Thursday, December 9, 2010

Agonizing Throes of Threes

My sweet little toddler has turned into a defiant, rascally little bugger, almost overnight. And, because of the extra energy and emotion that it's taken to deal with this astoundingly naughty little boy, I've been much snappier with the other kids, too. ;/ Bad deal.

After a week of this nonsense, I'm feeling rather discouraged, angry at myself for not consistently responding well, and more than a little ticked that he's been such a snot. Mostly mad at myself. If this is a test, it's pretty small in the grand scheme of things, and I'm already failing it.

I did some yelling out loud, more in my head, took my deep breaths, and then still proceeded to need my own "time out" on the kitchen floor (trying to breath while my teeth were grinding.) And, instead of relying on God, having quiet time, or calling for support, I threw my own little pity party. "This isn't US!" "This isn't how it's supposed to be!!" "WHY are they fighting all the time?" "What did I do wrong?" Yes, I did. Right there on the floor. I might as well have been stamping my little foot.

And I wonder where he gets it from. {sigh}

I have been praying about it, usually at night, when the kids are asleep, and I can think loving thoughts about them again. And I'm finally coming up with some tactics. Tomorrow we have a plan. A new schedule. More outside time. More Daddy Time. Firepit planned. A new spot for the time-out chair. Oh, yes, I'm on the ball.

And I have a back-up plan, too! If things turn south, I'll run away. No joke. ;) My Man is home tomorrow (hallelujah, do you hear singing??) so I can run a lap around the neighborhood if my stress level elevates too high. Oh, speaking of stress rising-- My Little Lad saw my deep-breathing today and asked, quite seriously, if my head was going to explode. Perhaps I've mentioned the possibility too often?

I'm also reinstating my late-night art times. How on earth had I let that slide? Got too busy listing books to sell, finishing furniture (my computer desk, TV table, a desk for a friend...) Redoing furniture is fun, but just finishing it isn't "artsy" in my book. I missed my creative time badly.

So, first, you can pray that my boys will not kill each other through the winter. Why must boys wrestle nonstop? Outside it's fine and dandy; go ahead, knock each other down, climb trees, play in the mud-- but when we're stuck inside, they MUST learn to deal with it in a semi-decent way. I put the pull-up bars back in the doorways, but we really need a padded "ball-pit" room, and an indoor playground, complete with climbing wall (Michele, I'm relying on you to invite me over when you finish your room!!)

Second, you can help hold me accountable for my own behavior. I need to pray, seek advice for this new stage from more experienced moms, be consistent with my art "therapy," and take enough time away from them to remember how absolutely fabulous they are. That's a biggie; Fred's shift, plus our recent sickness, have thrown my social life out the window. I miss my friends. I miss being away from the kids, for at least a few hours a week. I NEED to miss them. I hope that makes some sense.

Ah, sigh. Confession helps the soul, too, I think. I know I'm not alone. And I know that anyone who would judge me, simply hasn't walked in these shoes.

So, here's my artwork for the night. My therapy, if you will.


maybe done?

Not sure if I'll end up painting this or not.

My goal (a bit half-heartedly, maybe) is to post a new piece of artwork every night. Which means I'll HAVE to draw or paint something every day, or at least add to a picture. Fingers crossed.


Jenny said...

Wendy, unfortunately it is normal sometimes. Everyone has those days. :( Have you read 'Bringing up Boys'? It was a help to me - as much as possible because it came a few years too late for me to deal with toddler chaos.

Praying for you - Jenny

Just what are those Woods up to? said...

I love that artwork! Awesome!

Umm, how do i say this as tactfully as possible? Oli has been a defiant, rascally little bugger from day one. (: He's also a wonderfully sweet, adorable, loving and smart little boy, but just like Owen, he can be hard to handle. I'm glad you're going to crack down on him (I have to do the same with Owen ALLL the time, excpet sometimes I'm good at it and sometimes I'm not). I think you can just expect Oli to throw you some curve balls and just make sure you play the game better than him. The only reason I feel ok saying that is b/c it's no secret that I have an infuriating little bugger of my own! Your strategies sound very smart. And I'll be praying for you! You're a wonderful mom, don't forget it!!

Soaring High said...

I've just been e-mailing a friend about this very thing. 3 is HARD. It was hard with Ben is was HORRID with Timothy and preparing with armor for Nathaniel. Those cute little cuddly boys turn monstrous at 3. Hang in there. Being stuck indoors makes it doubly hard when they aren't getting out their energy. I've been noticing that with the 3 little boys I babysit plus my own 2 still at home. LUke comes home (on the days he doesn't work the late shift) and I go to the bedroom and shut the door for just 15-20 minutes for some quiet. You sound like you are being proactive. Take care of yourself! Hang in there! Praying for grace for you!

The Education Of Ours said...

That's a great book. I have it, but I have all girls. I found it helpful as a teacher!

Here's an award for your blog:

Anonymous said...

It was really good to read this post. I have a 3 year old, he is my youngest. I was starting to think that he was having behavioural problems or something, as I thought it was supposed to be the terrible twos not threes. My other kids, now 12 and 10, didnt give me too many problems at this age - not that I can remember, maybe they did, and I am only remembering how lovely they were. Which means that one day, I will hopefully look back and not remember these "terrible three" moments, only the good bits lol.
Anyway, was great to read your blog, and I will be praying for you sister.
Take Care and God Bless

Shan said...

I'm praying with you Wendy! I didn't have any trouble with my first boy at any age but this one with his extremes takes all I have some days not to take him or myself out! Ok, that was a bit extreme. But some days FEEL extreme and challenging children can bring out deep flaws in your personality you never knew you even had. I have worked on this for a few years now and it is incredible actually to think of how MY progress has helped our relationship immensely.
My kid can sense my level of emotional control and it totally effects him in either direction. After MUCH prayer and reading attachment parenting blogs(more specific to me) I have been able to change my reactions for the most part(I'd like to think-ahem) and not sink to his level when I've had it. ;D
Sometimes you have to just stay on the rascals, unfortunately, until they have their pip levels under control.
I'm noticing this time of year is much worse for D. I think the sunshine plays a big part in his state as well as my own. Yours are so used to outside time too, they are bound to get stir crazy.
Hang in there mom of many! This is a tricky time I am sure! You DO need a break from everything going on in your life. Hubby take them away!! xo

p.s. I know I said this on the other post but I LOVE THAT CUTE LITTLE OWL SO MUCH!

Living Creatively said...

Shan, so true. My kids pick up on everything. I'm trying to figure out better ways for ME to cope, to maintain the sanity for the whole house. Winter is always a hard time for me. I fully expect to move in a few years. Maybe to San Antonio, as we have family in that area, and I wouldn't mind being closer to South Padre, ;)
But, in the meantime, I need to improve myself, helping them in the process.