So lately, I've been dealing with the terrible twos.
Lots of people have told me the second year was great for them, but it was the third year that really did them in.
Well, Caderyn's second year started off pretty good, but now, all of the sudden I have this little boy who resembles a midget of a teenager.
I'm constantly being told "No."
I'm constantly being bossed around.
I'm constantly listening to screams and cries from the time out spot.
Time out is a regular occurrence in our house. So is door slamming.
I'm constantly negotiating to get stuff done.
I can't go to the bathroom by myself or even have a moment without a little boy all up in my grill either whining about something or telling me I should be doing something else.
In a sense, I'm exhausted.
But that's what being a parent is all about, right?
I love that kid to death. He really is the sweetest little guy.
But yesterday, oh yesterday!
Yesterday he was in trouble nearly all day at daycare for hitting and throwing tantrums.
He's also started this thing where he won't budge when we need to go somewhere or I'm trying to redirect him. So, usually what I'll do is tell him he can walk on his own starting now or I'm going to count to three and when I get to three and he hasn't moved, I'm going to carry him.
I usually end up carrying him and he usually freaks out.
So yesterday, after talking to my daycare lady about his behavior, we walked outside and Caderyn put the breaks on. He wouldn't budge and after numerous attempts to get him walking I quietly told him he could walk on his own or I would carry him out after I counted to three.
I counted to three and got no movement so I picked him up and hauled him down the stairs all the way to the car with him kicking and screaming. I put him in his car seat where he proceeded to scream and kick and sound pretty much like a spawn of Satan.
We made it home, he still hadn't stopped and he went limp noodle on me when I was trying to get him inside so I took him right in and put him in time out.
I told him he needed to calm down and then we would talk about what was wrong.
While he screamed and cried and hit the wall with his hand, I grabbed one of my parenting books and tried to find something, anything that would help me out. We were on like day three of this behavior and my patience was very, very thin.
After ten minutes, he calmed down enough where I could talk to him. We climbed in to his bed together and had a calm talk about hitting and yelling and how that wasn't okay. I also asked him if he was acting like this because he missed his Daddy.
He told me yes and also that he missed me.
I told him I missed him too, but that Mommy had to work and Daddy was at school. But, even though I had to work, I always came to pick him up and we always went home together.
After our little chat and some snuggles, things were pretty good.
My friend came over and watched Caderyn for an hour so I could go to the gym- THANK YOU!
Got back from the gym and Caderyn started acting like a demon child again. He wanted me to hold him.
This is fine, except my back has been killing me so I tried sitting down and holding him and he threw a huge fit over that.
I was kind of embarrassed at his behavior in front of my friend, when he'd been so good only two seconds before.
So I said goodbye to my friend above Caderyn's screams and commands.
Inside I went and into his room to start getting him ready for a tub.
More screams and body throws ensued when he told me he didn't want a tub.
I ignored this and continued to undress him, well then he hauled off and hit me in the face.
I saw red.
I had to take a few deep breaths and then I did something I'm not proud of and really try very hard not to do.
I swatted him on the butt. My disappointment in myself was over the "hitting for hitting" punishment, which I don't think shows them anything.
But I am human. I make mistakes.
So Caderyn was in timeout again and I had to shut the door to his room to block out some of his awful screams and shouts.
I sat down at our table and texted my husband, "Pretty sure I'm the worst mom ever and will ruin our kids."
My bottom lip was quivering and I was having a really great pity party while listening to my sons Gollum-like shrieks. But then he calmed down and I mentally slapped myself in the face.
"Buck up Sarah," I said, "Keep this kid moving through life."
One day isn't going to scar him. Although I might feel that I've ruined him, I probably haven't. One little spanking isn't going to hurt him and he eventually has to learn that his behavior is not acceptable.
It is not okay to hit.
It is not okay to scream.
It is not okay to boss Mommy around (sometimes it is, but not like he's doing).
And the only way he's going to learn this is through me. I am his number one educator and I need to show him in a calm, collected manner how to navigate this world.
So after a quick tub and a tooth brush, Caderyn and I settled into his bed with some books. I stroked his cheek and told him I loved him. We talked about being frustrated and that it was okay to get upset sometimes. I told him I was sorry for spanking him, and he said he was sorry for being naughty (again, where is he learning these words! I NEVER tell him he is naughty.).
"Caderyn," I said. "You're not naughty at all. I think you're just frustrated and don't know how to tell Mommy what is wrong."
"Mmmmm yes," he said.
After books were read and kisses were given, I stayed in his room with him until he fell asleep. I kissed his cheeks and rubbed his back, trying in some physical way to show him that everything was okay. That we were okay. That he would be okay.
He slept through the night last night...first time in...probably a month.
He did get up at 5:00 a.m. and crawl in to bed with me until 6:00 a.m.
We had a good morning.
There was no screaming, only a minimum of bossiness and lots of snuggles.
He and I sat on the couch together this morning and talked again about being frustrated and how we don't hit or yell, taking our frustrations out on other people.
Caderyn again told me, "But I miss you."
I replied, "I miss you too when I'm at work, but you know I always will come to get you at the end of the day."
"Yes and that makes me so happy!" he said.
It makes me happy too.
Lord if I can only survive these terrible twos!