Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Don't See the Silver Lining Here

"Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it's the time when they most need to think." ~ Bill Clinton

I am currently finding the above statement to be true. I am currently so stressed that I literally am having a hard time thinking, yet in my current situation that is not going to be of any help at all. Let me explain:

It has finally gotten quiet in my small apartment, for this is the 5th consecutive night in a row that my son has thrown a hissy fit (and that is being generous) over one thing or another. If it's not about bedtime, it's about the choice in bedtime stories or his pajamas not being the right pair. And it's not just's full blown screaming, kicking, crying, and....punching. Not really sure where he learned that one, and I don't like it one bit. For the last several nights he has fallen asleep between 10 and 11, more than two hours past his usual bedtime. Which leads to the newest addition to our good times - this morning he didn't want to wake up and get dressed because he wanted to sleep (vicious cycle!). When we insisted that it was time to GO, he refused to pick out his own clothes, so we did it for him. He wasn't having that so he threw another tantrum. He ended up being carried to the car in his shirt, socks, and underwear because he refused the pants we chose (and I was NOT going to play musical pants) then he also decided he didn't want to go anywhere (he wanted to stay home alone) so he refused his coat as well. So I put his jacket, pants and shoes in the backpack and hauled his little behind to the car.

Yes. It was a long drive to the babysitter this morning. The kicker? Tim called to check in on him this afternoon and he found out that immediately after I left Reagan had put his pants and shoes on as if nothing was wrong as he sat down to breakfast (oh! where is the justice?!).

On the way home tonight I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple dinner ingredients. Since it was a quick stop, Tim stayed in the car with the kids while I ran in. Reagan wasn't happy with that because he wanted to go into the store too. When I returned less than 5 minutes later, Reagan and Tim were out of the car, poor Fia was patiently watching from her booster seat as Tim lectured Reagan on how to behave. Well at that point we had to actually put him in the car to get home. Yah, that was fun. Let me just say "thank goodness for child safety locks".

Reagan spent most of the evening in his room until he decided he wanted dinner (which I really tried to withhold for bad behavior, but I have a such a hard time doing when he says he's hungry...I always cave on this threat when it's been used). Also, he has NO TV or favorite toys, this is something I won't budge on....however I'm not sure it's working because as I said, it's been 5 nights now. By the way, he hasn't seen a transformer in almost a whole week. Most of the evening went ok after he stopped crying, he even went to bed with no arguments...yet all good things must come to an end, right? Tim went in to tell the kids to stop talking and go to sleep around 9, the tantrum picked up where he'd left off.

I have to say, I am exhausted. It literally drains me to the point of exhaustion. I end up getting so mad that I spank him, which is a futile effort. And then I have to leave the room because I am getting so angry that I am afraid I'll spank him more, and I hate spanking to begin with (I always said I wouldn't do it...but that was before my son hit the "terrible fours" And by the way? He NEVER even went through the "terrible twos" I heard so much about). It is starting to make me sad, and I've also started to question my abilities as a mother. Talking to him doesn't work, yelling doesn't work, reasoning? there is no such thing with a four year old. So what do I do? Is this going to pass? I have no idea, I've heard "it's just a phase" a million times. That may be, but this phase is taking it's toll on me.

We can't even do anything fun as a family because something always triggers his anger. We tried going for a walk last night after dinner and everything was fine, the kids were having fun. But when it was time to turn around (Fia was getting tired and didn't want to walk anymore, and hey! she's heavy.) Reagan freaked out the whole way home.

Tomorrow is my Division picnic, and I'm concerned that my child will throw a fit over something while we're there. Is it strange that my two year old is better behaved than my four year old?

I keep hoping that this stage in his development will end soon. I see glimpses of my sweet, soft spoken, kind hearted little boy, right smack dab in the middle of his emotional tirades. I miss that part of him more than ever right now. I really need him back.

I also need a massage.


  1. boys are soooo much different then girls...this is a really hard one....have you tried getting down to his level and talking really quite right in his face when he is throwing a tantrum?? my co-worker did that with her son and now with her grandson when they would get into a frenzy of emotions....or just lock him in the closet and threaten with the boogie man and keep the lights kidding on the last

  2. Yes, getting down to his level and speaking in a calm manner helps in certain situations. When he gets this worked up, however, it doesn't really help. Thanks for the advice! I may just try the closet tactic...ok, now I'm kidding too.

  3. My grandson Kyle was a holy terror until he was about 6 or 7. Then he became so compliant that I worried he would be too much of a people pleaser. Now he is 13 and Perfect! And yes, I know that the really tough teen years are ahead.
    I think that I remember my daughter spending half her childhood being sent to her room just so I wouldn't spank her. She's a great mom.

  4. one more suggestion...send him my way for a few days..i swear by the time i am done with him he will do anything you another joke...but i'm sure you will find something that works...just remember to breath and things will work to laugh at your pain

  5. My son is like Ghandi...he practices non-violent resistance!