Monday, June 13, 2011

Feeling Frazzled and Worn

I've been out of the writing loop lately, I know.

This lack of writing has its reasons.

Specifically a 3 year old one.

The days of no nap time has descended.

.....DUH DUH DUH....

And quite honestly it's killing me.

It was hard enough (for me) when we took him out of pre-school a month ago.  No major reasons, it just wasn't making the budget cut if you know what I mean.

It was only 2 days a week but it was 2 days a week that I knew I had to get things accomplished.  Cleaning, groceries, errands, phone calls or simply to just relax and enjoy my time with the little guy.

Now on top of him not being in preschool he's now not napping ... ergo NO BREAK for Mommy.

I love my child more than the world.  And most of the time I do adore the age of 3 as much as it makes me bonkers.

These past 3 weeks have been pure madness.  I don't know what is going on in his little mind and I know in all reality and logic that he's not thinking to himself every morning when he wakes up, "I'm out to get my Mommy today...oh yeah...I'm gonna make her crazynuts ... I can't wait to make her mad, scream and possibly cry ... it's SO MUCH FUN to make her feel like she's on the edge of insanity.  I LOVE IT!"

*insert high pitched deranged laughter here*

Or maybe he is.

Like I said.  I have no idea.

This is what I get to deal with on pretty much a daily basis:  major tantrums in the middle of the grocery store because he wants "SUGAR!!!  I NEED SUGAR!"  or insisting he plays in the sprinkler on a day that's drizzly and not even remotely warm, pushing his brother down blatantly in front of me, taking Finley's toys away, telling me he doesn't like me, refusing to eat ANYTHING but insisting on drinking juice 24/7 which results in accidents because he thinks he's a camel and can hold it for all of eternity, refusing to wash his hands after using the washroom (why this is such a big deal to him I don't understand), defiantly ignoring me and everything that comes out of my mouth (this is probably the WORST thing to do to me), getting buck nekkid and climbing all over my bed sitting his bare ass on my pillows (clean or not this is not cool), climbing on and jumping off of every piece of furniture or surface in the house, using every toy as a weapon and tormenting our poor dog - or his brother, peeing basically anywhere he deems fit which is everywhere that it is the middle of parks, on our deck, on our front lawn in front of the entire neighbourhood (thankfully he does use the washrooms like a normal person when indoors), the constant challenge of every. single. thing. I say, that when he  actually brushes his teeth the first time I ask him to it's like the Gods have shined upon us for a moment.  I really feel like a good mother for that split second...I think "yes, I can handle this...I totally know what I'm doing".  And then he goes completely beserko, screaming and throwing his body down on the floor because he can't get the lid off the toothpaste....or he can't find his toothbrush (he only has 4 depending on his 'mood').

Reading back the list of what makes me feel like I'm about to go batshit bananas it doesn't sound SO bad I suppose.  The thing is, it's not like these things happen one at a time or even every couple of hours.  It's one after the next and it's usually when I'm trying to make lunch or dinner and his brother's cranky or the dog is barking or my husband's away.  It's the total culmination of EVERYTHING.  And nothing seems to work to rectify my child's behaviour.

I give time outs.

He screams and bangs and cries at his door.

I take toys away for the day and he fixates on that toy for the entire day which translates into more tantrums.

I ignore him, walk away.

He gets louder or decides to get my attention again by kicking or breaking something.

I get down to his level and ask him to talk to me - he won't even look at me and/or runs away.

It's losing battle and I feel like I'm failing every minute of the day with him.

To think ahead 10 years from now scares the bejesus outta me.

I am at my wit's end.  It's been 3 weeks of this and the madness needs to stop before I feel it necessary to check myself into a psych ward.

I'm tired, I'm frazzled, my nerves are shot and I feel at the end of the day that I've been physically, mentally and emotionally beaten down.

And that's when I run to my Mommy and Daddy.

That's right.  My husband's away and this Mumma is packin' up and headin' out for few days.

I'm goin' home.

And I can't wait.


Amber_D said...

We as mothers should get some kind of 30 day notice before they start giving up naps. I remember when my son stopped napping I thought I was going to absolutely lose it. There went the only 2 hours in the day when I could actually have some time to sit still for a moment or do things deemed otherwise unnecessary like, I don't know, shower?

Sorry it's been so tough. You aren't alone. Kids are total tyrants, but you love them so that keeps you from eating them or leaving them on a doorstep somewhere.

Hang in there!

Helene said...

OMG, your days sound just like mine!! The kids have been on summer break now for 2 weeks...maybe 3...I've lost count. And every day I feel like I've lost a few more brain cells.

Oh how I wish kids came with an "off" switch. Or at least a mute switch.

Today we were at the pool and one of my 4-year olds had a total meltdown, screaming, "Mommy" as loud as he could over and over again, while everyone stared at me. Winning? More than likely, no.

I hope you have a fabulous time hanging out with your parents!! It'll be nice for you to have a break and get some help with the kids!!!

paradigmjohn said...

When all else fails my sweets, abandon rational thought and tackle him to the ground and tickle him till his tears are of laughter...Maybe, juuuuust maybe he will forget for the moment what the heck he was losing his lid over!

At the very least it might be a tension break for you and Fin will surely be entertained by your antics. :)

Love you, Miss you guys!

Love you!

Lisa said...

Oh honey. I am so sorry. PJ is only 2 and some and he doesn't always listen either. But he's so sweet and cute and adorable all the other times. You're a great mommy. We all learn as we go along.

Robin-Lee said...

Yes- I remember those days when I thoroughly understood why some animals eat their young!

However, let me assure you of 2 things: 1.Everything you said sounds about normal... whatever THAT looks like!
2.I PROMISE you it does get easier.

I did the TERRIBLY TRYING TIRING THREES as a single parent- mind you without another child or a dog that he could torture- & I understand the pure exhaustion- & the desire just to go pee without wondering what he's gotten into in that 30 seconds. But this too shall pass! Take comfort in knowing that every mother who has ever had a 3 year old boy understands what you're going through! Oh- & ignore the stares in the grocery store- they're either sympathizing or haven't had kids- in which case who really gives a damn what they think!
Above all- may I recommend early bedtimes so you can have time for YOU!

Ado said...

Hi my dear. Glad you reached out. I don't know if anyone has told you this - but "3" is the new terrible twos. No one told me - I had to find it out for myself. 3 was the hardest year for me w. Ella. Also she is "spirited" - way more so than her older sister. My girlfriends & I have also noticed that babies & kids who are super smart are harder for moms to handle. I consoled myself w. this knowledge when she was 3 b/c I think she is also unusually smart - which means I have to outsmart her & that's hard! There are some good books I've read that have helped me (Raising Your Spirited Child etc.) - also, and this might not apply to you but in my case I had to be really firm about having and keeping a bottom line - because one thing I learned about spirited kids is they desperately need a consistent routine & clear limits (another challenge for me!):
1. I had to really watch her diet, meaning that unlike her sister, she totally goes ballistic/has tantrums if she doesn't get protein every 3-4 hours so I always make sure she has her protein.
2. I had to really limit processed sugar, i.e. for her sugar is meth so I'd let her have a fruit popsicle but only after a protein etc. I don't give her sugary cereals, juice drinks (she drinks water) and watch for "hidden sugar" in foods. She can have treats but I've really seen a corollation between her moods & her sugar intake, which is something I can control.
3. The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child saved me also - not as much w. my younger one as w. my older - if she misses even 1 hour of sleep it really affects her ability to cope. This book showed me how big a deal getting enough sleep is for the child's mood & development. It also helped me w. what I could expect for different ages re. sleep (which gave me a break I needed too). Also, counter-intuitively - the earlier they go to bed, the longer they sleep in - the later they get to bed the earlier they get up!! Who knew? So...look at the sleep habits too, and get this book.
4. Consistent routine: this is a real challenge for me but I took a look at how "good" E. is at school compared to home & realized (and in her own words) it's because "she does the same thing at school every day." I'm not good at schedules/routines but I do try to have things as regular as possible w. her b/c she is a kid who really likes her routine & her "same" environment & when things are chaotic or different, she feels less secure and gets moody & difficult.
5. I find it helps to "catch her being good" - it's easy for me to scold her or give her my "full" attention when she's acting out & doing something negative, so I wanted to get out of this pattern & tried instead to ignore the bad behaviors, but go out of my way to "catch" her being good & praise her for it. It takes about a week to see a change here but try this, it might work.
6. Last tip that REALLY helped me: it's easy to get caught up in the family unit, being altogether etc. - but each kid needs my focused, full-on attention, even if it's only for a 15 minute period. So I do this most days - I let E. choose something (usually a game), I get down on her level in her room (or wherever she chooses) and for a period of time I give her my FULL attention - if we're building blocks, I follow her (instead of saying "Let's build a house" I let her choose, then I mirror what she's doing w. my words, i.e., "You're building a want me to use the yellow blocks..." etc. - so this time is all hers, and I "follow" her.) I read this in a book once - it sounds silly but it's really been a great help. Also you have to give yourself a week or 2 with new behaviors to see a difference - does NOT happen overnight! GOOD LUCK. I hope that helps.