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.
2 weeks ago