Yesterday Pax and I both woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. We had so much fun together in the morning! Only a few little warnings, only a few little tiny tantrums, nothing big at all and then a lunch and a nap for both of us. The afternoon was a bit harder since I got him up early hoping to give us some time at the Children's Museum. He wasn't too happy about that at first and was definitely a bit whiney, but I needed to renew our membership and we hadn't been there in over a week! After we left we went to Garner and picked up our new Rocker/Glider with Ottoman (yay!) then came home, hung around, ate dinner and he went to bed and life was wonderful :)
Today? That's a bit of a different story.
I really wanted to keep the same upbeat good communication and happy kid thing going on but that obviously wasn't going to work. First of all, Pax was already on the computer playing with Nick Jr.com before I got to him. He's a lot worse for me after playing on the computer than he is watching tv, or especially just playing with his toys. He was MAD when it came time to get ready and go. There's just too much on there and he knows it and he's trying to access every game and video and mommy keeps making him stop after an hour or so. How mean! So I got him dressed while telling him we were going to Marbles and he did his normal "throw a fit and cry" thing while screaming "no wubbers, no wubbers!" So we didn't go to Marbles. I usually just take him anyway so today really threw him off. I had no investment in going and I really didn't want to make him sit on his bed and force out an "I'll be good" before taking him someplace where I already told him we wouldn't be going due to his behavior. We went to the mall instead.
Paxton played well on the trains and I was proud of him. He was being pretty good and I was impressed. He was even quiet for storytime (as much as possible for him), listened well and then colored well. It was when we went to leave the bookstore that the trouble started. I mean, it was just too crowded with too many kids being left unwatched at the train table and I knew a big freakout or fight was bound to happen with that many small kids in that tiny a space with such a small number of toys. So we left and went to the indoor playground. He was a bit bratty with me on the way there, but not awful. And he made up for it by running into Abercrombie and dancing to the music. Love that little butt wiggle :)
While at the playground though...
We saw a woman we haven't seen in a long time, along with her daughter and the girl she nannies. Paxton pinched the daughter. Or at least that's what they told me. What I do know is that he ran into the tunnel they were both in but didn't shove his way through, like he normally does. The mom noticed something was wrong then ran over and yanked out my kid and hers. Her daughter was crying, Paxton was grinning, and the mom told me Pax had been pinching her.
It wasn't until later that I realized he was quite possibly tickling her, something he does often, and not pinching, something he's never done before to another child. But at the time I had to discipline him. And I felt awful. I felt awful for the little girl who was crying and the mom who was upset and I felt bad for my son who is himself just a little kid who's trying things out and seeing if he can get away with them. And I felt like the idiot newbie mom, or the irresponsible mom, and even the over reacting mom. It's situations like those where I wish there was some handbook or something just to say "the normal reaction is X." What I did was make him say he was sorry then take him over to a bench and sit with him on my lap, holding his hands and telling him that they were mine for a few minutes since he wasn't using them nicely. We talked about how pinching is mean and how the girl was crying and how it's mean to make people cry, and while objectively this might've been right I still feel like an idiot somehow. Should I have been lighter on him? Asked for more info to see if he was tickling? Now I feel like I was too rough. And I was embarrassed and trying not to cry.
Not long after he did his normal "slide down the slide, lay at the bottom, put feet up to catch anyone else sliding down and then kick if they try to move me or my legs" thing, y'know the thing he keeps getting timeouts for. I just grabbed him and pulled him out of the playground. I put his shoes and jacket on with him crying that he could do it and me telling him that if he was going to act like a little boy (instead of a big boy) who didn't understand what I said and did mean things, then I had to treat him like a little boy and put his shoes on for him. Yeah, he was screaming and crying. We left. I didn't let him have his toys for most of the ride home too since he was just pissy. Once he calmed down he got one until he somehow hurt himself with it (a koosh ball) and threw such a fit at me that I just took it from him. Then he was very quiet.
At home we had cereal for lunch, per request. Then he got his banana. And then the worst possible thing that could ever happen happened: his banana broke in half while he was peeling it.
I'm used to the banana freakouts by now. We have tried different methods of dealing with it, from giving him a new one when he was littler, to putting him in time out when he was larger, to now just outright ignoring him and going right along with what we were doing. We don't want to encourage it by any means. What I mean by freakout is that the banana breaks, he drops it and starts shrieking, then he throws himself to the side so that he falls off the chair as hard as he can and just lays there with tears streaking down his face while screaming at the top of his lungs "NONONONONONONONONO!"
Today I gave him a minute to gather himself up to phase two of freak out, the run over and start punching mommy's leg phase (he doesn't normally punch anymore so he just kinda bops into me then tries to push and then just sorta stands there), and I picked him up and sat him on the potty. Tried to ignore it. Took several minutes and I did have to leave the room or lose my cool, but he calmed down and ate the half still in the peel. He did his normal "mommy fix it?" and "'nother nana?" things, but it was our last one and I'm not supporting that behavior anyway. Once he ate his half of 'nana, he grabbed a couple books and halfheartedly protested while I sent him to bed. I'm pretty sure he's knocked out now.
Boy looked so tired I thought he'd pass out on the playground. Woke up earlier than normal. Sucks for all of us. He loves his sleep as much as I do, so I know how much it sucks little man. Still no reason to be a meanie.
I'm watching myself a bit more too. I feel like such a meanie myself, always scolding or leaving the room while he's crying. Well, if he's actually crying because he's hurt or scared or sad, no I don't leave. But if he's having a tantrum? Especially one where he likes to hurt himself by falling off of chairs? I think it's best I don't give him attention for that. I still just wanna cry, though. I mean, my son is crying. Like, real tears and everything. Siiiiiiiiigh.
On a "ridiculous mommy" note I found myself getting angry at Paxton yesterday while trying to explain why I couldn't just stop the car in the middle of the road in rushhour traffic and get out. I needed to circle around a bit to find a spot at Marbles and by our second run around the building mommy wasn't the happiest camper. I mean, it's all lefts and the lights are set up to turn red right when you get to them so it's not a fast process. Paxton just kept asking "wubbers? wubbers? Mommy, stop car. Go in Wubbers!" And I was trying to explain that no, I could not just stop the car no matter how much I wanted to. I was giving this long detailed explanation until I caught myself and realized "dear Lord, I'm ranting to a three year old." He didn't mind. Everynow and then he interjected with a soft "no" but he does that anyway. Otherwise I think he was having fun watching mommy make a butt of herself.
Ah, crazy little man and his crazy ole mommy. Some days are worse than others, some days are glorious, but every day I somehow love him more :)
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4 weeks ago