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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 is not better than 2

MOPS started today, which meant I planned to spend yesterday’s free time during “naps” thinking of the ladies at my table, praying for them and brainstorming (and let’s, be honest, pinteresting) ideas for ways to be a blessing to them.  As I was pondering how I can encourage my fellow mommies, I was attempting to tune out my own daughter as she SCREAMED at the top of her lungs in her bed.  Shouting, screaming and yelling about whatever woe she could think up.  For some reason she seems to truly believe that the longer and louder she screams she will ultimately convince me to let her out of bed.  Are you kidding?  This level of volume and anger only reinforces that a major break is in order. Stat.
I’m not ready to sleep!
My baby is too hungry, I need to feed her!
I’m not tired!
I don’t like this!
I’m sick, I’m way too sick for a nap!
I need chocolate milk!
I don’t want to be in here!
This is not good for me!
It’s so boring in my bed!

Eventually she accidentally gave in, on the floor, next to her bed.  I believe it was a final act of rebellion until sleep overtook her. As it turns out, this alleged “nap” was simply preparation for bedtime.  Studies keep telling me that kids NEED tons of sleep because of how fast they’re growing at this age, but my rascal defies science, evidentially. I have no reason to believe that she’s ready to eliminate naps entirely and pretty much refuse to consider that an option.  For the sakes of all involved.

Bedtime was even uglier than nap time!  I played good mom, offering some nice snuggles and setting the scene for truly heartwarming Kodak moments.  I sang, I read, I hugged and kissed. It was sweet.  Until I closed the door.  Then the screaming commenced.  So I played bad mom, threatening, spanking, revoking the distractions that inevitably provoke anger. She’s not a fan of bad mom. And honestly, neither am I!  I hate when the last moments before bed are me being meany pants mommy! Each time I could smell success, I’d close the door to the silent bedroom only to see the light flip back on and the volcano erupt all over again.  Oh the drama from behind that door… Eventually Myles did the unthinkable and took away her favorite activity- her light.  There is currently a light fixture, complete with bulbs sitting on the kitchen counter.  Surely this is not normal?! The child fought us to the end. Adding insult to injury she was up far earlier than normal. I'm out.

Here is what I know; Three is not better than two.  Three has only been around here for four days, but it’s been loud and it’s been mean!  Three does not listen, have manners, eat nicely, or sleep (apparently). Three yells at her brother, takes toys, has meltdowns in the store, at the airport, in the car and at home. Three gives dirty looks.  Three says, “I don’t want you here anymore.” Three is a lot like two, but in our half week of three, it’s not better.

What the heck do I do with this mean little thing that keeps turning on me?! I am trying to figure out where the balance is.  Does she need more discipline, or more grace? What are other people thinking when they see me all but dragging her by her arm in the frenzy of a public meltdown?  Can I admit that I really don’t care anymore? My animal instincts run full force in public and survival mode takes over.  I don’t know the first thing about being a perfect mom, but I sure am glad to have other people in my corner with me.  To all the parents out there who have gotten through three, I salute you and hope to join your ranks in 360 days.

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