For Sale – 1 Toddler

My mum used to say to me “I’m going to sell you and buy a mangle”.  So you can imagine, I knew what a mangle was from a very young age!

I have had similar feelings about my two and a half year old this week but I have resisted from mentioning Victorian drying implements as a threat and have, instead, opted to spend a lot of time muttering, looking cross and telling his father to deal with him.  Pathetic I know.blue 2 

I blogged about The Monster and my troubles with him before and we appear to have hit another pot hole in the whole Mother-Son bonding malarkey.  In fact a pothole is understating it a bit, it’s a meteor crevice.  I love him to bits, but right now, I don’t like him very much.

It all started on Friday when he just kept being naughty.  He seemed to take great joy in being naughty.  Naughty to me, to his sister, throwing things, getting annoyed.  Several trips to the step and he’d be alright again for about 10 minutes and then something else would happen.  It got to the stage where I was just talking in a steady stream of discipline to him and I felt awful.  So just before bed I took him aside to talk to him about why I was upset and he just misbehaved a bit more.  He has no problem making eye contact with me and is very good at understanding emotion, but he decided to look at the ceiling, making silly noises rather than look at me.  Then he wouldn’t listen to me and every so often just laughed in a hysterical way.  Talk about winding me up!

I closed the day on Friday, looked forward to Saturday and the hope we would move on.  He was still troublesome, ending with him screaming by the end of the evening, refusing to brush his teeth, generally ignoring his bedtime routine and flouting all the rules.  Exasperated!

On Sunday we went ice skating (it was Pickle’s Joy Jar entry) and The Monster was doing ok.  He got ice skates on, and initially went on the ice. Unfortunately the ice rink was being halved with barriers and as 3 of the 4 of us were beginners/novices we couldn’t skate quick enough to nip across, so we had to get off the ice and walk around to get back onto the ice rink again.  The Monster didn’t like this.  He screamed getting off the ice, wouldn’t get back on it again. Every time we had convinced him to go on, he’d kick his feet out and you were left holding him up, his bottom inches from the ice. He wouldn’t use the ice penguin to hold on to, wouldn’t hold your hand and hubby got too far around to be able to turn back and had to carry him (which he got into trouble for doing by the staff).  So The Monster had to be supervised in the stands, occasionally walking on his skates, mostly crying, screaming and tantruming – for nearly 90 minutes!!

Thankfully, the day, on the whole was brilliant because my daughter loved every second of it. Had never ice skated before, but loved it.  Her daddy and her are already making plans to come again in half term, whilst The Monster is in nursery.

Meanwhile I took The Monster to have his nappy changed and he was…….well…….horrendous!  Refused to get undressed, then when I’d managed to do that, he wouldn’t let me put another nappy on.  Kicking, hitting, screaming, I needed to wrestle him to get it on. Bearing in mind we were on a changing table, so half my job was ensuring he didn’t fall head first off it.  I was so angry at one stage, I grabbed his face to look at it and talk to him to try to get him to calm down.  I practically (I didn’t) threw him off the changing table when I had finally managed to get him dressed through the kicks, plopped him on the floor and walked out of the baby change room to take some deep breaths.  He stopped crying and stood there unsure of what his next move was.  Eventually wandering out to check I was nearby and then wandering back in the room again.

I really wanted to put him on Ebay.  I wouldn’t have even sold him to the highest bidder!

The rest of the day I left hubby in charge. He’d upset me so much I had gone for a quiet cry in the loos and he had his nap on the car journey back, which gave me some respite.  We then went to an art fair and he was ok throughout until we got the cafe where he started throwing things again and pulling angry faces at us.  Awful.

I know it’s still a language issue for him, but he has a very good understanding of what we say and how we feel.  I’m very conscious that at the moment he’s the “naughty one” whilst Pickle is “The good one” and I don’t want it to be like that.  I praise him when he’s good and try desperately to ignore bad behaviour, but it’s often so bad it would be wrong to ignore.

I have thought about buying books on raising boys, but have been dipping in and out of the book by Cordelia Fine called “Delusions of Gender” and so many studies are shown that we really aren’t that different and by treating genders differently we are setting up stereotypes from the get go, I really don’t want to do that.  However, he IS different to my daughter.  Maybe it is personality though.  Maybe I need to find a book that sits somewhere between my book and the book about raising boys. I really don’t know.

All I really know is that raising The Monster is hard work at the moment and I’m really sad about it.  I don’t want to sell him, really.  I don’t even want to joke about him being faulty or needing new programming.  He’s not faulty, he’s challenging.  The problem is that I need a game plan to cope with it and I’m not sure where to look for it.

Recommendations?

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About freefallinginto40

I am 40 years old. I blog about how I'm coping with my "new" age at www.freefallinginto.com . I'm a married mother to two after years of infertility. I have a 6 year old called Pickle and a 3 year old called The Monster. I work 4 days a week. We are also planning a move to the country! I blog about that at www.ourmovetothecountry.wordpress.com
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13 Responses to For Sale – 1 Toddler

  1. Joanna says:

    I’m not sure you’ve described anything particularly strange for a 2-year-old. He’s two. He doesn’t have control of his emotions, can’t really process delayed gratification and is only two. I think it’s great you’re searching for solutions and will probably get a lot of help from those resources and other commenters.
    I would suggest you start thinking that he’s not doing anything particularly wrong and maybe just be the one who loves him no matter what. I’ll let the others suggest the practical stuff because I’m rubbish at those but unless he’s killing little animals and terrorising people, I’d suggest he is as lovable as you were at that age.

    Maybe try Oliver James’ How not to f*** them. Good luck!

  2. MadBambi says:

    Aw sorry to hear it’s tough, mine aren’t that age yet, so I can’t give any advice in afraid but I have heard that Super Nanny’s books are actually very good for toddlers, thought it might be worth a shot.
    In the meantime, when it all gets a but much for me I try to remind myself of my mummy mantra “This too shall pass”.
    Hope things get better soon x

  3. Joanna says:

    How not to f*** them up! Goodness, please fix my typo.

  4. suzanne3childrenandit says:

    Bless you – being a parent is exhausting isn’t it? I went to bed and cried last night, having a terrible time with my 11 yr old daughter who is still tantruming now! I don’t think it’s a gender thing, I think it’s a personality. My son is chilled, my eldest daughter is pretty chilly too. I have a booked called ‘The 5 Love Languages Of Children’ which I would certainly recommend – talks about then being individuals and what makes one feel loved, doesn’t work for the other. We need to find out what does and try to keep the ‘love tank’ topped up. Worth a read….think I may need to go back to it myself! Deep breaths x

  5. I went through the same thing with my 2 boys. It does make you wonder why you have children at times. But, as with all things, they do improve eventually. By the way, I think that was when I picked up running marathons – a walk in the park in comparison 🙂

  6. AmDramCraftyMam says:

    I feel your pain!
    My little monster turned 3 last week but I’ve had the same troubles. Do you find it is always the mundane stuff that they have the biggest issue over?! Every (week) day he has to get dressed to get out and go to crèche while Mummy and Daddy go to work but every day we have the same battle to get him out of his pyjamas and into his clothes!! He’s strong too so a lot of the time it takes the two of us! He potty trained (thankfully really well) in January, but before that we’d have the same hassle getting his nappy changed.

    I see you’ve mentioned yours might be a communication thing, which is understandable. I haven’t had that problem as my monster has talked amazingly well from a young age, but he needs to be constantly explained to that he is perfectly capable of talking so screaming his head off does not tell us what is wrong! He needs to stop crying and explain what has upset him!

    I’m not sure I can offer any advice with this post, more empathy with your problem and letting you know you’re not alone in this. We have good days and bad days, defiant days and happy days and I really can’t see any pattern to what causes either.

    Hubby often says all he wanted when I was pregnant was to have a quiet child! He jinxed it!!

  7. We have days like that too. Days where I’m hanging out the window begging my husband to walk quicker up the drive. I get through them by telling myself they’ll pass. Staying calm works well for me but it’s really hard because I’m very quick tempered. But it will pass.

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