It brings me back to a question I posed before having B, though - why do women consider natural childbirth a "goal"? Why is "seeing how far you can get without an epidural" considered something to strive for? I mean, man, that pain is unreal, and can go on for hours, even days. In the old days women had no choice but to suffer. Why on earth would anyone choose that if they had an alternative, unless their head was full of those one in a million bad reactions? I just don't get it.
But anyway, back to me being exhausted and distracted. As always my mind is full of B, and especially how our home life, and particularly my life, has deteriorated to absolute shit over the last few weeks, and is getting worse and worse by the day. Why? Because B won't stop hitting me or chucking things at my head. That's why.
He's not even doing it to be a brat. He doesn't do these things when angry, tired, or frustrated. He does them when we are having a nice time together playing and he gets all riled up and wants to have more fun. It is maddening. Yesterday I attempted to take him up to the playroom in the afternoon after I'd run myself ragged at a playground all morning and just couldn't face running around chasing him at yet another playground all afternoon, too. Did he play with any of his toys up there? Nope. He just kept climbing on to the daybed and hitting me. Or throwing toys in my face. I kept telling him no, no hitting, no throwing, and dunking him on the floor, sometimes explaining why, sometimes not. He would cry for half a second, not liking being on the floor, and then climb back on the bed and immediately start hitting me again like nothing just happened. This went on for hours. I finally just stood up and put my face out of the skylight to breathe, completely fed up and not knowing what the hell to do in the hours still left before dinner. I took us downstairs and sat in the kitchen staring into space, since we can't go into the living room anymore because he no longer listens to me when I tell him to stop touching things, and again just climbs onto the couch or chair with me and starts hitting me.
So I stared into space for two hours just waiting for time to pass while he played around me. Then this morning it all started all over again - comes into my bedroom at 6:30 (after I've had about four hours' sleep), climbs on the bed, and starts hitting me. I try to redirect. I tell him no a thousand times. I dunk him on the floor. I explain over and over why he's being put on the floor. He cries. Then climbs on the bed and hits me. When he chucked both heavy TV remotes right at my head, I just snapped.
I just put him out of the room and shut the door, so he would only have access to the safe hallway and his room, also safe. But not my room. And he cried. And I didn't care. Not one bit. I laid down and for the first time in weeks didn't have to worry if he was about to get hurt, hurt me, or destroy something. I was so tired I just didn't give a shit about anything.
When I went out to get him later, he was asleep on the carpet. I woke him up and took him in for breakfast and it was like nothing ever happened. He was his usual jolly self.
And you know what? I might try this again tomorrow. Anything on earth is better than being beaten up by your child for hours while you are eight months pregnant, horribly sleep deprived, and facing another day of chasing him around playgrounds all day just so he can get out his energy.
So I'll change his sodden diaper. I'll dress him and give him snacks and drinks. I'll give him tons of safe toys. I'll give him hugs and kisses. But I will not give him the opportunity to throw things in my face and hit me again and again. Short of beating the crap out of him, which I refuse to do and which will no doubt not accomplish anything anyway, this is what I need to do to survive. In the mornings he just has to be somewhere else. And I really don't care if he likes it or not. I'm over it. It's either this or pop out of bed at six AM, immediately get us up and fed and dressed, and immediately get out of the house so he can run around all day from 7 AM until 5 PM. No, and no. And especially no when there's a new baby!!!
If I cared about his comfort level we would still be co-sleeping and he would still be keeping me up all night nursing every hour on the hour. Disbelieve all you want - I have a friend with a two-year-old who is in just this situation. It can happen very easily if you don't put your foot down.
So I am going to call this Wake Training. I have no idea if I will be successful in any way. But I have to do something or I will literally lose my mind. And this kind of thing - Bumpus rough housing around and being dangerous - is going to have major ramifications when there is a fragile newborn in the house.
Just in case you're wondering I have done extensive googling on this issue, and much to my mixed pleasure/disappointment, this issue is very common. And it always is right at this age - just shy of two - and often has nothing to do with being frustrated because they can't communicate, or need attention, etcetera. They are usually just playing and pushing boundaries. So he's not a sociopath or a bad kid; he's completely normal. And it's almost always something that only happens at home when he's bored. And guess what - pretty much all of the anecdotal evidence I've read about this phase says there's really nothing you can do about it. Say no, of course. Distract, remove, all of that. But most women have found, like me, that nothing works. It's just something you have to power through, and can drag on for months. So for now I need to just limit the situations where it can happen. And be glad that right now I am his only target.
I hate the toddler phase with the heat of a thousand suns.