Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mommy abuse

My child is spoiled. It's not because he's the only one. It's because up until recently his requests have been pretty low key and totally in the realm of reasonable. Go to the library? -- Sure! Have a piece of sugarless gum -- Sure! Watch a softball game together? -- Why not? Read you a book? Of course. Watch Scooby Doo with you while eating popcorn? Love to! Visit a Firehouse after school and see the trucks? Why not? It's on the way home.

So, when you go for several years getting pretty much the okay to do things, you expect it to continue, right?

But when your requests start becoming dodgy (like wanting to live off Pirate Booty or cut up random things around the house with kitchen scissors) -- and Mommy puts on the brakes, two different kinds of ugly behavior come from my four year old: either the world suddenly ends OR the gauntlet is thrown and war of wills is declared.

And it'll last for HOURS, the whining and complaining. I thought it was bad today, until tonight when we went from constant tantrum to ultra frustration. Giving choices doesn't seem to help. Trying to talk rationally won't work in the middle of heated tantrum because he's not ready to not be all raw and emotional about everything.

Tonight, he was so mad at me, he pretended to shoot me. I got hit or punched several times. He bit my left arm. He threatened to have me thrown in jail or thrown in the garbage and hauled away. (Can you tell he was really mad?)

I asked him not to do something. I explained why I didn't want it done and then asked if he understood what I was asking. He said he did. And then he did it again. I told him that if he did it one more time, I'd take away his Wonder Woman lunchbox of superhero figurines. He freaked out -- and 30 seconds later did what I asked him not to do. So, I snagged the lunchbox and put it up, and, thus, the war began.

After receiving the repeated physical abuse while trying to get him to reset, I declared I was done and marched up to my room, shut and locked the door. He spent 10 minutes throwing himself at the door And then said very plainly, "Please open the door. I want to tell you I'm sorry."

It took 45 minutes to get us to that point. So, I opened it. He ran in and sat in my lap and said he was sorry and hugged and kissed me. Then we left it alone. And the last words he said to me before falling asleep in his tent on the air mattress were, "You're okay, Mommy. You're okay." Then he patted me on the shoulder and fell asleep.

I know he's four and an emotional nut case right now developmentally. I pick my battles carefully. But it seems like there are more and more unreasonable protests coming from the other side lately. I keep trying to emphasize the positive actions, but he seems so quick to do the negative ones all the time. It's frustrating me. It's frustrating him. I'm so effing tired of dealing with it.


Rudy said...

We are right there with you. Not a fun stage some days, But like we talked about the other day, there are other things that make you think... "he might get this at some point". I mean, kids learn in giant leaps it seems and at some point, they will just get that life is easier if they listen to Mommy and Daddy (and they might even one day think we know what the heck we are talking about... not that I am holding my breath). In the mean time, there will be some crummy days. We had one of them today as well but it is a process and they will get there!

the sandwich life said...

oh man...I know....I found the 'fours' to be FAR worse than the so-called 'terrible twos.' It does get better but I know it's exhausting when you're in the thick of it....