Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mothering Woes: Tormentuous Three's

Let me start off by saying I have only had one cup of coffee and a leftover hot dog today, not to mention Elly had two at home appointments with her therapist.  I knew today was going to be eventful. My nerves have been pushed to the limits, and despite the extra 1 1/2 of sleep my husband gifted me this morning I am running on adrenaline and that same cup of coffee that I mentioned earlier.

We have reached what my pediatrician referred to as the tormentuous threes, terrible twos ain't got nothing on this.  I'm trying to be a better parent, so meeting with Ellys' occupational therapist this morning was quite beneficial for me.  I thought that our meeting would consist of working on Elly's verbal communication and fine motor skills, but it focused more on effectively parenting through everyday task and experiences, as well as better ways to handle parent-child conflict. There is a God!! because lord knows even though I have taken parenting classes, frequent and read quite a few blogs on effective parenting, I am at a loss right now.  This three year old is having at least three melt downs a day, selectively listening when told to do something, isn't responding to time outs or spanking, and is now becoming disruptive in public (that's another story for another day.)

While writing this I would like to point out that I am coming of a 45 minute stand off with a three year old and my frustration level is at its peak.  So let me set up the scene. 

After a fairly peaceful lunch of  hot dogs, bananas and milk (its one of those days,) I told the three year old that it was time for a potty break then off to nap time.  We had a fairly peaceful morning, so I figured nap time would be a breeze. The occupational therapist gave me some great advice that I was willing to start implementing today.

I was wrong it all started with the normal. "I don't wanna go sleep." Then it was "I don't wanna close my blinds," and "don't wanna close my door."

Then this happened...

The three year old: I want a Barbie. (Do you see that, it was singular A BARBIE, meaning one."

Me: (After grabing the Sterlite container with the Barbies in it) Okay, which one?

The three year old: No!!! I want all the Barbies.

Me:  (Counting 1-2-3, 3-2-1 in my head hoping that my blood pressure doesn't spike as I was expecting this to be an easy snack time) No, you may only have one Barbie.

The three year old: No!!! I want all the Barbies.

Me: No!!! You may have one Barbie or none at ALL.

Well I guess she decided choosing one wasn't worth it, so the Barbies went into her closet.  Fast forward 20 minutes, the tears a flowing, we have had two time outs and one spanking.  I stood my ground, but there is always a price.

Fast forward another 20 minutes the three year old has thrown all of her blankets, pillows out of her bed, and is screaming non-stop about the things she doesn't like or love.  She now only has one basic pillow and one fleece blanket on her bed as the rest have been confiscated, and mommy feels like pulling her hair out.  I won, she went to nap time, but it wasn't without a fight.  I guess that is what I get for having a child with a similar temperament and slight stubbornness as me.

You learn a lot about yourself looking at your children.  Motherhood as anything in life is journey.  You have good days, you have bad days, and you often want to pull your hair out.  You have to stay consistent, stay grounded, and not be afraid to accept advice, even from strangers from time to time.  You will get tired. You will want to give up, but don't, the journey hasn't ended yet. 

Peace and Love 

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks (Mother in transition, learning to stand firm)

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