Monday, February 11, 2008

The Post Where I Admit Parenting is Killing Me

So, maybe it's cause Doodle is hitting 4.
Maybe it's cause the weather sucks and we're all cranky.
Maybe it's a response to my crazy hormones and moods.
And maybe it's a lack of sleep.
But, my child is driving me completely and utterly insane. I'm not alone. Phat Daddy is close to losing it too.
Yesterday we called my parents in frustration and took Doodle there for the evening. We just could not take it anymore. On the one hand, Doodle is the most adorable, loving child you will meet. He's sweet. He's funny and he loves to cuddle.
On the flip side he can be stubborn, hysterical and downright mean and bratty. And, I can't honestly tell you from one minute to the next what part of his personality we are going to see. We are trying to be patient. We are trying to discipline. Most of all we are trying not to scream at him. But, it's a struggle.
If he doesn't get his way he screams. And, he will scream about anything from the fact that he's not allowed to watch his favourite television station to the fact that the wrong parent is helping him with his shoes. And, God forbid someone other than Mommy do anything if Mommy is in the house.
Mommy has to do bath time. Mommy has to read stories. Mommy has to fix his shoes. Mommy mommy mommy. When Phat Daddy tries to do something like make him toast he just sits and cries. And then he says "I don't like you Daddy."
And as much as I'm frustrated it also breaks my heart. I hate that he's so mean to his father and I hate that he's so upset all the time.
So, we've started getting tough. Last night we had a long talk with Doodle about being nice. We explained to him that when he screams and shouts and says hurtful things it's mean. And, we want him to be a nice boy.
And then he cried for about 10 minutes because we don't think he's a nice boy.
Cause the thing is, he is nice. But his attitude sucks.
And, we couldn't really back down and say "well, you're nice but ..."
So, we talked it out a little more. And then today he tried at first, and then started screaming again. Tonight we're working on an early bedtime and a better routine. I don't really think he needs a bath every night, but baths seem to calm him down a bit, so we're going to try adding that to our daily routine.
And, my mom's naturopath has suggested fish oil. So, I'm going to find out from her what kind of fish oil is best. Whatever works.
I'm open to any and all suggestions (and babysitting offers too! kidding)


SciFi Dad said...

While not quite as severe, we had similar moments in our house. And the solution was not pretty. It involved many baths where my wife would sit downstairs and listen to my screaming daughter begging and pleading and wailing the entire time. It involved more hurt feelings and frustration.

But in the end, it was so worth it because we modified the expectations and established that what we said was law, that Daddy was a parent like Mommy.

AndreAnna said...

The reason for the fish oil is they say that children do not have enough Omega fatt acids in their diets, and these fats help coat and sheath our neural fibers. And when they lack the proper nutrients and fatty coating, they can have sensory impulses and overloads. A lot of doctors are prescribing this for children with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Disorders.

NOT that Doodle has any of those, but that's just one of the reasons. It can only help, right? It is a great idea to be proactive in his behavior.

I hope you get through it with most of your sanity in tact.

Don Mills Diva said...

Parenting is an ass-kicker for all of us at one time or another - HUGS!

Badness Jones said...

Oh yeah. I hate to say this, but when baby girl comes along, it is likely gonna get worse. Bad is 14 months old now and although the PRincess usually adores him, we still sometimes get, "I never wanted a baby brother." And I think that 4 is a big part of it too.

Hugs. Good times, huh?

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and to all of us who suffer during the downs of parenthood. But, the ups? The "I'm very glad I growed in your tummy, mommy."s? Those make it all worth it, don't they?

Ginny said...

I hear you loud and clear! As you well know, Linds is only a few days older and they are certainly learning the art of manipulation!! Parenting always seems to be about adjusting what works and what doesn't. What works one day won't work the next! It's all about staying on your toes. And like the rest of us you'll struggle your way through and wonder if you handled it properly.

Steph said...

Hugs! Call me crazy but I think it will get better when his little sister arrives. He might really own up to the big brother title and start showing off his good behaviour and how grown up he is to his little sis. Maybe your little guy and Phat Daddy need some guy time once a week where they go and do an activity together and then maybe when you're at home he won't rely on you so much.

sam said...

I hear ya! As you saw, I wrote about very similar issues just today.

Boarding school is sounding good about now. Do they have boarding school for pre-schoolers?