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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

That Mom

I have no control of my three year old. I really don't. In so many ways, he's the best kid in the world, in other ways, he's not. He doesn't listen to me. He's very angry with me about this baby who decided to invade our house! Mostly, he's having a hard time with the million changes in his life over the past five months or so.

A few days ago, I took the boys to the pediatrician for Daniel's 4-month well check up (FOUR MONTHS!). Nathan was NUTS. He ran from the room twice, laughing maniacally all the way. I couldn't even communicate with the doctor, because if I stopped paying attention to him, he'd do something. It was so frustrating.

When we left the office, everyone was looking at me with pity.

Later that day, I took the boys to the park just a few blocks from us. Once we got there, Nathan decided he didn't want to be there. I forcibly removed him from the car. He played for a little while, and then decided to play in the water fountain, because he's a three year old boy. After he was crazy drenched, I decided it was time to go home. Nathan disagreed and was completely uncooperative. Daniel decided to melt down at that time too. So, I'm dragging a little boy and pushing an hysterical baby in the stroller. This woman getting into her car rocked Daniel in the stroller while I strapped Nathan into the car, a ridiculously long process. After I got everything put together, the woman looked at me with something more than pity. I think it was a little disgust.

Sometimes I think about what my dad keeps saying: I had no idea what I was in for by having (God forbid) two kids. Sometimes I think I ruined Nathan's life. But this baby. He's so wonderful. I know that Nathan loves him too. It's just hard right now. I've got to muddle through the judgment that I'm receiving. I've got to deal with my horrible impatient heart. I know that Nathan is a good boy, but it's just a rough time.

I'm that mom who has the little boy who acts like a little boy going through a tough time. I'm that mom whose infant cries a lot. I'm that mom who is a little impatient (a lot actually) and isn't always proud of what I say to my child. I'm that mom. The real one.


Janet said...

Hi! Will you indulge me a quick bossy moment? Pretty please? Okay here goes.

Be gentle on yourself! You are doing a great job! Other people are not looking at you with the disgust that you think they are. And so what if they are. I really think you are probably doing much better than you think you are, and you should not be so hard on yourself.

(Easy coming from a non-parent, right? But really, I do mean it.)

Becca said...

Accept help from other mothers you see out in public. I think if she was disgusted she would have walked away, or said something snarky. She's probably been there!

You're right about this being a transition time. It gets so much better. Don't listen to the judgers.

Marianne said...

You girls are awesome. I was obviously having a fit of self-pity yesterday. It's just so weird... This feeling that no matter what you do is wrong - in my eyes, in the little man's eyes (and his behavior)...

I keep asking other moms if their eldest had the same sort of struggles and I invaribly get "no. He/she loved being a helper." so, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong. He just seems so miserable.

Anyway, thank you.

Sarah said...

I am just going to say something that might make me sound like a jerk: 3 year-olds just SUCK. They can't help it. It's who they are. 4 year-olds, in my experience, are a bit more clam but 400% sassier, so there's that.

It;'s actually a good sign that he is such a PITA-- he's secure and knows you love him no matter what. Our doctors appointments are typically total chaos, too-- it happens.

We have ALL been there- don't beat yourself up.

Mrs Lemon said...

echoing Sarah - I'm so ready to get past this it's not even funny.

The other day Zach was doing his typical "lay down on the ground because I don't want to walk" trick, in the rain. Chris was in the dr's office with Kelsey, she needed shots, and so I'm standing there in the rain with Gracie wiggling to get out of one arm, and the other arm is stretched to the ground with Zachary. Another kind mom suggested she hold Gracie while I take care of Zach, and thankfully I recognized she was just trying to help, so I was polite when I told her "no, I think I'm going to let him lay here and get wet. He'll learn."

But yeah, it's awful and I don't know how we'll all get through this, but clearly Moms do it, because we are grown up now ourselves.

Swimming-duck said...

((hugs))I've felt like this with just one kiddo sometimes! I think Nathan's behavior is very normal for his age and for the fact that he's adjusting to being a sibling. Some kiddos might take more naturally to the helper role, but every child's different. I've been asking around about the adjustment from one to two because I'm nervous about it and I've heard tons of stories that are similar to yours. One of the recommendations I got from several moms who've been there done that is the book "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk" as a way to help address and validate the feelings of the older child. I've started reading it and I'm hoping that it helps.

Also, don't be so hard on yourself. We all have that loving ideal of how we'd like to be as a mom and it always fall short of reality. This is just life - no one's perfect. We can just strive to handle things better/ differently in the future. But I for one fall short of my own ideals on a daily basis. I'm trying to learn to have more grace with myself. After all my little one is very quick to forgive me when I've been too harsh with him. So why should I hold on to a defeatist attitude? I feel like I'm sounding preachy here - not trying to - I can just so relate and I can tell from your posts that you and I both are too hard on ourselves when it comes to mothering.

Shannon said...

i think what makes it so hard are those people, little and big, who can't be supportive. you can expect it from the kids, like nathan, who have to deal with all the changes but it's those adults who cast their judging eyes.

nathan will adjust but he'll have his moments. my 13 year old, yep 13, thinks i have ruined his life with this toddler beast. he'll probably think that for at least another 5 or so years. luckily, nathan will probably have a lot more good times than bad once he gets threw these terrible 3's. i don't know who came up with the terrible 2's. they were totally wrong. so it's not you, nathan's to blame. hehehe

liam is one of those kids that bounces off the walls wherever he goes. in the beginning i tried so hard to control him. but then i decided it was easier on me to just let him bounce. he's not like other kids with normal energy levels. i still see people with that look on their face but i know how the world works. they'll either end up with a child/grandchild worse than liam or one will move in next door.

did i ever tell you the story about sean and flying. sean used to fly a lot before we got married and it seemed every flight he was on had the dreaded screaming baby. he hated it when he saw any baby board a plane, to the point he thought they should make it against the law for babies to fly. well, several later his karma kicked in. we had liam who started screaming at one month and didn't stop for nine months.

so now every time i come across someone who is just a little too high and mighty, i snicker to myself. they'll get theirs. it's just a matter of time.

so stop thinking you're horrible. you're not. you're human and even mother teresa would have a hard time dealing with a 3 year old 24,7. we got your back.

Carrie said...

Real, indeed. Hang in there it will get better!!!!