Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bad Mommy Day

My kid is turning into THAT kid. You know the one who is yelling in public, acting up, making his mother want to pretend she doesn't know him. And I'm turning into that Mom - the one who didn't really need to discipline much and now is up to her eyeballs in the terrible toddler years and doesn't know what to do.

Today started well enough. Child slept well and we headed out to his grandparents where he's left while I work. The ride was quicker than normal so there wasn't much chance for incident. He was dropped off without a hitch. Then the afternoon hit. His lunch wasn't great. He did not nap. He hates having to go home as it is, but today was the added torture of the dentist.

He told me he'd be a little scared, I said that's ok and walked him through the visit (the dentist just looks, it's not even a cleaning!). He said he'd be brave. He sat down in the chair and completely lost it. Flipped out way more than a kid should. The dentist wasn't too thrilled, I think mostly because my kid was BITING him! I can't believe it. I have the kid who bites the dentist.

The rest of the afternoon was a disaster - begging for a cupcake he brought home from his grandparents' house, throwing things, screaming, etc. I know most of it was fueled by a lack of nap, but I honestly can't say this is isolated. Like I said, he's becoming THAT kid.

I can't make excuses for it anymore. I can't blame his lack of sleep or he's hungry or moody or whatever. This is my fault. I let it happen. I am his mother.

I can take away toys, but who cares, there are millions. I can say no treats or snacks, but that's all he eats are snacks. I could take away TV, but then I lose the 15 minutes I get to get something done (yay, a punishment for me). I tried the sticker chart for good behavior. He didn't care. I tried telling him he would eat what I made him or he'd starve, he said he'd rather be hungry (for two weeks... no one can say I didn't try...). He said he couldn't try the potty because his butt was dying.

I've let him get away with too much. Now I have to put my foot down. I've always said he's the kind of kid who will take a mile when you give an inch and yet I fall for it anyway. Sometimes it's because I'm too tired to deal with it or I don't want to fight. Sometimes it's because I feel bad for him for whatever reason. Mommy guilt is a killer, but it has to stop.

I don't have a plan yet. I need one. The task seems so daunting. Moms who have been through this and so much more because their kids are older probably think I'm being ridiculous. Moms my grandmother's age would say that he just needs a swift kick and some tough love. I don't have much personal experience growing up to say what worked for my mother. All I know is I can't let this get worse and I'm at a loss for how to make things better without making all of our lives miserable in the process.

I guess I've got some thinking to do.


  1. Ok... I may not have kids (yet) but I read an AWESOME book and I highly recommend it. It's for kids of all ages and it really does work. It's called "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Kevin Leman (that is if you have time to read a book).

    You are right. Kids behave like that because...they can. Parenting is not an easy feat by any means, and to discipline is much more difficult than just letting them have their way, but in the end it's much more worth it. Not just for your sanity, but for others, and it also teaches him manners and how to act in the real world (at school).

    Most Mom's I talk to hate to discipline their child because of the screaming and tantrums (at first) but if you stick to it, you'll realize when they do start behaving better that they still love you even when you tell them no. :) In a really strange way, humans WANT discipline and structure. It shows that people care about us even though we want to believe that giving them everything they want shows we care. It doesn't.

    Good luck with your endeavors and your sanity. Lol. On a side note, I about died when I read his butt was dying!! What a hoot. And biting?? Oh my. I'm sure you wanted to crawl under a table.

  2. Hey Michelle,

    We've had some of the same. Not as bad, but still...

    We stopped fighting the nap game. Ours just won't nap anymore. That's been since about 33 months (about 5 months ago)

    Hang in there.

    And I'd try mixing up different ways to get Nathan to eat different things. How we eventually got Quincy to do it is by making his dessert dependent on having vegetables or whatever else we decide. Not ideal, but it does get him to try new things. (He loves his "treats", and really, who doesn't??)