad hugs, mama. I was having a "how do i do this discipline thing in a way that honors my child, honors my values, but changes this behavior that is driving my nuts!" moment, and I started reading "positive discipline for preschoolers." I'd picked it up on half-price day at a consignment sale. It's not perfect, but it inspired me to adjust my thinking, be patient, and try some new things. Sometimes just giving the problem (your frustration and the behavior) new and fresh energy helps things shift a bit.

I have found that when robin is losing it, syaing in my most calm, serene voice, "Calm your body. Calm your voice. Calm your legs, etc" - whatever part of her she needs to calm, then giving her different options, "I want to help you. tell me what you need." or "Ineed you to put that down until your body is calmer, etc". I really feel like I am channeling someone outside of me - i am not little miss calm or zen-like
post #7 of 202
I've finally posted some pictures - the first time since school started. Poor, undocumented eli.
post #8 of 202
HHIIIII!!! gosh its been a long time since i've been here! today was a little hellish for us but not that bad! (((hugs))) i've calmed down enough to not remember what was driving me batty.

quick q: do your kids get their own snacks? i've never allowed the kids to get anything out of the pantry or fridge by themselves but i wonder how good of a rule it is and how hard it is to let them do it themselves. they also have to ask for drinks including water. ds in old enough to reach the fridge water but i am afraid hes not tall enoughto know when to stop filling the cup! also its a side by side fridge so they can only reach the bottom drawers for food if they get in (all veggies/fruit right now). they usually only have 1 snack the entire day so i am not sure if its even relavent or needed for them to do it themselves.
post #9 of 202
Danielle: I go back and forth, as Robin goes in and out of being interested in getting her own snacks. Actually, she never *fully* gets her own snacks, but at times she'll pick something out and bring it to me to ask if she can have it. Our pantry has kid-level options, as does the fridge. But she always asks if she can have it, and usually needs help getting it open/cut/made. Sometimes she picks a treat, and I'll ask her to wait until after a meal, or sometimes she's feeling snacky b/c it's nearly mealtime, so we go ahead and eat. Generally, my concerns with her getting her own food are 1) MESS and 2) not making the best choices (eating too close to a meal, picking a treat for a snack)

For drinks, I try to have a water bottle/cup in the fridge where she can reach it or on the counter - and then invite her to get it herself. I would not let her pour on her own yet - She "helps" me pour, and I know she can't do it on her own yet.

If you think they need more autonomy, you can let them help you prepare snacks. Robin likes to try to spread peanut butter, insists on pouring her own cereal and helping with the milk, etc. She gets to feel competent and in control, and I help her enough to not have a major mess on my hands.

p.s. - we did have a candy bowl with all the crap we've gotten for holidays (xmas, easter, valentines, etc.). Once she foudn out where it was, she'd drag a chair over and sneak a peice. but she'd always come find me and show me her chocolate-filled mouth. This week, Eli saw what she was up to and joined her. He found a bag of caramels (left over from a recipe) and chewed on them, wrapper and all. Robin called to me, "eli's eating candy!" and I came in to fine him up on the chair with multiple chewed up caramels. The next day he did it again on his own, so now the candy bowl has a new home. We need to just throw it away - I don't think months-old easter bunnies sound good. But clint lets Robin pick a peice to put in their smoothies sometimes.
post #10 of 202
Oh gosh, my kids totally feed themselves. At first I thought it was cute that they would climb to get their own cereal, then slightly annoying, then I asked them to just ask, now I don't care! Ceci helps Carl into the fridge also. Then they'll sit down to a picnic with lunch meat and string cheese. My kids have learned to do a number of things while I get my stupid thesis paper ready for publication!

Jen- Ceci does many of the things you just described T doing. I feel bad talking about 'number 3' when I have such a hard time with number 1!!! When she's good, she is very good and when she is bad she is HORRIBLE! And the worst part is I have sunk to it. I have even told her to flat out 'shut up' on occasion. How awful of me. I do the zen-calm thing, but after her whining and whining and whining and whining horrible things just fly out of my mouth. I am trying to do better, but it is hard for me not to use words to hurt.

Did you guys read that Time article about vaccines?! I noticed it yesterday at the library. It is pretty awful.
post #11 of 202
Hello Jen-

Sigh. It all sounds so familiar to my feelings when I was pregnant with Gingy and Lulu was buzzing around when she was 18 months-2 years. In a sense, the behavior sounds like Lulu even today. An angel (they say the easiest kid in the class) at school, and SO overwhelming for us at home.

First of all, get that floradix out and take it twice a day for like a month. See if you don't feel better. You girl, need more energy, to handle T. And right around this time of pregnancy is when anemia hits. And it don't take much anemia, my midwife told me, to really, really feel it. It could be subclinical, ie. not detectable on a blood test. But heck, think what your body is trying to do right now ... create another person ! ... and think what else you have to handle... a wild preschooler who is out to get your goat.

It sounds like you need a way to calm this child down where you don't have to actually be there enforcing every second. When he gets out of hand and you two are just triggering each other over and over. There is no way either of you can calm down like that. The naughty chair/step thing just won't work like that. i do think driving the old boy in the car was an excellent choice frankly...

Have you thought about moving to "taking a break" in his room? I guess it sounds like you have (you were saying it wasn't proofed enough). Is there any separate room that would be OK for that? Or perhaps say he has to be on your big bed with the door closed, for 5-10 minutes (he could pick some books or coloring). Would it work when he was doing his thrashing and you were doing your gnashing?

Lulu has a very sensitive explosive nature (like her mom) and we often have to bring her upstairs to the attic 9her room) for a break. She doesn't like it usually, but she ends up kind of chilling or just falling asleep. I need the separation from her when it gets so heated.

I find when everyone is so volatile, I use less words. I barely say anything. In part, because no one is really ready to hear them, and in part because I then just escalate myself.

Yah, it is hard having two kids... or in this phase before the second arrives. But the magic of two kids is also real. There is a real sense of having created a real little family unit when you have a second child. And the interactions between the two kids are just amazing and touching. They really do play with each other, look out for each other. And you will probably have an easier time than I did the first year ... because T is so much older. Lulu was still with me around the clock when I had gingy. So I had the two of them day in day out... that first winter was hard.

OH... and say, what about the fact of that violent boy in T's class. It sounds like T may need to VENT about that. I figure a lot of Lulu's nonsense when she gets home is processing "other people's crap" when she get's home. There some kids that are very in your face/crowding her, etc. (nothing unusual for a three year old, but annoying), and she's so sensitive... i figure a lot of her afterschool bizarro, hard to handle behavior is simply her processing all the interactions with this type of kid. And perhaps t and she feel safe at home doing it....

anyway, HTH.

BIG Hug!

bTw Yo Becca, loved the pics of your two great kids!!!!!!!!!! so much fun to see them together....

post #12 of 202
Originally Posted by Yo Becca View Post
I've finally posted some pictures - the first time since school started. Poor, undocumented eli.
Those are GREAT photos!! What a cutie.
post #13 of 202
I'm making up for lost time with the pictures. These include just a slice of how obsessed Robin is at the moment with dress up

She's finally getting frustrated with him in her space, taking toys, tearing up her art, etc. She's been really easy going about it, but now it's on her nerves - I think b/c he's climbing and fast and she can't get away from him any more. I caught her squeezing his arm and pulling his hair this week - both out of anger/frustration. neither hurt him, so she showed some restraint I suppose. But it's no fun to now have to help her find a way to channel her frustration, and to find space without him. Hey, maybe it's b/c school is out so they are together every day, all day.

It's in the mid 90's here, and we're holding out on the a/c. We are spending lots of time at thepublic pool these days!

Liz - wise words. Being prenant with one is perhaps harder than having a newborn, at least it was for me, mentally and emotionally. Once the baby was here, no time to dwell on emotions or my mental state - wait, maybe that's not a better thing....
post #14 of 202
Digging us out from page 8!!!

I have to take some photos and share... we've had lots of rain and my lawn revived itself, everything looks great. Greg has a ton of energy again (and has started a ton of projects accordingly) and we just refurbished an old Rainbow Playwet- a freebie from a jobsite. The kids love it.

Tomorrow we meet with the lumberyard to work on a house plan for our addition. I don't think I'll be sad to have the kids move out of my room. No, I will be, but we could totally use some more space and new insulation.
post #15 of 202
subbing...had to find you guys again.

Uncomfortable as can be - due any day now!
post #16 of 202
Hi all!! I leave for Seattle with the kids on Thursday. And, get this, Anna broke her leg! OMG, I feel awful for her. She was climbing up into the front seat of our truck and turned to look at me, and fell right out, flat on her front, hard. She broke her tibia... it's a greenstick fracture. So she has a full leg cast, can't walk, but has learned how to scoot/crawl everywhere. She's almost had it for a week and she has to have it on for three weeks total. I'm hoping that it can come off while we're in seattle.

I'm at the great stage of pregnancy... no symptoms, nice small round belly, lots of energy. Whee!! I love it right now.

Stacy -- can't wait to hear about the birth!!

Becca -- I'm jealous of hot weather. I don't think we've been above 60 here... and normally in the low 50's. Boy do we have the sunlight, though!! It's really only dark at around 1-3am, then bright again, and all the birds are up squawking at 4am. That's actually annoying.

Jen -- how are you doing? Any easier with T?

Meg -- What's a playwet?
post #17 of 202
Thread Starter 
I'm guessing Meg meant playSet?

POOR ANNA!!! Of course I bet you're more traumatized about it than she is.

Pass some of that good-stage-of-pregnancy stuff this way. I'm 16 weeks and still feeling barfy and blah. On top of it my son is a whirling dervish who never stops making noise, and still has that combative, violent thing going. I'm exhausted. Blah, blah, blah.

We (he and I) are flying to my sister's today until Saturday. I hope it's fun, right now I'm just feeling like I'd rather climb into a hole than navigate airport security, make our plane transfer, etc. We're flying American and last time they were less than accommodating / helpful / anything nice... I am hoping this time will be better. I have decided to not bring the stroller because I'm only checking one bag and am ready to make a stink if they try to charge me $15 for checking my car seat. There is no way to travel with a child without a car seat and after the living hell they made my life last time when I tried to bring it on the plane, I'm NOT doing that again.

Send us positive vibes.

Stacy, wishing you an empowering, healthy and joyful birth!
post #18 of 202
Good luck Jen.... I couldn't handle plane flight now... it's for the super stable! which i haven't been in quiet some time!
post #19 of 202
Augs ~ Hoping Anna is feeling better soon. I can't believe how that can happen in the blink of an eye.

Jen ~ Good luck flying! I really hope they don't charge you too. That would be pretty lame.

I am going to a neurologist tomorrow and I am getting a bit freaked out. I have been having some weird, nebulous symptoms and had an MRI of my brain last week. The lame nurse at my docs office said it was inconclusive and that I was to make a neurology appointment. I called the neuro and they said they didn't have an appointment until August. So I brought over a copy of the radiologist report and they gave me and appointment for the 25 of June. Then, my docs office finally faxed my stuff to the neuro and they called me on monday and wanted to see me tomorrow. ARRRGGHH!!! Meanwhile, my symptoms seem to be escalating. I really hope I walk out of this appointment tomorrow at least knowing what is up and not just with a list of a ton of tests to get done.

Meanwhile, we are finally potty training Zeke and I have never had such a hard time with anything! As with everything, he makes it as difficult as possible -- he is the kids who wont do anything for himself including, dressing, putting his carseat straps on, sometimes eating -- and to add to the problem, Eli is obsessed with the toilet and putting his hand in it and I am feeling like crap and don't want to spend all day in the bathroom, literally holding his hands while he pushes!!!!!! I so need help!!!!

post #20 of 202

hugs to all

Hey there mamas!

Wow! sounds like there's lots of challenges out there right now! Poor mamas. Wish I could help, but I'm also up to my neck in naughty little monkeys, mine seem to be intent on playing with whatever the other one has in his or her hands at he moment.. lots of screaming crying and hitting. Yuck! Jasper is becoming very verbal as he approaches 2 and is strongwilled as they come. Mielle has been the whiniest little puke ever lately and it seems like i have to redirect her into asking nicely for every single thing, from getting her butt wiped to having a snack to going outside... grrrr.
However, from time to time, they snuggle together and laugh and tickle. They hold hands and run in the grass... they share snacks and take baths together, at night they give each other kisses and hugs before toddling off to seperate sleeping places. So, there is hope. Really.
Must post new photos some time, they are growing so big and beautiful.

Well the destruction of my livingroom that has taken place while i've been on the computer is reaching critical mass.... Jasper is approaching the shelf full of DVD's, must intervene..

Love to all
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