Friday, August 21, 2009

Over the edge

It has been made clear to me over the last two months that my son has absolutely no understanding of discipline. Or maybe he does and it is just blatant disregard for my authority as a parent. Either way I have reached my breaking point and am now being DRIVEN OVER THE EDGE.

Mason has been acting like a brat. A huge spoiled brat. Admittedly, I am mostly to blame. When it was just the two of us I doted on him as if he was the only thing in the world. And I would buy him things. Lots of things. If I was out and happened to see a toy, a video, clothes or a snack that Mason would like; I bought it. Even now with two kids I am finding it hard to stop this habit. Mason has an obsession with cars and I totally feed that obsession. To the point that I am becoming obsessed myself. Determined to have my son own each and every, including the obscure ones, character from that damn movie. I go to Target and scout out the selection, see they have a rare item and snag it. I'm not entirely sure if I need a twelve step program or what, but I can't seem to help it. I love to shop for my kids. Buying things for them makes me happy. It's one way I express my love, and for them to know just how immensely I do. (*This topic is an entirely new blog entry in and of itself that I will get into on a later date.) Now my intention has been not to give it to him right away. Instead wait for his Birthday, Christmas or some other grand event like being potty trained. However, seeing as I am never without the kids, it is hard to hide such purchases from him. And, if you are a parent, you know it's about as easy to convince a kid he can't have the toy you just bought as it is for our government to find Osama Bin Laden. My second fatal error occurred sometime while pregnant with Sophie. Blame it on the fact that if I wasn't sick, I was tired, or physically unable because well I was just big and pregnant. The simple truth is that I got lazy, and in turn let Mason get away with MURDER. At the time it was easier for me to not deal with it. Today, I am having a very lonely pity party over the fact that I should have listened to that little voice screaming inside my head to not let him to this, or say that, etc., even if it was easy right then, because I WOULD REGRET IT later.

To add fuel to the fire; I've never been one that could easily keep my cool when things SERIOUSLY PISSED ME OFF. Especially when it comes to loved ones. If you ask my husband, it doesn't take much to set me off. This could be due to him knowing me so well that he tends to push my buttons more easily, and unintentionally I'm sure, or plain and simple; I have anger issues. I claim the former. Either way; parenthood seems to have amplified this unattractive character trait. I am not proud of this fact. Honestly, if I could be more level headed like my husband and stay cool and calm in these situations instead of having my head turn 360 degrees, spewing nonsensical crap; I might have a higher success rate. Half the time Mason thinks it's just a game when I send him to time out, never staying put and laughing when I drag him back. At best, he immediately hugs me repeating, "it's o.k. mommy. It's o.k." When he really wants to try my patience he talks back as if he was a teenager and can even been seen running up the stairs and slamming his door. REALLY?! He's almost 3 going on 13. I find scenes like the one in Target the other day; my son laying on the ground thrashing and carrying on and me clearly exasperated; all because I wouldn't spend another 30 minutes looking at all the cars in the toy aisle. I'm suddenly THAT mom. The one who knows I should drop everything, leave the full cart of groceries and just walk out of the store the minute he throws one of his tantrums, but find myself trying every desperate attempt to get him to stop. Trust me; dropping to their level, squeezing their arms to the breaking point and angrily whispering threats 2 inches from their face is not very effective. I don't praise myself for losing control, having my own temper tantrum and needing a time out. Quite honestly it's down right embarrassing. But this is who I become when frustrated. THE SCREAMER. In fact, Mason has been pushing my buttons so often I am sure he thinks me yelling is just my normal tone. You realize some drastic changes need to be made once your child starts to emulate your parenting style in his random playful conversations.

It's not easy to hear how absolutely crazy you sound when it comes out of the mouth of your two year old. Not to mention certain phrases that should never be uttered at his age. So here I am, desperate and barely hanging on. I've tried everything I can think to get him to behave. I watch other parents and wonder, how can I get my son to listen and obey? Clearly I am doing it wrong, but how do I fix it? I realize that kids won't behave 100% of the time and I wouldn't expect them to either. Kids act out, see how far they can push, it's all a part of growing up. But there is a line, and when it gets crossed punishment ensues. In a perfect world kids would accept that punishment with a smile and move on. But as we all know, and the title of this blog states, it's anything but. Currently I am taking the approach of hitting him where it hurts the most. No I am not talking about physically beating him. Tempting, but I'm not THAT insane. I have taken away all his cars and trains. However, while packing them all up I heard him saying, "and this one too mommy," handing me one of his toy cars. Not sure he is taking this seriously. I think he thinks he'll get them all back once I calm down and get over it. But I am trying to stay firm and hold my ground and not cave even if he drives me nuts with no toys to occupy him. Let's see how a few days to a week registers with him. Maybe he'll get it then. Or maybe I am overreacting and need to learn to let the "little things" go. And how can you be sure what the little things are? I don't know. The ONLY thing I do know, is that we are somehow surviving. And maybe that's what parenting is all about. Surviving. Not whether you are "Super Mom", or your children are the model of perfection, but that everyone is still alive at the end of the day. Because even if my days seem to feel as if I am on the front lines I still love my kids and always will.
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  1. I'm not sure if you are looking for advice, but I swear by Supernanny's techniques. My kids are older than yours, but I do remember those times. I also spoil mine, even to this day, often because I feel guilty about having them so early. It never works in my favor....Remember that you are doing the most difficult job on earth, and it's good enough that they are healthy and happy. Don't be too hard on yourself.

  2. -->The best advice I received before having my son was that you want to raise your kid to be the neighbor you'd like and not your best friend. I think we all lose our cool at times but consistency is key. Your son will realize the loss of priviledges are for real soon enough. Keep the faith!

  3. Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.