Thursday, September 25, 2014

When is enough enough? Parenting version

I believe I asked this question when first ttc - when is enough enough? Now way on the other side of trying to conceive, with two kids, I ask, when it comes to being patient with your kid when they're freaking out, when is enough enough?

Last night I checked out the Peaceful Parenting book on Amazon. I am interested to read it, but I will say based on the reviews I kind of know what my reaction will be - mainly that I pretty much already do the things in the book, and that in some extreme circumstances nothing in the book will work. Honestly, there's only so much laughing and playing a game you can do when your kid is having a massive irrational meltdown. As I discovered today.

Had an exhausting, maddening trip to the playground. School must have been out for Jewish New Year because the park was lousy with big kids. I spent much of the day trying to keep B away from the big kids' scooters, bikes, toys, balls, and water guns. Which sucked. My friend and I opted to take the kids to lunch, which also went poorly. It was gratifying to me to see that my friend, who I consider a terrific, energetic mom, was equally fed up with our kids' craziness. When we got home, B was ok for a while...I planned on spending some special time with him reading books and making sun tea while the baby practiced sitting up in his crib. This was ok until it wasn't. The ear-splitting screaming started. Then the irrational "take this - why did you take it?!?!?" bullshit started. I tried to get him to eat something for dinner - no dice. Thought I might try to put on his pj's thinking maybe he was just too tired to eat and needed sleep (even though he'd had an hour nap a few hours before). He started throwing things and screaming. I felt that rage rising. I wanted to hurt him. Thankfully I just calmly placed him in his room while mumbling "I'm done". He screamed in his room while the baby screamed in his room.

And I wasn't shaking and upset like last time I had to put him in there due to non- stop tantrums (his 2nd birthday six months ago). I just knew he had to be away from me for everyone's best interests. And I remembered the times when my mother shut me in my room when I was non-stop tantrumming and wouldn't listen to reason at this age, and how much I hated it. But honestly...what the hell else do you do when it gets to that point? I wonder if the book has an answer for that, other than calmly placing your child somewhere where they can calm down? 

So I listened to both of my children screaming while thinking idontcareidontcareidontcare.

When B seemed to have settled down I asked him through the door if he was ready for dinner. He said, "dinner". Then I asked if he could say "I'm sorry, mommy." And his little voice said, "I'm sorry, mommy." So I opened the door and gave hugs and I love yous and we proceeded to have a lovely evening of dinner, tooth brushing, pajamas and nighttime songs. Like nothing happened. Shortly after the baby finally settled down, too.

Maybe I need to adjust my expectations. So far B had been pretty easy but the last month has been fucking brutal. A friend told me every six months kids go through a major leap and consequently have a hard time; it would make sense as B is 2 1/2 and T at six months is wracked with compulsive sitting/crawling/rolling and has also been having a hard go of it. If we're going to have more days/nights like this, I think staying calm and not letting it eat my soul away while also not letting B walk all over me is probably a good tactic. 

Well, tomorrow is preschool. So, there's that.


  1. oh mama, big big hug to you. We are just starting the terrible twos but your post reminded me of my sister's trials with her first who was labeled as "spirited". She had a large walk-in closet that she turned into the time out room. It had a sheepskin, a blanket and some legos - all doctor/therapist approved. There were times when Riley would be punching her in the jaw as two of us lifted him onto the sheepskin. He's now 27, stunning and sweet as pie. I don't have any suggestions or remedies for you as I too am just starting this section of parenting. My only thing i can offer is that from seeing what my sister went through, I can tell you eventually it will end. Big hug to you and remember, you are a kick ass mom.

  2. I think what you did sounds like the best solution for all in a situation like that. I think the milestones/growth every 6 months sounds about right. Like the "wonder weeks" book that explains the different leaps in development for the first year(ish).

  3. Oh I love that "take this - why did you take it?!?!" crap. It's enough to drive me absolutely crazy! I think the best any of us can do is just put them somewhere safe and walk away.

  4. It's really, really difficult. Even with twelve hugs per day. I hear you.