Friday, April 03, 2009


My friends who are pregnant for the first time really oughta skip this here post.

Ace is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very strong-willed child. I remember a friend of mine once saying that she hated when she heard parents say that they couldn't wait for school breaks to be over so their kids could be out of their hair. I agreed; I mean, my God, who says that about their children?

The person that said this reads my blog, and I'm sorry, honey, but your kids must be sweet little angels. Ace can be a sweet little angel, but more often than not, HE IS NOT. I hate to say this... I just hate to have the thought, and hate to commit it to eternity by putting it on the internet, but I cannot wait for him to go back to school. The past couple of weeks with him have been very trying on me.

He doesn't ask for things. As soon as he's decided he wants something, it's "WANNA GO IN MY ROOOOOOMMMM!!!!!" I have taught him to say "I want to go to my room, please" but I will be damned if any of the thousand times I've told him to use words instead of whines has registered. EVER. If he's told no, it's an immediate scream. When he takes a pause from screaming and asks for that thing again, and he's told no, he starts hitting himself, hitting his head on the floor, pounding the nearest object on the next nearest object. If he's told to stop doing something, he will not do it the first time he's told. Ever. I always, ALWAYS, have to redirect him somehow, and redirection doesn't work. Redirection turns into screaming, hitting himself, pounding his head on the floor, hitting other things.

Before I was a mother, I knew that saying no and being consistent would result in a child who listens and is compliant. Now that I am a mother, I know that this is total nonsense. I don't give in to his fits or incessant escalation, because I know giving in would encourage his behavior. But the behavior continues and continues and continues.

His time out chair is getting a butt-shaped imprint in it, I swear. Time out is the only threat that ever works. "Ace, stop doing that." "No." "Do you want go to in time-out?" "Yeah." So, to time out we go. He's in time out probably 8-9 times per day. PER DAY.

I hate saying all this. I get SO frustrated with him and his terrible attitude, but then I think to myself that I MUST have done something wrong because a 2-year-old can't be like this without it being my fault. He just can't. And then I feel like crap for thinking such mean things. And then, he throws yet another fit, and I get really, really frustrated with him, and I think again that it's got to be something organic... something left over from his brain bleed in the NICU. Then I feel like crap again. This is an awful cycle of awfulness.

But damn it. I am a good mother. I AM A GOOD MOTHER. I do what I'm supposed to do. I praise him when appropriate ("Thank you for picking up your toys!") and I praise him when it's probably inappropriate ("Thank you for finishing your supper!") I punish him when it's appropriate. I do everything I'm supposed to do. Will he ever, ever fulfill his end of the bargain by actually processing and doing what I've tried so hard to teach him?

I hesitate to press the post button. I feel like karma's gonna come and kick my derriere. But I'm getting desperate here, people. The good times with my son have completely become overwhelmed by the bad times. I'm having to go into his room at night and remind myself that this is my precious child, my flesh and blood, my angel, my life, and I love him more than I'm frustrated with him.

I need help. Really, any insight or encouragement would be helpful right now. As will the crawfish that I'm fixin' to go eat.


Watercolor said...

Hugs. I hear the two's are terrible or something. Love you!

HEATHER said...

Honey, you know I love you and that precious rotten boy of yours. You have got to get your hands on a copy of James Dobson's Strong Willed Child. It will help you so much, even if it's just to know that you are not alone(honestly-my mom and I sat and read and laughed till we cried-since we are both strong willed ourselves and had been there done that on so many of the instances he cited).
I will tell you that I feel like I would have no problems with Paddy if it was just me raising him, but his daddy is the weak link in this chain and he gives in to him constantly.
One thing that Dr. Dobson stresses is that God gave this child a strong will for a reason and it is usually to overcome some challenge in their life. (See where this is going?) Mr. Ace is going to have so many challenges to overcome with his spastic dysplasia (sorry if I spelled it wrong)whether it's physical or even overcoming people's expectations of him. You know maybe this strong will is going to make him walk completely without a walker or cane sometime in the very near future.
You have just got to make yourself strong. Honey right now I know that you are beyond tired, as well as being sick with your sinuses and the whole new BP treatment issues too.
I have been praying for you and will continue to do so.

Mrs.H said...

Stacey, my first 2 were the compliant children that you thought everyone was lying about. Then came El...
There are days, and then there are DAYS!!!!
And puberty is just around the corner: I can hardly wait.
Being a mother is just a tough job. That's why God gave it to women.

word verification: entombr (how appropriate!)

Sharon said...

Yeah, Aidan is off school next week for spring break, and I've already thought "CRAP!". He gets bored at home.

You know, one mom once told me that in boys, the "terrible twos" come a little later, more like 2.5-3ish.

She told me this at the time when I was going through this w/ Aidan.
It really seemed to be the terrible 3's.

Not that that's comforting to make you feel better. But I can relate. The last 2 weeks I've questioned if I'm a good mom or not, because of just HOW defiant both the boys have been.

What Heather wrote about strong-willed people...I agree. I have that Dr. Dobson book but never read it. But when I look at the majorly strong-willed people I know, I take comfort in seeing their successes. They are STRONG people. Ace is good-in-the-making, and you have done SO MUCH to bring out that good.

Laurie said...

Take it a day at a time (which I totally don't think I'm doing right now!) Speaking from the one who wants/wanted to homeschool - I'm now thinking that was a nutty idea. This too shall pass - take lots of breaks away from him and vice versa (I also don't do that but wish I could). I don't do time outs too well anymore - I just make them stay in their room until I'm through being mad - how sad is that?! Please don't send out social services!

What?! said...

Baby....there's is NOTHING different about you or your child. I have days that I just have to say...."go away"....and days when I just have to walk away. Days when I say, "I can't wait for your daddy to get home"....days when I question MY existence and am POSITIVE that I AM indeed a terrible parent.....then I see and hear other parents in public....and remember....

mrs. misenar said...

jude does the same thing. you are NOT alone!

Suburban Housewife...Not so much said...

Girrrl... You are a great mom, patient, loving, caring, giving to your child and that is what he longs for. I will completely agree on the late terrible two's, Hayden is just now going through this STRONGER strong willed phase and I have the strong willed child book and I am about to start back reading it, this had to happen when I'm pregnant and am about as far off my rocker as they come at the moment, GREAT! Anyway, I suggest the book too, if you don't buy it before I'm finished you are more than welcome to borrow mine. The book also come with a work book, something maybe you could do when Ace is at school, it takes a little down time, but I think it is great!!! Pray yourself through each day, peace and strength never patience, because you always get what you ask for you just never know what you are going to have to go through to get it. :o)

Jo said...

Not to be the bearer of bad news... but at the same time knowing how much you appreciate honesty.... Blake started the "terrible twos" at age 17 months and they continued until he was 8 years old.

He would scream, stomp, throw things, hit himself in the head, hit others, kick the animals, kick anything within range.... as he got older and more language he started with "I hate myself"... "I'm an idiot!" .. "I'm so stupid." ... and the killer for Mike and I... "I"m just going to KILL myself!"

*sigh* I wish I had the magic pill for you.... but we took Blake to a psychiatrist who told us he was having separation anxiety because Daddy was away so much with the military. She said whenever possible to have Daddy be the one to discipline (yeah right! Had she MET Mike??) and make the decisions. That was at about age 4. So we started with Daddy making all the choices.. if Blake asked for something I would say, "Ask your Father" and then we would go with whatever Mike said.

It took 4 years... and now that he's 9 the raging is pretty much gone (THANK YOU JESUS!). I don't know if the advice worked or if he just outgrew it.

It does sound like Ace's episodes are worse than Blake's... but it's hard to say w/o seeing him. Blake would walk into a room say (in a VERY pleasant voice), "HI Daddy".. pick up a toy, turn around and scream and throw the toy at Mike. *sigh*

I guess my point is... I feel ya Sistah! I'm here for you. I don't think you are horrible for thinking (or posting) those things about your child... I have thought the same things... and WOULD have posted them if I'd had my blog back then :)

Just keep doing what you are doing... you are a great mom and I am sure that your own issues are not helping with the frustrations.


Susan said...

My BFF's youngest goes around humming the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars. And I'm not kidding. The kid was 2. Greg and I both believe it's a sign of things to come. =)

I certainly have no advice, but I have accepted the fact that it happens and you do the best you can with what you have. Cut yourself some slack. I'm sure he's not the only thing you've been stressed/frustrated with over the past two weeks!

Nicole Bradshaw said...

We ALL feel this way sometimes. For example, today Clay was ~supposed~ to have his picture made at 2:30 p.m. He decided to pick this exact moment for a total meltdown, for no apparent reason. Do you think we got out of there with even ONE picture? Ahem. NO.

You ARE a good mother. And he's a good kid. A good, NORMAL kid who drives his parents freakin' crazy by flaunting every tiny rule they try to enforce.

I must second, however, previous posters' rationale that strong-willed kids/people are not necessarily bad. They often end up running everything once they are adults for the very reasons that make them frustrating to parent - they don't give up on what they want.

Mom tells me that I was a strong-willed child, and that it drove her crazy. But it sure helped when she was going through surgery after surgery and someone had to be there to keep everything from falling to pieces and make sure the doctors didn't kill her by accident.

'Nuff said.

Mommy said...

You are certainly not alone! In fact, I bet you can find a FEW posts like this one on my blog. J does the exact same things, hitting himself, biting himself, headbanging, and he even says "Yeah" when we ask him if he wants a timeout :\ Also, he has selective hearing. We went to the trace today and he took off running after his dad in the parking lot and I was yelling at him to stop and he wouldn't. Then he dropped his PB&J on the dirty ground and went to pick it up and put it in his mouth. I was yelling no and he was looking me right in my eyes and I still had to dig the filth out of his mouth. And he isn't in preschool yet, so I have NOTHING to look forward to in a way of a break! But like you, I do go into his room and thank God for my precious child, but we wouldn't be normal if we didn't get frustrated from time to time. (((HUGS)))

RhondaLue said...

moms that dont like when school is back in session can kiss my grits. I don't appreciate being made to look bad. And yes, it's THEM that are making me look bad and feel bad for celebrating school being back in session.

School rocks. Breaks are great for a couple days. Anything longer is just ridiculously rude to moms.

Blasé said... think YOU got frustrations?? I STILL can't find that ONE sock. Where is my wife when I need her?

jessica said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! There are no words to describe how much I adore you!!!! I laughed so hard i think I sharted a little bit:)

mayberry said...

When you figure out what to do differently - let me know please because I'm not even going to pretend to not be glad when it's time for Mini-me to go to her daddy's sometimes! In the meantime, I'm here for you sister if you just want to call and scream at me for a little while. I'm cool with it.

dhcoop said...

hunny, I got lucky with my daughter, but, bless her heart, she had a strong willed one for her second. It was tough. But she's 7 now and, although still strong willed, outgrew the tantrum/banging head/biting thing years ago.

Good luck!

From the Doghouse said...

Where in the world could he have gotten this stubborn streak? I just can't figure it out.

Hmmm ...