Monday, July 28, 2008

Three Children, Six and Under

My children are driving me crazy.

They are one biting-hitting-screaming incident away from being posted for sale on eBay. (I've written that ad in my head but it is too offensive to repeat here).

When will the hitting, biting, screaming, fighting, whining, manipulating, and complaining stop?

I'm NOT coming out of my room! Ever!
I don't even like that food!
It's not fair! Her turn was longer than mine!
Hey Mama, we went pee in the garbage can instead of the toilet!
Don't touch me! Don't even look at me!
I've never even LIKED you, not even since you were BORN!
These socks are being mean to my feet! I CAN'T wear these!

When will they be able to put on shoes and socks without complaining about seams that are too scratchy/pokey/bothering-them-for-inexplicable-reasons-that-cannot-be-articulated-in-words?

Are there children's socks specially made for tactile-challenged children?

Is there a system for washing socks so that they come out ready-matched?

Why is it that the success or failure of a morning can be measured by how well we handled our sock challenges?

Can I get an amen out there, or am I the only one suffering from the
Childrearing Blues right now?

Lately I hear my own voice as I speak to my children. I am impatient, on-edge, less than gentle. This morning I came very close to yelling "You are such a brat!" to Eleanor. I barely applied the verbal brake in time, yelling instead, "You are so uncooperative!" as Eleanor rejected the third pair of socks, screaming and flailing as if I were trying to feed her feet to a lion rather than stuff them into socks.

What do I need? A Love & Logic refresher course? More Vitamin D? A long vacation without children? Prozac? Nanny 911? I don't know what would help.

I'm tempted to add a running count to my blog-page: Number of Days until all of my children are in school. That seems wrong somehow. But it really would encourage me.

It's not a good feeling to not like my own children. It makes me not like myself, either. But that's how it is lately. That's just how it is.
Note: Don't let the cute pictures fool you. I only included those to distract you from my own incessant whining.


Duck Doc said...

Well you can rest assured that you have made one childless cousin feel better about her state of affairs. If you wanna ship one or all three to Portland for a weekend, we would try to accomodate. I think you totally deserve a vacation from the kids for an extended period of time. Shauna and Eli just got back from Hawaii for ten days without the boys and I think it helped a lot! Maybe ship them to the farm ;-) my parents did that every now and then.....Sending good thoughts your way. Oh and it would be nice to see you when we are in Seattle the weekend of the 23rd of August will you be around?

slouching mom said...

I will give you three:


My own tactile-challenged (I like that!) older son cried (CRIED!) at lunch today, because I made the cheese in his grilled cheese sandwich "too melty."

It's either melted or it's not, buddy. WTF!?!


Alicia said...

I'm there with you, sis. Fortunately for me, my husband does most of the parenting during the summer as I work in my office with the door shut. However, I still find myself gradually losing patience. I had to write in my weekly Franklin-Covey planner's "Big Rock" for the week, "Don't yell at my kids". Pitiful!

I guess we need to hold onto the cute things that they do and say. Like Ethan telling me that he doesn't ever want to get married because "it would be embarrassing to have everyone look at me". Hmmm...the attention from strangers didn't seem to bother him this weekend when he tried to run from me in the neighborhood swimming pool and his Father had to drag him out by his legs...

Summer said...

I know, I know!!

Ship the kids to your cousin in Portland and come play with us in Indiana. I'm a really good hostess. I'll cook you great food and serve you good wine and Amish cheese on my awesome front porch. We can wander the trails of my local arboretum and environmental center.

Jeremy and I promise not to even wear socks the entire time you're here!

Take heart my friend. You're children ARE going to grow up to be wonderful, healthy, happy young adults (that live somewhere else) someday. There is nothing wrong with being frustrated by them or the task of parenting. I can't even imagine what a hard job that would be. But I have complete faith in your ability to do it. You and Tobin are the best parents Jeremy and I have ever seen.

And I think putting a count down on your blog seems perfectly reasonable. Go for it!

Wishing you the best,

Little Monkies said...

1) I thought CPS was going to show up at my house a few weeks ago when Monkey FREAKED OUT at the Y that he couldn't have a hand held much that I had to carry him out.

2) I regularly think "how many years until college"

3) I am in the north of Spain with my husband...and no kids.

Horrible. I am with you.

KarenP said...

First of all, I hear ya, and... sympathy.

Second, "tactile challenged" is actually pretty close to the clinical term, which is "tactile defensiveness." It's a symptom of sensory integration disorder which is a very real and very treatable condition. My daughter was diagnosed this year and the Occupational Therapy she's gotten this year has totally transformed both her and our household. I'd love to chat. Alicia can give you my phone number or email.

And, yes, they do make seamless socks, which are a BIG deal for kids with tactile defensiveness. Here's a site with great Sensory Integration information, a specific page on Tactile Defensiveness, and even a page on seamless socks. Ask and ye shall receive.

As for the sibling thing, I highly recommend the book "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Adele Faber. It helps.

Please talk to Alicia if you want to chat with me more about sensory issues. I'd really love to listen and share my experiences w/ Anneka.

Pate Family said...

The countdown until everyone is in school is a GREAT idea! Today I was helping Andy check in kids at tennis camp, Camden was screaming sitting in his carseat (at least restrained), Hudson was running around like a little maniac, and Ainsley was having a fit because her friend wasn't there yet, she didn't like her tennis skort, she only had plain water not Gatoraid like other kids had, and probably because the sky was blue. Just then my OB who has delivered all my kids shows up with her son and tells me what a great summer she is having because her two boys are old enough to stay home alone and have just been so great and independent this summer. She looks in my car at C. screaming and says, "you have a little bit until you are at that point don't you." I asked her if we could go behind the tennis shed and she could tie my tubes right then and there.

Anonymous said...

We know. We really, really know. It is so frustrating because they can be completely irrational at this age.

And, we've totally had the "too melty" conversation about grilled cheese.

bgirl said...

oh ally, can you hear me from 5 blocks away????

i am shouting AMEN.
i am also wrapping my arms around you in the hopes of taking some of that yicky feeling (that you describe and that resonates) away.

i am laughing because just yesterday i thought, man i'm writing a note to ally for advice on this one. so even at your worst, you are a rockin' honest authentic mama. hang in there....and, now, go pour a drink! ;)

Seattle Mamacita said...

I think the coop needs to revive itself and all of us need to start "raising this village" so mamas and papas can get more nights out :) luckily the g prefers mismatched socks but do not dare give him a milk in anything but the cow cup or else... well I'm suprised you haven't heard from down the street...AMEN! AMEN!

Arlene Winn said...

Oh, Allyson, I can empathize completely. I remember feeling the same way about 18 years ago. I voice my emotion to one of my sisters, and she was HORRIFIED. She had one child at the time, a very sweet, compliant, and easy child. She later had child number 2 and was a bit more understanding. I felt like a very BAD mommy. This is what I can tell you from the place I am now. This WILL pass. You will look back on this day (and blog)and be able to smile. How wonderful that you can write so wonderfully about your frustration.

18 years ago Ben would not wear any shirt that was anywhere close to his neck. "It is CHOKING me!" I feared that he would never be able to dress appropriately in this world. (not that this is all that important.) I can tell you that today he loves getting dressed up and wearing a shirt and tie.

Hang in there! You will make it and you will have children you can be proud of.

You are a wonderful Mama!

Amy said...

Wow after reading that post I want a few of my own sooner rather than later...this must be the reason you haven't blogged for awhile...:)

Anonymous said...

Oy. I am completely THERE with you... just different ages. I have, in the past, locked myself in the bathroom ("Mommy needs a time out.") to cry over the state of affairs. Anybody who tells you they haven't had this mood (more than once) is just plain... well... not being truthful. It seems to go round and round - didn't someone write a song about that?

Any time you want to talk, walk, e-mail, yell over the phone, I'm here for you...