Friday, 20 April 2012

To whom does this child belong?

Certainly not me. Or at least I don't recognise him as my child.

The night he was born is obviously one that will stay in my head for my whole life. I remember sitting there after Tim had gone home. Noah was in my arms, his tiny hands crossed on his tummy and his little bottom lip was all pouty. He looked like a little old man.

That night as I fell in love with him, I had no inkling that 3 years down the road our relationship would be so hard sometimes, or that he would become the child he has become {in the good sense of the word as well as the challenging sense}. When he was younger he was so well behaved. Even after he entered toddlerhood, he was pleasantly behaved, and I enjoyed his company. People told me to look out for the "terrible twos". It was fine.

Then he turned 3! And everything went to pot. His struggle for independence and to be the one who calls the shots tests my parenting skills to the max everyday. The screaming! What is that about? He doesn't talk to us normally anymore, it's at 100 decibels and he reminds me of a mad person. Even when requesting a drink.

The indecision drives me crackers. He asks for weetabix so I make it, he then screams at me "I said porridge". He clearly didn't, but he won't be told. He asks to watch "Cars", before I've even managed to start the film he's requested two different programs. His relationship with Benjamin needs some practise. Now Ben is mobile, and wanting to explore Noah's toys, there is a lot of hitting and screeching at Benjamin, who looks at me with this look on his face as if to say "what on earth is he doing?". But this week I heard Benjamin cry, and when I looked round, Noah had both of his hands around Ben's neck and was squeezing them. It's fair to say I lost control of the volume of my voice.

I would estimate he gets put on the naughty step on average 12 times a day. So I ask myself does this method of discipline actually work? He says sorry, gives me a hug and says "I love you". I ask what he's sorry about? His response is always "don't know". So is he apologising to get off so he can move onto his next round of destruction or is he genuinely sorry?


I could go on and on about how he refuses to listen to instructions, ignores what we say to him, throws toys/books/food. Now when he's on the naughty step he's started going to the toilet in his pants as a way of defying me.

I wonder what I did wrong, and have to try very hard to remember he is 3, and that this is his way of testing his boundaries and to see what he can and can't get away with. But when I'm in the midst of a nuclear meltdown {especially if his display is in front of the strange and judgemental species of people that are the general public} I find it hard to think clearly and find myself doing whatever it takes to restore the calm. Sometimes I ignore the behaviour when I shouldn't, I know I shout more than I should and my tone of voice needs work.

When I go in to check on him whilst he's asleep, my heart breaks open if we have had a challenging day. I feel immense guilt and overwhelming love for that little boy. He looks so gorgeous when he's asleep and I think "how can you shout at him?". I then vow to not do it again. But next morning, most likely before I've even finished my first cup of tea, I've had reason to discipline him once more. I remember my Dad saying to me when Noah was a baby "he knows you love him by the way you talk to him". That stuck with me, but now I feel awful as the way I talk to him is not always very nice.

This Mummy thing is hard.



9 comments:

  1. Bless you. It does get better, honestly. There have been times when I could have quite gladly sold my children on the side of the road. You just have to weather the storm and hold on to the good days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, we do have good days. I need to blog about those too, then I will have evidence that sometimes he is a joy to be around;)

      Delete
  2. Just remember this saying, "No condition is permanent" it helped me keep going all those years ago..

    Every age of children brings new challenges, but as Mums we are amazing, don't forget that.

    BTW my youngest is now 24 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying so hard to cherish the baby and young days, but exhaustion certainly does not make this any easier. My mum tells me stories About me like this though..karma? Haha

      Delete
  3. Maybe by "the way you talk to him" doesn't just mean talking nice and quiet. It could mean shouting and disciplining as well

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my word, I read this and so relate to you. Every day brings new challenges and as Lady Banana said, so does every age/phase. I feel like we have been in our current 'phase' forever with DD2 - she still behaves like a toddler sometimes at the age of 10! It's tough being a mummy. I am learning not to beat myself up too much, every day is a new day and trying to remember the things I love about my child rather than the things I struggle with. If only they came with an instruction manual eh?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that would be much easier. It'd like you get a clear month or so and then the next thing starts;)

      Delete
  5. Hope he gets better soon, on the plus side not long til he can go off to school! Dylan is a well behaved 8 month old but I'm sure every child tests the boundaries at some point! x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found a very helpful blog post recently that has been a source of comfort and advice to me when my own little toddler-monster is frustrating! I didn't write it, but I have been trying to follow the tips and they seem to be working. Good luck, and just keep letting him know you love him and accept him even when he has those rough moments! Here's the link to the blog post: http://upstreamparenting.com/how-to-keep-your-cool/

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by

Aly