Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Work, Play, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Work, Play, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. That is my life this week. A routine that is most people's normal and really nothing to complain about. Here is our struggle...we are going through an early dose of the terrible twos. Do you ever say to yourself that tomorrow is a new day and it can only be better than today?

I hate using the word hate, but I hate the phase we are going through. I tell myself it is just growing pains, but I can't help from feeling like everything is a fight right now. You are not supposed to fight with your 21-month old, right? He is supposed to love you unconditionally and obey whatever command you place upon him, right? It is entirely plausible that things seem this way to me because I am 7.5 Months pregnant, surging with hormones, and my patience wears thin anyway. I am tired, my back and feet hurt, and Ryder has gotten strong...strong willed and strong armed. I get so upset with his behavior and then I feel terrible. I have to remember that he is not even two and most of his frustration comes from not being able to tell me what he needs.

He has a few code words which I can interpret. Matt calls it "Ryderese". However, when I can't interpret the "Ryderese" to English, he gets so frustrated. When I don't let him eat straight out of a tube of toothpaste, he gets so frustrated. When I don't let him get in the shower right after he has been dressed for the day, he gets so frustrated. When I tell him Dog Food is yucky and then dig it out of his mouth, he gets so frustrated. When I tell him to stay out of the refrigerator, he gets so frustrated. When I tell him we can't go outside because it is 104 degrees, he gets so frustrated.

Let me pause for a quick interpretation: So Frustrated = Tears Flowing, Back on the Floor, Legs Kicking, Arms Flailing. Getting the picture? The frustration bout even occurred in public today, when I made the mistake of finishing my workout and picking him up from the "Y" just as he was getting in line to go outside. Really, really embarrassing moment when he kicked the sweet lady who had gone to fetch him for me. I feel like I spend most of my time saying "No" or "We need to sit in the corner until we can behave nicely" or popping his little hand. I feel like he spends most of his time frustrated with me for all of the above.

For all of these not so good moments, there are even more great moments. I think I sometimes just get so bogged down on the bad, that I forget to focus on what an awesome being he is. He makes everyday worth waking up for. I can not imagine life without him and the beautiful smile he shows us everyday.

My friend Mary made an excellent parenting post earlier this week and it was really the dose of medicine I needed. You should all take the time to read it. God definitely has a plan, I just hope it includes some reassurance. Some reassurance that I am doing the right things. That I am raising a little boy who will be respectful, who will know the Lord and have a relationship with Him. A little boy who will love those around him...even when all we seem to do is shovel out tough love.

He is sleeping like an angel right now. We had a long morning at the Y, playing in the gym at our local Activity Center, checking out Books at the Library and eating lunch with friends at Chick-fil-a. I pray that he is an angel when he awakes and that God gives me the strength to be the best Mom I can be to this little man.


Chris, Miranda & Prestley said...

You aren't alone, I feel the same way! Hang in there...

Misty Rice said...

Been there done that. What I learned through experience is that I would tell Hunter ahead of time, I made a little 'picture' to do chart, and I would tell him what we were doing after each thing. When we did it, we praised him and he got to put a little green token in the box. He may not fully understand it when you first start trying.... but try.


Ryder lets look at the chart. Its says bath time, then after the bath we get to put a token in and see the next thing to do. The next thing to do is we pick up our toys. So on and so on....I look to see if I can find that chart I used with Hunter.

Even if you don't use the chart. Give him heads up of what to expect next. Get him excited for the next thing.

Example.... when you drop him off at the Y so you can work out. Say...

"Ryder, after the we play we are going to get (his favorite toy?) and going to go feed Mr. Toy. Mr. Toy is ready for a snack...doesn' that sound fun. If YOU make it all sound so exciting, he will pick up on it.

I don't have the answers, I am simply offering up tips that I used and actually worked very early on, that I am already using it for Morgan.

Often offer him a choice of anything....let him feel he is getting some kind of control. When you pick him up from the Y, have two of his toys in his hand and ask him, which one would he like to help mommy carry to the car. come up with stuff that works for him..

As for out in public, I remember the hardest thing I had to do a couple of times, but it quickly ended his fits being thrown. I was told to get him up and leave. Go home. It really sucks for us as the parents on those nights and you really don't like your child much and you want to just cry too... but he will not want to leave. But you can keep warning him, you have to say it and mean it and do it.

The biggest thing was giving Hunter choices in everything. Like a choice in picking out what toys he wanted in his bath. I also had a timer. So when it dinged it would be time to get out.

I then gave him a choice of what pj's to put on. We laid them out on the floor and he got to choose. Slowly he started to feel like he had some say in his own world and he started to calm down.

Same with food.

Bed time, offer him a choice of bedtime snack or drink. Two in which you approve of, but two he gets to choose from.

Give it a try and see. I may or may not work.

But its a idea to give a try.

Good Luck mommy......

I feel boggled down just by the everyday chores that never end. I know fits throwing phase is around the corner VERY soon for baby girl, so writing all this down, is helping me to recall and get geared up again.

Ill look for that chart if interested.

Let me know if you do try any of the above and what you thought of it.

Mary said...

First, being pregnant does not help things...what little patience you have WITH LIFE is shot after one fit. Believe me I feel your pain. I think Misty has sone great ideas! Gonna put those into action myself...

Hang in there, be consistent, and pray for patience. It will pay off before long-he will "get it!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, sweet Joy... I really don't think it gets too much harder than what you're dealing with now. Being pregnant makes EVERYthing hard emotionally and physically. It'll be a different kind of hard when the baby comes...but you'll quickly find your groove and it won't be hard forever!

I'd say the one thing that has proven to be most helpful with Trevor is making sure he clearly knows what to expect in advance. That involves two things-
1. developing a routine and sticking to it for just about everything.
2. telling him exactly what we're going to do before we do it in very simple, clear terms. ex: When coming home at the end of errand running (prime melt-down territory b/c Tatum seems to always need my immediate attention when we get inside.) Anyway, I stop in the garage, turn off the car and tell Trevor: "Trevor, we're going inside now. Mommy is going to put Tatum in her bed. I need you to go sit on the couch and drink your juice."

For whatever reason, it seems to help! I'm also noticing it becomes easier and easier the more Trevor is talking... I'm sure their frustration with being unable to communicate is such a huge part of it! Hang in there friend!

The Sabins said...

Boy I remember those days - Sydney was born when Tristen was 22 months and at the end I was just tired and grumpy. Dealing with a toddler was just painful! The pp had such wonderful advice I'm not going to add anything except I feel ya! Go ahead and get out the venting you need to:) Some days you're up and some days you're down - and what a fun roller-coaster it is!