I was just thinking recently how parenting is getting so much BETTER as they get older are farther away from babyhood. In the past few weeks, I’ve actually been able to reason with Ella.
“Ella if you behave, I’ll give you a cookie.”
“Okay! I be good, Mama.”
And guess what? She WAS good.
I walked around feeling like I had finally gotten this parenting thing down pat. “I’m pretty good at this parenting thing!” I thought to myself and out loud to Tate.
“You know, Tate, I feel like our kids have gotten so easy. They REALLY listen to me! It’s been like, a whole week and neither child has been in time out!”
He looked at me like I was an alien with a palm tree growing out of my chin. “What about that time you called me last week when they were wreaking havoc? Or this morning when you told me that you had to put them in their rooms for their own safety?”
So maybe it had only been about six hours, but SIX WHOLE HOURS of my children behaving feels like a week.
It seems like we get on a roll where the kids are behaving, or at least their misbehavior isn’t that damaging to my psyche that I’m left scarred for months afterwards. Right now, though, we’re on the Deluxe Triple Salchow of OUT OF CONTROL BEHAVIOR roll. Damaged psyche ahead!
It’s awesome, as I’m sure you can imagine.
The mall and it’s germ-infested play area is where the downward spiral first began. Ella, being Ella and very much three-years-old, threw the tantrum to end all tantrums. It was the type of tantrum that had all the perfect parents judging me with their evil looks and perfectly behaved children. She was screaming and thrashing and I was sweating and silently screaming the f-word in my head.
I wanted to ask the perfect moms, “How do you propose I get her to stop screaming? Seriously!! I’m politely asking her, I’m threatening to take away everything that was or ever will be meaningful to her, I’m kicking myself for failing to pack duct tape. What can I doooooooo?!?”
Carson, who is four and who I was certain had passed the fall on the floor tantrum stage, threw his own mega tantrum within a few hours of Ella’s. Luckily it was in the privacy of our home, not in front of other’s prying eyes. BUT STILL, it was a tantrum that no amount of reasoning, ignoring, redirecting, or any other textbook behavior management technique worked to just make him stop.
It’s been like this for about two weeks now, with only a few hours respite and sunshine in between their outbursts. I’m starting to believe there is something really wrong with my children. Surely it’s not just my kids that act this way??? Please?
They are thisclose to getting shipped off to a far away land that’s FAR AWAY.
And I vow to never verbalize or even think any thoughts where I extol the virtues of my parenting skills ever again.