Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tight

It's just after seven, and I've just put Toast to bed. We are both exhausted. Today my sweet, laid back and happy boy had a very hard afternoon. I, of course, also had a hard afternoon. I'm struggling with my feelings right now...and I'm having a very very hard time.

It began after nap time. T woke up in a rotten mood and cried for about fifteen minutes. I tried to snack him, snuggle him, lay down with him in our bed, rock him, put him back in the crib for more sleep. He just wanted to whine and cry, alternately..together..separately...it didn't matter. He wanted to whine and cry.

So we got out of the house, went to the park then to a neighbor's for a little while...and it was lovely. The day is beautiful. Came home, ate dinner...then had more of the same...whine and cry. After dinner we went out to the deck, I was going to browse a book and I brought out toys for Toast. He came to my lap, grabbed a handful of clothing (I cannot tell you how this irritates me) and started to cry. It was 6:15. He did not stop for the next 45 minutes.

My chest, stomach, back, breath..all of it...are so tight right now I cannot relax. I am afraid if I start to cry I will not stop. There is nothing that brought on a tantrum. There is nothing wrong. There is nothing out of the ordinary. Apparently it's just an overload of emotions that had to be released.

When this happens, when Toby melts down...and it's not often...he likes to grab...he takes his fist and grabs handfuls of my clothing and pulls on it. It's uncomfortable and irritating. If it were an adult I would probably lose control and yell stop it. If it persisted, I would probably smack the person or walk away. Everyone has their trigger, and I didn't know this was mine...it irritates me beyond belief. BUT being the bigger, stronger, smarter one, I have to keep myself in check...and I do. But it's so hard sometimes to remind myself to be calm, distract, speak, soothe.

Toast is very very determined and stubborn. If he doesn't get his way, he screams and cries. I think this is common in toddlers, yes? If he wants to do something, and can't, he whines, or screams, or cries. If he is headed for something he's not supposed to do, and is blocked...the same. But what am I supposed to do when we are sitting on the deck on a lovely evening, and he will not play. If I get down to pay attention, he will play on his own. If I sit aways away to do something else, he will stop and come be near me, pull, whine. I try very very hard to remind myself that he is telling me something important...that he wants mom and needs my attention. But sometimes I just want a moment. Is it his age? It just sounds like I'm so selfish. I just read what I wrote and I'm so ashamed. But how do kids learn to be independant? I don't expect it now...but what is the line...when do I help and when do I not? When do I assert my right to sit and read a damn book for five minutes.

This parenting thing is so difficult. It's such a struggle. Am I the first mom who just needs a little break now and then? I cannot believe people do this on their own. I cannot believe that people undertake this job, willingly, alone.

7 comments:

hoppytoddle said...

Kym, go thee to amazon & order "Your Self-Confident Baby" by Magda Gerber. & you do have my okay to put him in his crib or a room wth a baby gate & just walk away, sometimes. He is old enough to understand that you need a break sometimes. & you do. Deserve a break, that is.

hoppytoddle said...

Actually, get "Dear Parent:..." instead. The school we sent Evie to advised these books & I swear they made me a better parent, & alcoholism does run in my family!

Anonymous said...

Both of my kids have "Quiet Time" every day that we are home. They must stay in their rooms and do whatever they want, quietly for one hour... When they complain that they aren't tired or don't want to, I tell them that this isn't about them, this is MY quiet time!! If they protest too loud, I do yard work....

Carol said...

I think ALL moms feel this way sometimes and rightly so. In the "olden days", there were boundaries to some extent. For his sake, as well as yours, you must pull away. As long as he knows he can get what he wants by being obnoxious, he will continue the habit, right into adulthood. Thus endeth the "old wise woman" sermon for the day! ;)

SparkCrafted said...

i don't really know what to say since i haven't experienced this myself as a mother. but i know as a librarian, dealing with anywhere from 30-100 kids a day, i've definitely run into the clingy, whiny, just-can't-sort-it-out kids. i have the benefit of being able to eject most of them, but there are some of the regulars that i've been dealing with for 3+ years. i don't feel the maternal love for them that you feel for Toast, but it still is exhausting.

you're doing one of the hardest jobs, in my opinion, and it's ok to feel the way you do. xoxo

Anonymous said...

First hugs- I feel for ya. It does get easier. Gabriel got very needy around about 18 months old. He whined when I wasn't around and needed to be near me it seemed like every second of the day. It was very exhausting emotionally and physically. But around his 2nd birthday he got alot more independent. I think at about 18 months kids start to realize you are seperate from them, if that makes sense.
But yes right now it is frustrating for you and him. So try to get some "me" time when you can. As I tell Gabriel when he gets to upset/frustrated "take a deep breath". He has even told me this a few times recently when I was upset.
Give a call if you need to talk more. Love ya, Monique

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I agree with the last comment...it's the age and it does get better. But it is always tough to find mom time. Still working on that one. Sometimes we rotate toys so that we bring out favorites during quiet time or fill a tub with water, add a squirt of dish soap and toys/cups and let him play outside with the bubbles. This almost always keeps them busy for a long time and you can read nearby. I also know friends who baby swap for an hour or two (I'll watch yours at my house today if you will watch mine tomorrow). Sorry it was a tough day! Jody