Monday, March 1, 2010

I Really Needed That

There are a number of different aspects of the 3.75 crazies that get me down. The plastic dinosaur fights leave bruises on my hands. The endless stalling makes me want to pull my hair out. Oh, and the spitting, I don't even know what to say about the spitting. But the worst part of it is that at times it makes me feel like a bad parent.

Recently, I feel like all I'm doing is correcting, and counting, and taking away privileges. I feel like I'm always coming down on Michael for something. That's not how I want things to be. I realize that there will always be a need for constancy and consequences, but sometimes it feels like that's all I ever do. After a while, it makes me feel like maybe I'm just flat out doing something wrong. Add lost sleep and stress over missed days of work and I start questioning myself.

This weekend was a nice break from that. Michael was so good all weekend long. He played nicely with some kids on Friday during our snow day. On Saturday he was mostly good as we ran errands and did shopping. We played in the snow again, and for once he didn't fight me when I said it was time to go in. Then yesterday he was a perfect angle at the grocery store.

The biggest reward came when we ran to the local Learning Express store. I told him on the ride over that we were only going to buy some train track and a new place mat. No letters, no blocks. Just the track and the place mat.

No problem! He played with the toys throughout the store. He didn't try to get into anything that wasn't already set out for demonstration. I let him pick out a place mat, and he didn't hem and haw over various choices. He didn't try to get me to buy anything extra. And when it was time to leave, he left! It was wonderful.

But, the best moment came when the manger walked by us. We had been in the store for about 30 minutes playing with the trains and the race tracks. She made a point to stop and tell me that I'm a very patient mother. She completely made my day. I've been so caught up in the frustration that comes with 3.75, that I may not have been appreciating the good times that come with 3.75. It was nice to realize that just because it feels like I'm always yelling or counting or dodging a lick on the face, doesn't mean that that's all that's going on. It was nice to have someone call a good moment to my attention, and it let me enjoy the moment for what it was. Simply nice.


Lindsay said...

What a nice compliment! It kind of refreshes you for the next round, huh?

LauraC said...

I HEAR THIS. I hear myself sounding like that nagging bitching mom and it drives me crazy hearing it. Stalling, not listening, general insanity (would now be a good time to mention that Nate clotheslined Alex into their new art table?).

Through it all I KNOW you are a good mom. Patient mom. But good for you to get a chance to feel it.

And if M starts giving you a hard time, just wait until he sees you jump over those flames!!

London said...

I've been feeling the same way lately. I've been making an effort to completely cut out yelling, because the yelling makes ME feel crazy. The other night I was in the restroom at Border's and heard another mom in the handicapped stall with her child, just screaming at her. She was saying the most hurtful things I have ever heard anyone say to a child. The girl was little too! Probably only 2 or so. It made me realize that yelling is not always the best option (though I'm pretty sure I'm not that bad)and that trying to give it up is a worthy endevour.

Gosh, now I sound like a mean mom for saying I yell too much...yeesh.

Maria said...

It is so nice to be recognized in a positive way, I'm so happy that she said that to you. I know you are a great Mom, too. Michael is lucky to have you.

Heidi O said...

I am so right there with you but less with my 3.75 and more with my 6.15 boy. He tests and tests and tests and has had a rough month health wise. I am glad you had a great weekend. Just hug him close.

Stacey said...

You are an awesome mom!

I had a conference with a parent today and she told me that she feels like all she does is yell at her 10 year old. I told her I feel the same way with my 3 year old (and secretly hoped it's not normal to still feel this way with a 10 year old).

Oh, and stalling is unbearable here. UNBEARABLE.

Julie said...

Isn't it so frustrating when the defiance is constant because you KNOW they know how to be great, you have actually seen it with your own eyes and you know its just buried somewhere in the head of 3.75?

I am glad you had a good day with Michael and I am so happy that someone took the time to tell you what a great mom you are.

Steph said...

Awesome! I feel like all I do is correct Cooper too and it's frustrating because that's not how I want to spend my time with him. It's nice knowing he's not the only one, and that they do still have their good moments too! Of course, Cooper's had to occur when I wasn't around (getting his hair cut w/Ben of all times to behave!).

Karen said...

It's moments like that one that make you keep going. I am expecting Michael to turn a corner in the next few weeks because it was around this time last year that he started to cooperate.

And I hear you on the yelling. I see other moms and wonder if they are just losing it in private!

Mel said...

It always feels so good to hear nice compliments from people!