It’s no secret that I’ve never really been the “natural mother” type. Parenting is harder than I ever dreamed it would be, and I’m far from the mother I thought I could be.
But nothing has challenged me more than the stage we’re at now. Not the desperate struggles with breastfeeding, or the early days of sleep deprivation. Nothing compares to the actual demon child my son has turned in to over the last few months.
If there is something he doesn’t want to do, all hell breaks loose. There is foot-stomping, screaming, grunting, eye rolling, huffing and a chorus of “MUUUUUUMMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!” accompanied by tears. And snot.
Terrible Twos? Nope, we got through those mostly unscathed. Yes, there were days where Hubby got home and all I wanted to do was storm out for five minutes peace, but it was the odd day here and there. And X was small enough then to tuck up under my arm, or restrain in a pushchair so we could leg it to somewhere private before the tantrum took hold.
Threenager? Yes, but as we’re quickly approaching 4, I’m not sure this behaviour qualifies. X has always had a brilliant vocabulary, so he got through the earliest of the challenging Threenager behaviour by talking – he could tell us what he wanted, and understood what we said in return. Right now? He still has this dazzling arsenal of words at his disposal but chooses to ignore all of it. Instead, just repeats my name over and over again until we’re both more than a bit fed up.
Perhaps the worst thing is how quickly he moves on from the red faced bawling. 20 minutes it took us the other morning to get him to put socks on. He refused to pick his clothes, so I did. And I got it wrong. He didn’t want Duggee socks. But would he tell me which socks he did want? Or would he go to his room to pick some different ones? Ooooooo no. It took me putting on my coat and shoes and opening the front door to “go without him” for him to concede and put on the spare socks from his nursery bag.
But then he was fine. Happy as Larry. Joking about what he wanted to have for lunch. I, meanwhile, am a sweaty, frazzled mess, just about holding back tears and wondering what all of this is doing to my blood pressure.
And don’t get me started on bedtime. It’s anyone’s guess if he’s going to politely ask to go up to bed at 6.30, or turn into a banshee who only wants to laugh and throw pants around.
It’s not all bad. He’s so loving – always running around to find me just to yell “Love ya Mom!” at the top of his lungs. His imagination is amazing, and I love the games he’s always coming up with.
I know it’s a phase. And I know it’ll pass and then we’ll be on to whatever comes next. But that isn’t making it any easier right now!
Please give me your tips for helping all of us through this trying time…