Saturday, November 27, 2010

Willing to Trade: One Preschooler for... ANYTHING

Seriously, I love my son.  Please don't get me wrong.  He is my whole stinking world and I adore him beyond belief.

BUT I am so willing to board him somewhere until he's 4.  Maybe 5.  I don't know.  Whenever it is that this stops. 

This, meaning: obstinacy, defiance, selective hearing...ance, hyperness, moodiness, pickiness... just... issue-y. He's an issue-y kid.  I'm pretty sure he could be diagnosed with, at any given time, any combination of: sczhizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, OCD, anorexia, and probably senility.

Super.

He's brilliant, he's hilarious, he's sweet, he's kind.  He's helpful and eager and fun.

But.

But.

I just put him to bed wearing a pj top, khakis, socks and loafers with his Woody hat.  To avoid a tantrum.  Because he has been up since 8 am and up my fanny the entire time.  And I don't have it in me to deal with a tantrum.  Because I feel like every single day 98% of my energy goes into Jack-management.  To keep him from melting down, to keep him from busting up his sisters, to keep him from being a douche bag.  Sometimes I succeed.  Sometimes I don't and I end up listening to grunting noises and being glared at from beneath furrowed brows at best, watching him scream and cry and beat his fists on the floor like a monkey at worst. 

Where is the child who would cease misbehavior at the almighty throat-clear, without even needing me to chastise him?  What happened to the docile, eager-to-please kiddo who responded so well to positive reinforcement?

Oh, that's right... he turned 3.

I'd like to find the idiot who coined the deceptive term "terrible two's" and beat him over the head with the parenting book that began the chapter on preschoolers with, "...three year olds are, by-and-large, pleasant, lovely children to be around." and then I'd like to water-board him with the buckets of tears shed between me and Jack.

Not that I'm frustrated or anything.

Where is the chapter in the books that begins with, "When you get to age three, consider a medically-induced coma to best cope with the challenges you'll face"?  I mean, seriously.  If I hear, "I'm hungry! I need some foods!" only to present him with food and be told, "No! It's yucky!" and endure a tantrum over bites of lousy hot dog that amount to about 45 calories one more time, I'm going to put myself in a coma.  I think I present the child with about 7 meals a day.  I think he eats about 1, total.  I am fairly positive that another day of, "Jack, take it easy, keep your hands to yourself, we listen, we share, we keep our hands to ourselves" and I'm going to barf.  On him, ideally.  Just because it'd be poetic. 

I know it gets better.  I know he's testing boundaries and trying to ascertain how he fits into the world and I know that it's part of the learning process of a child figuring out how to deal with emotions and how to make good decisions and so on.  I get it.  I'm not an idiot.  But when I've spent the 4th consecutive day without taking a shower listening to the same whiny tone and being demanded to build my 900th mile of train track or Lego house that is deemed insufficient, I just don't care about the psycho-babble crap behind it; I want it to be over.  I've never wished my kids' lives away and, to be fair, I'm not wishing the time away, just the behavior.  And since I doubt wishing is going to do much good, I spend the other 2% of my emotional energy praying ardently for patience.  And wisdom.  But mostly patience.

Jack, my love, please figure it out soon for my sanity. 

9 comments:

Leigh Ann said...

i definately feel your pain. i have 8 three year olds of my own. these are pretty normal things, unfortunately. i know its tough, but you'll get through it! and so will Jack! :)

Zookeeper Jess said...

I feel you. I feel you!!!!

My son is much the same way. He's a handful! And he's almost 3!

Nicole@MTDLBlog said...

Hang in there Mama!!!! I remember feeling the same way about the three's - We're always told that "terrible twos" but then when Jordan was three, oh boy, way worse than the twos.

Sarah said...

I could have written this post! I feel this way about Abigail. She can be sweet one minute, the next, watch out! I think part of her issues is her speech, but other than that, some days she will be lucky to see her fourth birthday. Praying for patience...

Mama M. said...

Oh, yikes. I've gotta 2 year old that sounds like his twin sister. Maybe we should trade. Just to mix it up a bit...I mean, it'll be the same sh** different kid! Imagine! I could be exciting!

Or, maybe not.

Jami said...

Three is absolutely the worst. I feel your pain. When number one son turned three I thought I would die...or sell him. He was a nightmare. Then when number 2 turned three I bawled like a baby because I knew it was coming. (My hubs thought I was losing it.)

Anyway, I get it. I have no words of wisdom for you, except you did the right thing with the khakis and shoes. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. ;)

chinamoon1420 said...

I saw you on Mcmama's blogfrog. I live in middle valley which is right next door to soddy daisy. My husband works in soddy daisy. I too have a 3 yr old boy and I so feel your pain! I love him but man on his off days....whoooooooo! watch out! I looooooved the two's!!! About 2 or 3 months before he turned 3 someone replaced him with a replica! You can contact me at chinamoon1420@aol if you would like. Maybe we can do some play dates. Sounds like our boys could really entertain each other and we could compare war stories! (I haven't gotten to read your blog..just the 1st entry....my son...well you know.....)

Christine:) said...

I am so glad I read this right now, because I've felt all weekend about E like you are feeling about Jack- it's bad....it's really bad...and you can just take out Jack's name and insert E's into this ENTIRE blog post, and this is our life over here too.

No advice, but I am SO thankful we are in this together (and a lot of your other readers too, apparently! Phew! We ARE good moms! LOL)

Love,
C:)

Arizona Mamma said...

I have a solution. Not the one you are aiming for, I'm certain. But I'll trade you Addyson for him for a while. Then, maybe when you get him back you'll have an overwhelming sense of relief. Or at least you'll know for certain there is a female version of your son livin out her days in my house!

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