Posts tagged grumpy
We’ve finally been getting back into the routine we used to have during the week. I’ve started going back to the gym (which is awesome. I’m so glad I worked out throughout my pregnancy because getting back into it is a cinch!) and now we’ve also resumed bible study. After starting back at the gym last week, we’ve already seen a change in Nathan’s behavior. Bringing home a new baby and then moving to a new house is a lot to ask of a four-year-old, so its no surprise he was getting an attitude with us.
He really missed going to the gym. So much so that the first two days back, trying to get him to leave when it was time to go home was like pulling teeth! He would scream, shout, tell me no, run away from me… I told him that we WILL be coming back and he doesn’t have to be afraid that we won’t. Poor fellow loves being there. After that, I had a long talk with him about how that kind of behavior is unacceptable. I explained to him that in order for me to keep bringing him back, I have to trust that he will behave himself and leave with me when it’s time to go. Apparently, my talk worked! So far so good, because now when I go pick him up, he shouts, “MOMMY! HI, MOMMY!” and he will come racing over to me and envelop me in one of his amazing bear hugs.
This week, our church has been doing Vacation Bible Study. Up until this point, he hasn’t been because of his sensory processing issues. When he’s somewhere that’s too loud, too bright, too busy, too many people, etc., his brain goes into sensory overload and he ends up having a meltdown. By meltdown, I don’t mean a temper tantrum. Those are two totally different things. A tantrum is used to manipulate an adult to get his way; a meltdown, however, is a complete and total loss of control. So at any rate, his meltdowns have gotten a lot better as he’s gotten older, so we went ahead and let him to go VBS.
One of my sweet friends is head of the Christian Education Department at our church, and she knows about Nathan’s needs. She put Nathan in a group with an adult who works VERY well with him because she just so happens to be quite familiar with children and sensory issues. He’s still hard for her to control, but she is so patient with him and can actually foresee a problem before they happen. For example, she anticipates he’ll go into sensory overload when he’s around other loud, boisterous children, so she’ll make sure to sit between him and the other child. I can tell when I go pick him up that he’s definitely overloaded, however. He starts screaming and running around the church, plowing into anyone and everything in his path. So for the last two remaining nights (tonight and tomorrow night) I’ll be picking him up 30 minutes early to hopefully help with that.
My sweet Nathan. We’ll get this under control sooner or later. It will definitely make his life so much easier once he can figure out how to control it.
There is something innately endearing about a child putting his or her shoes on the wrong feet.
Nathan is completely enamored with his fireman boots. They were a Christmas gift from my mom, and let me tell you, Nathan can’t get enough of them. The first thing he does in the morning, before he’s even out of his PJ’s, is put on his boots. He clomps around in them all day, just as proud as he can be. Never mind that half the time they’re on the wrong feet. That stuff just doesn’t matter when you’re two years old.
I love this age. Well. I LOVE the age, but dislike the phase he’s going through right now… we’re going for yet another round of NOT MINDING! It’s driving me completely bonkers. For example, we got into a bit of a power struggle today. There’s a local mommy group in my area that meets once or twice a month for lunch and play with our kids. There was one today, and before I even left the house, I had inhibitions about attending. Nathan was in one of his moods, and I could just feel that things probably wouldn’t go smoothly.
I made his lunch (which is pretty much mandatory whenever I take Nathan somewhere. He’s incredibly picky, and coupling that with an intense desire to run amuk with the other kids makes Nathan want to completely forgo his dinners.) So it’s just easier to bring his own lunch, and we rarely get into power struggles over it.
Not today, however.
I told him after he ate his lunch, he could get down and go play with the other kids. Well, Nathan would have none of my rules, dontcha know. He balked. Loudly. He wanted to completely skip his lunch and go play, but unfortunately Nathan without food is a very-hard-to-manage Nathan. So I tried to compromise and advised him to eat just half of what I packed. No success. I tried to bribe him with a cookie. Nope, still didn’t work. Applesauce? He took a few bites and then had enough. Then he tried to pick up his plate and move it away. Finally, I told him to open his mouth and I would feed it to him. COMPLIANCE! Never mind that my child is nearly three years old now and I had to hand-feed him his lunch. All I was worried about was getting food into that grumpy little belly while simultaneously sticking to my rule of eating before play.
But then he went kinda nutzo. He had no sugar (the cookies “mysteriously” disappeared into my own mouth), so I’m not sure where all the crazy energy came from. But he started running around the room, yelling and bouncing around while his wavy hair flapped crazily around his head. I watched in horror as he forcefully yanked toys away from other kids, stole their stickers and decorated his own torso with the loot, and danced around like a jumping bean that had been soaking in adrenaline for a number of days. I tried to reprimand him. When I saw him jerk toys away from other kids, I immediately went to him and gave the toy back to the other child, explaining to Nathan that he needs to share and be nice to others. I took the stickers off his torso and handed them back to the kids he stole them from.
But the ultimate embarrassment was when Nathan physically shoved another little guy down, causing him to cry. One of the volunteers approached me and told me what Nathan did, and I immediately whisked him away into a corner for timeout after I making him apologize to the other boy. I told the mother I was terribly sorry, but she was a bit of a bitch about it. Yeah, I know my child hurt her child, but guess what? It happens. That does NOT mean it’s ok, but it IS to be expected with two and three year olds. But she was absolutely bitchy about it. As I was apologizing for my son’s actions, she didn’t even acknowledge me. In fact, she turned away from me and ignored me as she held her crying son. I totally get that she was upset, but there was no need for her to be rude about it. So I just shook my head and left her alone.
That’s ok. Her child will shove another kid one day when he’s around Nathan’s age. Hopefully the parent of the child he hurts will be nicer to her than she was to me. After being shunned like that, though, I won’t be apologizing to her again if my child ever behaves inappropriately towards her child again. Nathan will apologize to the child he hurt, but I won’t go out of my way just for her to reciprocate with rudeness.
Yes, I’m a little pissed off at her arrogance.
But enough of that. Arrogant, bitchy people are everywhere in this world. I am quite sure I will encounter many, many more throughout my life.
So yeah, Nathan has his super sweet, precious and endearing moments… but this belligerent phase he’s going through right now is driving me insane. I’m hoping this phase doesn’t last long. I want him to be sweet again. Don’t get me wrong, he totally has a multitude of sweet moments. I’ve noticed he gets really wound up when we’re out in public, especially if there’s a lot of other kids around or bustling activities. I’m going to have to figure out a way to work on this…
In the meantime, I’m going to soak up every single sweet moment he has. I know his not-so-sweet moments are just a phase that he will outgrow with love and patience. I’ve had SO many people tell me the Terrible Two’s are nothing compared to the Terrifying Three’s. He’s almost three. I hope this behavior is not a taste of what I’m in for in the coming year!
Nathan is more of a morning person, very much like his daddy. Paul practically jumps out of bed in the mornings, jumping for joy and whistling. Yes, you read that correctly. He whistles in the morning. I, on the other hand, have to will myself to sit up and slowly crawl out of bed. I’ve never been much of a morning person. Instead, I am a night owl. I love to stay up really super late and then sleep in. But with a kid, of course, that is out of the question. Not gonna happen. So I go to bed early enough to get just enough sleep to satiate my body’s desire for rest, but invariably not quite enough to keep me from being a bit grumpy for the first little while.
Nathan’s mood varies in the mornings. Most times he wakes up all jolly and full of rainbows and lolly pops. Other times, he wakes up grumpy and irritable. Full of “piss and vinegar” as the saying goes. He’s hard to deal with on those days, and it usually takes quite a bit of playing and bribing with books to get him into a better mood. In the picture above, he’d had a great morning. (Fortunately he has those more often than not.) Look at his morning hair! I was sitting on the ground when I took it, so the picture looks like he’s a giant in a tiny little room.
And see the mess behind him? Well, every night before he goes to bed, we clean up his room. And the first thing he does in the morning is drag his toys back out to play. I’ve really been working with him on cleaning up after himself. He and I always clean his room before he goes down for his nap. I set out some baskets, and we sort the toys. Legos here, cars there, blocks in that one, books in this one. Most of the time, he gets distracted and wants to play with the toys we are cleaning up, but I tell him we clean up first and THEN he can play with his toys again. This seems to work well. Just yesterday, he brought a basket filled with over 50 Hot Wheels and dumped most of them onto the coffee table. He played with them for a while, and when he was done –get this– he put them all back into the basket and carried it to his room!
Good work, son.
I know I say this a lot, but I have to say it again. I can’t believe how quickly he’s growing up.
Little guy waiting while Daddy went into the store. I was thankful that he didn’t get as upset as he normally does. This sweet boy really loves his father and can’t stand to be away from him. We are so lucky to have such a sensitive, caring little boy!