Oct 22, 2013

Four Letter Word.

I'm so nervous to say this.
But I think a confession is the best thing for everyone involved. 

I think I have a........*whispered voice* a b-r-a-t on my hands.

Ugh. That hurts to even say it. As a momma, I think my baby is the world's most precious human being.  But the last three weeks, that human being has become scarily close to being unbearable to live with. Yesterday, I kid you not, she stood in our kitchen and screamed and cried until she was on the verge of making herself throw up. Why, you ask?   Because I gave her an orange spoon to eat her cereal with....instead of a purple one. Swear.  An. Orange. Spoon. Made her gag and cry for a solid ten minutes. I couldn't make this stuff up, y'all. 

Most evenings are more of the same. Throwing her Minnie Mouse down in the floor because I won't let her watch a third episode of Bubble Guppies. Sticking her lip out farther than I thought was humanly possible because I won't let her have a Popsicle for dinner. And let's talk for a second about bedtime. My almost-27 month old STILL does not sleep consistently through the night. We will go three nights without a single peep from her from 9pm to 7am. Then we'll have an entire week where I'm getting up with her twice a night. Avery used to be the best baby to put down for sleep at night. We had our routine. She'd watch some TV, snuggle with her daddy and I, and then go straight to bed without a complaint. Now? She's decided that she's too big for bedtime and that she should be able to decide when she goes to sleep. Right this very second, I'm listening to my kid scream over the monitor about the very injustice of being in bed since 9:30.  (Update: I went into her room and told her who was boss and that I didn't want to hear another sound. She's sleeping. *Fist thrust into the air for a mommy victory!*)

I'm losing my sanity, people. I'm so tired of repeating myself a million and one times every time I have to tell her something ("Avery, sit down in your chair. Avery, sit down in your booster chair before you fall out. Avery, sit down right now. Avery, I am NOT going to tell you again. Do you want to get in trouble? Sit down in your chair NOW.") I honestly feel like the biggest chunk of my time with my daughter is spent disciplining her. I sit her in time out. I try reasoning with her and telling her that people don't like it when she's a bad girl (Yes, I hear you laughing. No, that crap didn't work.).  I try taking things away, hoping that she'll correct her behavior if she's not getting whatever she wants. I've tried ignoring her (that makes her cry louder...it's really terrible for everyone involved). Honestly, I'm sick and daggone tired of being the bad cop. Really, who decided that the mom is the one that has to lay down the rules and then enforce them while the daddy gets to swoop in and save the day and be the plaything?  Was it Eve? Because really, Eve. Thanks so much for childbirth. Don't we have more than enough bones to pick with you already? 

Everyone tells me that this behavior is normal. That she'll grow out of it. That three is worse than two and then she'll grow out of it (Dear Lord, if that's the case, just go ahead and bury me now because I will not live through another year of this). There has to be a way that I can nip this in the bud. I don't want a bratty child. I don't want to be *that* mom in every store who is mortified every time she makes the decision to bring her kid in public. I don't want other people to dislike being around Avery because she's too much of a brat.  I want to be a strict mom that has a child that realizes that she's not going to take any crap, but at the same time, can be fun to be around.  I want to get to be the good cop sometimes. Am I being too Pollyanna-ish?  Help. Me.  Really. I'm on the verge of chewing Prozac like candy. 


Vickie said...

Devan, all I can say is "this too shall pass." My 31 year old daughter was just as infuriating at that age. No form of discipline worked. And then at some point, it got better. I don't know how or why, or if I simply chose to forget the rough times.

Girls are hard. When they're in elementary and middle school, you'll learn that they can only be together in pairs. If there are 3 or more girls together, some combination will gang up on one girl. About age 12 or 13, your little girl will turn into Satan and stay that way until age 20 or so. At least that's what happened with MY daughter. But I've never stopped loving her, never stopped enjoying her. Even at this age, I been awaiting the time when she would hit her early 30s and mellow out a bit. I think we're there.

Bottom line is this: you're a parent for the rest of your life. Your child is never going to be perfect. But then again neither are you. Do the best you can and remember that EVERY MOTHER IN THE WORLD HAS BEEN WHERE YOU ARE. You're a great mom. Avery is an adorable, perfectly normal little girl. Go easy on yourself. And don't forget to breathe.

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