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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I almost made a new username to post this, it feels so icky, but then decided it would be melodramatic. I'm not at all opposed to being melodramatic, but prefer to use it for comic effect.


Cub is getting on my last damn nerve these days. He's almost 4, I have an almost 1yo as well. He wants me to play with him CONSTANTLY, and that's simply not possible. His brother needs and deserves attention, there are household tasks that need to be completed, I need a wee bit of time for a yoga routine which is NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK, DAMMIT! It's exhausting to be "fully present" 18 hours a day, I'm sure you're all familiar with that!

I've emptied my bag of tricks. I've tried including him in the non-play stuff I need to get done, I don't mind it taking longer if he does it with me. No, he wants to play pretend. Which is wonderful. Except that it has to include me. And is inevitably about Good Guys and Bad Guys and being attacked and knocking out and being knocked out which I understand is developmentally appropriate but I HATE IT and I'M SICK OF IT. Any other plot. Anything. Please. (Where the hell does this come from anyway? He's not exposed to it on TV or movies, his dad doesn't like playing those games either, he doesn't read those sorts of books. WHERE?)

Can we go to the park and play with kids? Nope. Don't want to. Which I also understand, because his friends have suddenly reached the "This person is my friend and this person isn't and this person is allowed to play and this person is not" stage, and he has a hard time understanding that and just gets his feelings hurt. But still. It's an outlet that isn't there as often as I'd like anymore. Scouts? nope. Preschool? nope.

"When children are grumpy put them in water." Except that I have to be there. Constantly. Thus, so does his brother. Which sometimes works out and sometimes doesn't.

Starting a project and letting him finish on his own? nope. Telling him to go start <building a train track, cutting pictures for a collage, digging a hole in the yard> and I'll be there in a moment? nope.

No matter where I walk in the house, he's holding on to the back of my pants. It's driving me insane.

And I know, theoretically, that the road to independence is not a straight line. I know that it meanders, and it's always been two-steps-forward-one-step-back. I know that one day he won't ask me to play and it'll break my heart. I know that I sound like a selfish b*tch. I know I know I know.

But it's still making me nuts. And I'm not reacting at all the way I think I should. And I'm afraid that it's showing (to him).

So I'm venting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thmom
someday it will get better
I feel so guilty complaining, because I know that the behavioral bumps that we're experiencing are NOTHING compared with what other parents on this board handle. I know it'll get better. I just want to behave better, myself, until then!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Originally Posted by maya43
Is pre-school a no because he does not want to? Has he tried it?

IT sounds like he is desperate for friends and pre-school for a few hours a few days a week is a good outlet for this.
Oooooh yeah, we tried. That was another thread. I thought it was what he needed, but despite many varied approaches (alternative dropper-offers, staying for a bit, being business-like, shameless bribery, manymany bedtime conversations) he was never willing to go unless his little brother and I could stay. He enjoyed the kids there, though his reports were always of who was rude and who got a time-out (I think he was pretty stoked that
other kids BESIDES HIM have guidelines to follow!). It ended in tears every time, and he was never happy at the end of the day, no matter how much fun he had in between. He didn't seem to be learning what I wanted him to learn, kwim? This school was ideal. If it didn't fly there, it ain't flying anywhere. It was the same zoo where he'd gone to Critter Classes as a 2yo, same teacher that he adored, we stayed for playdates after. I can't imagine how to make it a better experience, and he still hated it. Resigned acceptance was teh best reaction we ever got, and that's not what I wanted for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Originally Posted by honey
Oh, I have SO been there. Please forgive me if you are already familiar with the continuum concept theory and most especially this article which very well may not apply to you, but someone posted this article here once and it totally blew me away. Hang in there!
I really liked the Continuum Concept. I incorporated many of the ideas into my parenting process. Our attitude has always been "This is what our family needs to do today" and up until very recently his greatest joy has been to be a part of it ("fold" clothes, find food at the market, pull weeds). I don't think we've been terribly child-centered, but I do believe that "a need met ...".

I'm just having a hard time with the (probably typical) 4yo dichotomy of being So. Very. Clingy. and yet saying things like "Mommy, sometimes you're annoying. And sometimes a little bit boring." The adolescent in me wants to roll my eyes at him and scream "THEN GO AWAY!!!!!" Gak.

I can certainly understand that he gets bored and/or frustrated with our company -- THAT'S WHY I WANT HIM TO GO TO <Spiral Scouts, Preschool, Park Playdates, Pool Playdates, Music Class, etc>. Yet I'm unwilling to drag him, kicking and screaming, to these occasions and leave him a sodden heap of hopeless, tearstained boy until the designated pick-up time. I want him to WANT TO GO. God, how do I get him to want to goooooo?????
 

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Pallas - I gotta say, you're using melodrama to very good comic effect! I say that with much affection, 'cause I'm cracking a grin from ear to ear and occasionally chuckling reading this thread. My DS will be 4 in February (and my DD will be 1 in January), and he's much the same way your DS is (although probably not to the extreme of your DS). Pretty much everything out of his mouth is "Mommy, pretend you...." Over and over and over. I don't have any advice to share (I will be watching this thread for REAL advice) - just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain.
 

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I have a dd the same age.
A couple things that help me when I am "pretend" played out:

I will play with her, but will insist that it *not* be a pretend game (not "be-this-be-that" as we call it
). A board game, a sport, read books, whatever...just so I don't have to "be" anything other than mommy!!!

I put on music. A lot of times, this changes the dynamics entirely--and often facilitates independent play for her.

What about inviting a friend to your house? Just one child at a time for one-on-one play?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by sunnmama
What about inviting a friend to your house? Just one child at a time for one-on-one play?
I confess, I don't do this NEARLY as often as I should. I always feel that my house shoudl be in order, good snacks available, etc. It sounds ridiculous to deny my kid a playdate because the floor needs mopping, doesn't it? Oy. At least I know I'm crazy. So many people haven't come to that self-realization yet.

I vow to encourage more at-home playdates even when my house is a mess.
 

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:LOL I am not laughing at you, I am laughing with you. I also have a very spirited almost 4 year old. I turn DD's "let's pretend" games on their ear. So if she wants to pretend she's me and I'm her (her favorite at the moment), well, then, I go clean her room!
DD has to be involved in laundry, cooking, well, everything I do including using the toilet! Some days it can be totally frustrating, and I really do sympathise. I can usually put some music on and dance with her, and pick things up in the process, turn other activities into part of the dancing - PLUS, I get some much needed exercise!

I also have a hard time inviting people over when the house is a mess, but really, I know they don't care! I know deep down inside, that they run through their house, cleaning like crazy right before we go over there, that their houses probably look more like mine most of the time than they look all sparkly clean when we go to playdates there...
 

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Umm excuse me, but did you kidnap my child and add a penis? :LOL

Akk! My dd is the SAME EXACT way!!! She does have moments of playing by herself, but it's all about pretend play while her toys just sit there. ANd here comes birthday, Christmas and a new slew of toys that she doesn't need or want - either that or more dolls for me to "do the voices". We plan on homeschooling, mostly because of her personality of not wanting to leave me (other factors, but this started the thought process). LAtely, she doesn't want to go anywhere, but I attribute that to me being pg, m/s and lots of colds making me not want to leave. I hope that changes when Jan1 st comes around and life is hopefully saner and healthier!

I sometimes do the "If we pretend, then let's go clena your room or whatever" thing. I try the "no pretend, just board game, etc" thing but it rarely works. She does sometimes like to help me with chores. Today she was beside herself with excitement to dust and clena the bathroom and mop the floors. But I waiting too long to start and the excitement wore off.
:LOL

Anyway, just wanted to commisserate. I try to remind myself that it won't always be this way. Sometimes it works, sometimes...
 

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the thing that immediately jumped to my mind is... wait a few months. I've never really had to deal with this problem too much, for 2 reasons, I think:
1. my kids' personalities
2. my kids play with each other

My children are closer together in age than yours, but I find that often they can meet each others' needs for play, and leave me out of it
That doesn't mean that I don't interact with them, but since they have a playmate in each other, I'm simply not as neccesary.

I've noticed in the last month that my oldest (4.5+) and youngest (just turned 1) play together really well. Not constantly or consistently (YET), but they can easily entertain each other for a half an hour to hour with no help from me. I suspect that they will continue to develop a friendship and will play more independantly as they grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by annethcz
My children are closer together in age than yours, but I find that often they can meet each others' needs for play, and leave me out of it
That doesn't mean that I don't interact with them, but since they have a playmate in each other, I'm simply not as neccesary.

I've noticed in the last month that my oldest (4.5+) and youngest (just turned 1) play together really well. Not constantly or consistently (YET), but they can easily entertain each other for a half an hour to hour with no help from me. I suspect that they will continue to develop a friendship and will play more independantly as they grow.
I'm hoping that as my 1yo gets older that'll happen for us, too. *crosses fingers*
 
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