Posts tagged grumpy
My kid is so stubborn.
I mean, really, really stubborn. And strong-willed. Determined. Steadfast.
Just a few days ago, I heard one of my cats meow in exasperation. I slinked through the kitchen and caught Nathan in the living room, throwing tufts of cat fur into the air and DANCING IN IT while clapping his hands. I saw my cat Andrew hunkered wide-eyed in the corner. He looked as if he thought he was naked.
I bet he felt naked with all the fur Nathan had pulled out and was DANCING in.
“NO! Nathan, that’s not nice! You don’t hurt the cats… Time Out!” I said as I grabbed his cat-fur covered hands. I steered him into his Time Out Corner and set the timer for three minutes (the amount of time Nathan gets in time out depends on his infraction. Milder infractions get him two minutes). When three minutes was up, I returned to Nathan and squatted down on his level.
“Do you understand why Mommy put you in time out?” I asked.
He looked at his hands.
“You pulled out the cat’s fur. You hurt the cat. No touching the cats, Nathan.”
“I’m sorry,” he replied as he did the sign for sorry across his chest.
“Nathan, I need you to say ‘No cat,'” I said.
Nathan mumbled something unintelligible.
“If you want out of time out, you need to say ‘No cat,'” I prodded. Nathan crossed his arms over his chest.
“NO!” he yelled.
“Okay then, you made the choice to have more time out,” I replied. I set the timer for another minute. When the timer went off, I repeated the process.
In fact, I repeated the process a grand total of THIRTY SEVEN times. That means that THIRTY SEVEN times in a row, I asked Nathan if he was ready to say “No cat.” And THIRTY SEVEN times in a row, Nathan obstinately refused. Until finally, a grand total of FORTY minutes later (including the three minutes for his first time out) and with tears streaming down his cheeks and snot dripping out his nose, he begrudgingly gave me what I asked for.
“No cat,” he whispered. That’s right. He wouldn’t even speak it. HE WHISPERED IT.
With his arms crossed over his chest and his chin up in the air.
But at least he said it, right? My kid may be stubborn, but his mama is even MORE stubborn. Getting tired of the discipline and giving in is not an option for me… giving in means that Nathan would know that all he needs to do to get his way is put up a fight and eventually I’ll cave. And then? Then I’m left dealing with an A-1 Brat. Not gonna happen in this house. It is my responsibility to prepare this child for life, and letting him have his way teaches him nothing.
Even if it takes THIRTY SEVEN repetitions.
Hey, no one ever said parenthood was easy.
Oh man. What a weekend.
So Friday night, my cat Andrew (who has been having issues with pooping outside the litter box) decided to take a dump in the kitchen. So I come trotting through the kitchen and guess what I did?
I STEPPED RIGHT IN IT.
With my bare feet.
And it squished up through MY TOES.
I didn’t even feel it until I had taken a couple of steps, leaving poop-footprints in my wake. And he must have JUST done it because the smell didn’t hit me yet. In fact, when I looked down and saw poop in between my toes, I thought to myself, there’s no way. There is no way I just stepped in a pile of crap. It was the most disgusting thing ever, let me tell you.
So fast forward to yesterday morning. Andrew (I assume) had left me two poop piles near the litter boxes, one of those had been anointed with a drizzle of pee. So cleaning all that up put me in an irritable mood, as I’m sure you would be to if you had been dealing with this for some time. I was now running a little late for church. So then, after I got it all cleaned up and put in a plastic bag, I walked to the door to put it outside when Andrew starts meowing at me, wanting me to love on him.
I was like, how dare you meow to be petted after pooping outside your litter box!
So I swatted at him with the poop bag.
But instead of swatting the cat, I managed to swat the wall. And it hit the wall JUST RIGHT. Because the angle where it made contact with the wall was perfect; the bag of poop freaking EXPLODED. It got all over the wall, all over the blinds, all over the curtains, the recliner, the window sill, the floor, and all over ME. Hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny poop particles flew EVERWHERE. So then I start crying. I was mad at Andrew, but mostly, I was mad at myself for letting myself get so irritated.
Then Paul comes out of the bathroom as is all like, Ewww what is that smell?
And then he sees the poop explosion. And you know what he does? He takes his church clothes off and tells me to go on to church- he’ll clean up the mess. What a wonderful guy! So I cleaned up, changed my clothes, and went on to church. But I felt horrible the entire time… since I was running so late, I left Nathan at home with Paul because I didn’t have time to get him ready. So because of me, they both had to miss out on church.
LESSON LEARNED, Lord. Lesson learned.
Yesterday, Paul put Nathan in time out for throwing his toys. He explained to Nathan that he’s not allowed to throw things, and the next time he does it, he’ll go right back into time out. Well lo-and-behold, guess who threw his toys again? So Nathan got put in time out once more. But that time Nathan got put in time out, he said, “I sawee! I sawee” (I’m sorry! I’m sorry!) while frantically signing “sorry” in sign language. And then? Then he looks at me and says “Mama, pweese! Pweese! I sawee!” (Mama, please! Please! I’m sorry!) And then you know what happened?
I DIED A LITTLE INSIDE.
Because it completely breaks my heart to discipline my son and see those tears splashing down his cheeks. But you know what? It’s not about me. It’s about what’s best for Nathan. And it is absolutely NOT in his best interest for me to be self-centered, refusing to discipline him because disciplining him makes me feel bad, while it harms him in the long run by turning him into an entitled, self-absorbed, spoiled, bratty adult.
There are way too may of those in the world today, you guys feel me?
Children are a blank piece of paper. We, as the parents, write on that paper who our children are going to become as adults. I want Nathan to understand that there are consequences for everything that he does. Some of those consequences are good. Others are bad. And as much as it breaks my heart to discipline him and see those glistening tears cascading down his little cheeks, I know that it has to be done.
But you know what? He is one happy kid. Seriously. He knows he’s loved, because we set limits with him. He needs that security, and he is thriving. And, if I do say so myself, although he has his typical toddler fits, I have a wonderful, precious, sweet, kind, and loving child who I love more than life itself.
So yesterday, I took Nathan to Paul’s work so Paul could show him around the place while I got my registration for my car renewed. Unfortunately, Nathan had other ideas in mind. He started crying when they went into the building and then threw a complete temper tantrum when Paul tried to walk him down a particular hall. (Why do kids do that anyway?) We had planned to eat lunch together at a local bistro that we hadn’t tried yet, but Nathan was in such a foul mood from his experience that, unfortunately, we couldn’t even order our food! Nathan was crying so much and was so obstreperous that just a few minutes after we sat down, we had to get up and leave. It was very disappointing, and we’ve never had to actually leave a restaurant before we could even eat. (Although there have been many times where Paul and I had to shovel down the last bites of our food because of Nathan’s behavior.)
That’s the life of a parent, though. Especially a parent with a two-year-old. I’ve been told by many people that the three’s are worse… I really hope not. Because whoever coined the term “The Terrible Two’s” was not joking around. Nathan is such a sweet, loving, kind-hearted little gentleman 90% of the time… but the remaining 10% of the time? HE IS ROTTEN!!! We’re working with him on correcting this behavior (I cannot even imagine what kind of adult he would be if we allowed this behavior to continue… what are some parents thinking?!) so sooner or later, there will be an improvement. Until then, I just shake my head, hold him close, and tell myself that this stage won’t last forever.