Friday, October 5, 2007

Teetering on the Edge

I can't believe I'm going to admit this. It's embarrassing really. Are you ready? Wait for it...wait for it....

I yelled at my baby today. Correction. I "raised my voice" at my sick baby. He's twenty months old and he's been suffering from a nasty cold for the past couple of days. But how much is a mom supposed to take??

He had been whining and crying for most of the day. He'd whine for some food so I'd put him in his highchair and place a snack on his tray. He'd reject the snack and start whining to get down. I tried feeding him all the things he liked but nothing seemed to satisfy him. Nothing, that is, except whatever I was eating.

Now, I'm the first to admit I'm territorial when it comes to food. I don't like sharing and I get a little squirm-ish if I see someone eyeing up my snack. I've learned to share small amounts with my children without resenting it, but I still have to do a mental pep talk and remind myself it's just a piece of food and they are my flesh and blood. After all, I'd die for them so I should be able to break off a morsel of chocolate without second...okay, third thoughts.

But I digress. Along with the continual whining, which wouldn't have been so bad on its own, he decided that today was the day to test all boundaries. He, quite literally, went from object to object getting into everything he knows not to touch. And what made it really intolerable was the look in his eye. I would say, "No, Kolten. Don't touch," and he'd put back whatever it was he had picked up. Then he'd look at me with this what-are-you-going-to-do look in his eye and walk straight to the next no-no.

I was soooo frustrated by the end of the day I decided to give another whack at the food thing. I put him in his highchair for supper and he immediately began to whine. And then the whining got louder. And louder. And then the other boys came upstairs.

"Mom, Connor told me I can't be Benen anymore?"
"I'm just telling him to be the bad guy."
"I don't wanna be the bad guy, I wanna be Benen."
"But then we can't play superheroes."
"Mom, Connor says I have to play superheroes."
"Mom, Benen won't play with me. What are you making? I'm hungry, can I have a snack?"
"I wanna snack, too. Can I have a snack."
Whine, whine, cryyyyyyyyy, bang, bang, screech.

The demands were growing, the baby was getting louder and I began to feel like a drowning woman who's head kept slipping beneath the waves. And then I snapped.


I've never seen my baby so shocked nor his eyes so wide.

"That's ENOUGH! Not a word!"

I proceeded to finish up in the kitchen and every time the baby let out a whimper I speared him with a look.

Now, anyone who thinks babies at that age don't comprehend much, are out to lunch. You are waaaaaay underestimating the ability these little ones have. I can look at my baby and say, "You see that cookie you dropped on the floor? I want you to go over, pick it up and put it right here on the table." Without batting an eye, he goes and does exactly what he's told. You can't tell me kids that age don't understand. I'll never believe that. Kids are intelligent and they live up to the expectations that are placed on them.

Again, I'm getting off track. Thankfully a few minutes later Dad in Shining Armour rode up on his trusty black diesel to save the day. Or at least salvage what was left of it. LOL!

Now, in my defense, I'd wager there's not a mother out there who hasn't lost it a time or two and demanded a little quiet. And if you're reading this right now and saying, "I've never done that," or "I'd never do anything like that," then perhaps you live in Stepford and bake cupcakes and cookies in cutesie dresses and high-heels.

But you can see I was pushed over the edge. And really, he's fine. I snuggled him before bed and sang to him and all's well. I'm just glad this day is over and we're at the start of a long weekend. It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I'm looking forward to turkey, stuffing, pie, chocolate, coffee and sleep. Lots of sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving! And if you're not Canadian, have a piece of pie on Sunday in celebration. At least it gives you an excuse. LOL!


Becky said...

That is sooo DO know what we want and expect from them. My little Judah does that same thing, spends most of the day pushing boundaries. Testing me. And sometimes I've gotta let him know I'm not gonna budge another inch, at which point he learns when mama says no, I mean it! *sigh* It's hard being the bad guy, but sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. They'll thank us for it one day. Truly. As a parent, I know that I've come to appreciate my mom demanding obedience from us as kids. It taught us a lot of need-to-know stuff early on in life.

Happy Thanksgiving! Mmmm...turkey, stuffing, pie...yummy!

Shauna said...

It's hard being the bad guy, but sometimes a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. They'll thank us for it one day. Truly.

I totally believe this. And, I'm going out on a limb here and hopefully no one chops it off, but I believe parents who don't discipline their children are taking the easy way out. It's difficult, like you said, to be the bad guy and, more importantly, to be consistent. They think they're being "nice" but really they're just doing what's easy for them instead of what's best for their children. Kids need boundaries, consistency and stability. If you don't ever "put them in line" how are they supposed to learn where those lines are.

Okay, obviously I feel strongly about this, but I'm going to get down off the soap box now.

Jenster said...

I've never done that. Ever.


Ouch! My pearl necklace got caught on the back of my apron, nearly choking me as I reached down to unplug the vacuum cleaner. I think I should give up these 4-inch heels for 3-inch heels.


Anyway, as I was saying, my children are perfect and I have never had to raise my voice to them.


Oh, excuse me. My timer just went off and I must get the souffle out before it falls.


Okay. I'm back. As I was saying, a perfect woman never loses her cool with her children. I'll leave you to your less than perfect motherdom. Buh-bye.




Oh. *ahem* I thought you were gone.


The Daily "B" said...

Kids need boundaries, consistency and stability. If you don't ever "put them in line" how are they supposed to learn where those lines are.

This is so true! Kid's do understand. Parents underestimate their kids intelligence at times.

Jenster you crack me up!

Swishy said...

Ha ha ... look at Jenster. It's true, though! It sounds like you handled it just fine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Katybug said...

You yelled at your kids. And this is a problem because...?

Travis Erwin said...

Dang I missed out on yesterday's pie.

I think all parents have lost it at one time or another.

Barb said...

I'm wearing clogs and a denim skirt (I finished the bon bons yesterday) and when our son with the Eeyore complex like his mother's (ahem) gets too....Eeyoreish, I've been known to reach a point where I respond to him suddenly in loud, exaggerated, tearless sobs, working outward from the chest and throat, and with all the facial expressions to accompany them. Works like a charm, and helps release a lot of pent-up stress in me too! Of course he's bigger than me now, but I guess that's a warning that this might not be your last snap, Shauna, and the tearless sobs work well to get kiddo attention too (if you reach a point where you want to diversify your reactions). Always snaps him back to reality, even if I get a knowing frown after his initial startledness. Anyway, let us know when you get frustrated enuf to start throwing things... :oD

Shauna said...

Jenster, ROTFL! I mean, *ahem* chuckle, chuckle. Try a wide shoe in the heels; they don't pinch the toes as much. ;-)

Deb, Amen! I've underestimated my own at times. It always leaves me shaking my head and saying, "I know better!"

Swishy, thanks. And I had a great Thanksgiving. Yummmmm.

Katybug, LOL! Thanks, I needed that!

Travis, I ate enough pie for three people...okay, four. It's just soooo good and the REAL whipped cream makes it go down soooo smooth.

Barb, LOL! I've actually done that very thing. I thought I was the only one. I do it when my older two (who can be VERY dramatic) are carrying on and on and on and on. Finally, when I've had all I can take, I start mimicking them in exaggerated whines, sobs, cries, moans and groans. Shocks them to silence and helps them realize what it's like to be on the end of that. :-) And I'm glad to learn other people do it, too. LOL!

Daisy said...

The shock value alone works like a charm. Er.. Not that I ever yell at Sunshine or anything. Cough. Cough.