Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Better than Prozac

Today has been a challenging day here in the Condon household. Andrew left Monday afternoon on a business trip - we're going to meet him in New Hampshire Friday night... if we all live that long.

I once read somewhere that the toddler/preschool years are referred to as the first "adolescence", well let me tell you something, Bear may not see the second. We had four major blow-outs today. And when I say major, I mean that I am surprised the neighbors don't call the police. Bear is all girl when it comes to her emotions. Hormonal, hysterical, screaming, crying, kicking, throwing, slamming fits are commonplace. Three of today's revolved around me requesting that she wear something other than silky pajama bottom shorts and an undershirt outdoors (for the record it was about 60 degrees and WINDY today). One of the times I asked her to get dressed it was because I wanted to take her to a new park/zoo that we haven't visited yet but one of my bff's raves about. Seriously? Show me one other kid who throws a fit because someone wants to take them to the zoo. The last melt down was over bedtime which finally ended when I called Andrew and had him chat and "snuggle" with her over the phone until she fell asleep.

I am exhausted by all of this. I am also desperately saddened by the screaming and yelling I end up doing. I am adamantly opposed to spanking - no matter the situation - there is a history of physical abuse in my past and I will absolutely not allow that in my home. Tonight, Andrew told me that I verbally hit Bear when I scream at her. I collapsed into sobs. I love my daughter, more than I could possibly ever express in words. But there comes a point when I have been yelled at, and hit, and bombarded with all sorts of flying toys that I forget to be the parent and instead resort to playing the role of sparring partner.

I worry about Bear. I don't know if Bear is a normal preschooler or if she has somehow inherited the dark cloud of depression that used to hover above me. It's no secret that Zoloft is my ticket to participating in life but the thought of medicating a three year old.. Andrew is going to call the pediatrician tomorrow to set up an appointment with the child psychologist, we'll start there.

You're wondering where the "better" part of the title comes in? No it's not in that last paragraph. As I sat on the couch tonight, my eyes raw from crying, my phoned dinged to tell me I had a new email message. Someone had just left a comment on my 100 things post. I didn't know what they were referring to, so I went back and read the post. Then I read all the comments. And laughed. Then I started linking to other peoples blogs. And reading. And the anger and stress of the day started to drip down towards my toes to be deposited on the carpet instead of in my heart.

Thank you.

P.S. Yes I do still actually knit. That will be, gasp, tomorrow's post.


Jennifer said...

Yuck, I'm sorry! I wish I had some advice or something... Hang in there!

Lisa said...

I know that a new baby and a toddler can be a handful under the best of circumstances. Don't be too hard on yourself. Take each day, one at a time, and don't forget to breath....I have learned that it really does help with anger and all other emotions that try to trip us up daily...

Anonymous said...

I sent the third package yesterday. It should arrive in about 2 weeks. I hope you got the second package already-
Love, your Secret Knitting Pal

Miss Me said...

i don't know why this is just showing up in my bloglines now... anyways, parenting is not for the feint of heart. no one expects you to do a perfect job. the love more than makes up for the momentary shortcomings. hang in there.

Ólöf said...

I found your blog on Ravelry and am working on the bubbles baby blanket soon so I´ve been reading what other people think about that project. Then I ran across this post and I feel your pain. I have a 19 month old and I´m 29 weeks pregnant. I´m also getting my masters degree in counseling psychology and I have a suggestion. Time outs are not just for kids. What I do is when my little man is throwing a fit I leave the room. I tell him that I love him in a calm voice but that mommy needs a time out and that when he is done that he can come talk to her and giver her a hug and a kiss. If I calm down before he does and it´s been 2 min. I walk up to him and pick him up and give him a hug and a kiss. If he is still so mad that he is in his tantrum I put him back down and take my time out again. This way I´m showing him that I love him but that I will not put up with his behavior. If he follows me I tell him that he has to be put unless he is done. Hitting is another problem. When he hits I grab his hand tight but not tight enough that it hurts and I tell him that he hurt mommy and that is a no no. Then I take the hand and have him pet my cheek with it nicely and tell him that that is nice and that I love him. With flying toys the toys go to time out for 2-4 days. The toy is taken away straight away and there is nothing that the child can do to have it back till time out is over for the toy. I´m agents causing physical pain and i can not say that I haven´t lost me cool every once in a while. Research has shown that Mothers and toddlers argue more than any other group of people. But my time outs are the most important to me. Because I hate loosing my cool and that way they understand that the behavior is not acceptable because you can´t stand being in a room with that sort of behavior. I hope that helps. Also letting the small things go by acting like you didn´t see it makes a difference. Picking your battles is the most important thing that a parent can do. That way the child learns on their own which is the best way for them to learn. When you are home and going outside let her wear the shorts out for a while. She will quickly learn that she is going to get cold. Ok this has gotten way to long of a comment. If you hate it ignore it if you want more info you can e-mail me.

Good luck.