Beat Up

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Posted by Gina Perkins, Pre-School Mommie | Posted in Gina Perkins | Posted on 08-11-2011

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I am eating a piece of See’s candy as I sit down to write this.  Let me justify this food choice by making the following declarations: 1) Prior to opening the box of See’s, I polished off an entire bunch of steamed rainbow chard, and 2) My child has been nothing short of absolute hell on Crocs.  Do I feel entitled?  Yes, absolutely.

Now onto my second piece of See’s….I don’t know what has hit our house, but I can tell you for certain, it isn’t “Peace,” nor “Harmony.”  DJ has decided that both sleep and reasoning are over-rated.  Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  I have never felt so physically taxed and emotionally drained.  After last night’s episode, I woke up feeling hung-over this morning….without any of the regrets or incriminating photos.

Last night easily goes down as one of our worst evenings ever.  While I understand that DJ is in the profession of testing her boundaries, I cannot say that I have the managerial skills required to mitigate this phase.  Lucky for her, God seems to have given me an extra dose of patience – and that has been my only defense against this Tasmanian devil living under my roof.  She flat out rejects every.single.one of my requests/suggestions/demands, and in last night’s exercise of independence, DJ refused to get into the bath.

Her original objection to getting into the tub was because she wanted to “do it.”  (Meaning, I am not permitted to assist her, in any way, as she climbs headfirst into the porcelain lagoon).  She wants to do absolutely everything herself these days, and I am starting to learn that “I do it” is her version of a threat.  If I don’t comply, then she will punish me with some ludicrous behavior – like a crying, screaming, kicking, hair-pulling fit that lasts way too long.  So, last night, when I lost all of that extra patience I was just bragging about, and I began “encouraging” her to plunge more quickly into the bath – all bets were off.

What ensued for the next hour was a long tirade against me, the floor, the bathroom, her stuffed animals, her fine blonde hair, etc.  She just kept repeating, “I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath. I don’t want to take bath.  I want to take bath.”

If I weren’t so darn frustrated, I might’ve felt a little heartbroken over her indecision.  I mean, can you imagine being trapped inside a body, that was being led by a mind that literally changed course every half a second?  (And, if you think the above repetitious sentences were annoying to read – and you took the luxury of skipping ahead – just think about what it felt like to be trapped in it, for real, with no way out!)

My mom happened to be over for this little episode.  When DJ finally fell asleep, and I emerged from her bedroom over an hour later, my mom said “It stressed me out so much to hear her cry like that, that I almost had to leave the house.”  Trust me, mom, that feeling is nothing foreign to me…..except, I have to hang in there. I have no choice but to ride the emotional rollercoaster with my toddler.

Despite feeling literally beat up by my child after these types of incidents (which seem to be happening all too often lately), I must admit to a grand sense of achievement once the storm passes and the calm is restored.  It makes me feel like a really good mom when I’m able to navigate through the rough waters while acting in a loving, supportive and controlled manner.  (And honestly, I will take self-administered pats on the back whenever, and wherever, I can!).

One thing I left off – in between the grand finale of her tantrum, and me escaping her wrath, DJ rolled over and said, “I so sawdy (sorry) Mommy.  Hold me in your arms.  I love you. I so tired now.”  And that, my friends, just goes to show that my sweet little girl hasn’t gone anywhere at all….she’s just going through the motions of growing.  A beautiful reminder of why it pays to love our kids through their ugliest moments – always knowing they will desperately need us on the other side.