Monday, June 16, 2008

Confessions of a Frustrated Mommy

I love my son. I love him a lot and I have an affection for him that goes deeper than just about anything else. But lately, he's been driving me crazy. I've heard that the age of 3 can sometimes be more difficult than the age of 2, and I think that's what we've got on our hands here: the terrible threes. John was a pretty mellow 2-year-old. As a 3-year-old, he's still easygoing but he's also more...bratty. I mean that in the nicest way possible, "but there it is" (as Elizabeth Bennet said in Pride and Prejudice).

John isn't difficult to handle most of the time, but he's definitely been testing Peter and I a lot more in the past few weeks by doing such things as simply disregarding us when we ask or tell him to do something or to stop doing something (like getting a kick out of kicking Mommy in the car. Ouch! You brat!). Sometimes it's total and utter disobedience, which is difficult for a control freak like me to know how to handle. What happened to my compliant little angel? Now he's a non-compliant little angel.

I wish I'd been able to potty train him earlier, because with his older age he's much more stubborn and set in his ways, and it's such a challenge to get him to do his business on the toilet rather than in the Pull-Up. If this is what the age of 3 is really going to be like, then I hope March 8, 2009 will come very quickly. That's when he'll turn 4, but hopefully this phase will be long gone by then. It better be just a phase, and a quick one at that!

In spite of all of this, I have to end on a positive note. The challenges of parenting are difficult, but it's totally worth it. I am extremely grateful to be a mother and to have John as my son. I love that this is my job and my life's work right now. Now if only the job would get a little easier...

7 comments:

Katie said...

Oh, Donna, I feel for you! I hope that John gets out of this phase soon, for your sake. How frustrating!

Alyson said...

Well, unfortunately it won't get easier. It'll just get different. Different challenges and all that.

However, I can assure you that this is a stage. I've noticed with all of my kids (so it must be pretty universal if all 4 kids have done it) they constantly go through a cycle of good-naughty-good-naughty. They feel like they have to push the boundaries every once in awhile just to sort of remind themselves of the rules. If you are firm with them through these phases, they will go back to the good stage. Of course, they will eventually return to a naughty phase when they feel like testing the boundaries once again, but it's just part of the cycle.

For me, 3 has always been SO much better than 2. Adam was quite a handfull at 2. Now that he's 3, he's super easy to take to the stores and I even took him to the movie theater yesterday. He ran up and down the aisles part of the time, but he was quiet and didn't bother anyone. I was thrilled.

Donna said...

It's so good to hear that this is just a phase and that other parents have gone through it with their kids too. It's easy to feel like I've done something wrong when my child sometimes behaves like a monster. I feel better about this all now, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming good stage to happen. The sooner the better!
So what movie did you go see? I bet you saw Kung Fu Panda?

Alyson said...

You're such a great mom that there's no way it was something you did. It's just a natural progression and I bet you don't have to wait until he's 4 to have him back on the "good" stage.

You are right on! We saw Kung Fu Panda. It was just me with the two youngest while the older ones were at school. It was sort of my test run to see how Adam would do. We hadn't taken him to a movie theater since he was a baby because it's just no fun to take a toddler to the movies. How about you? Have you tested John at the theaters lately?

Peter said...

John definitely has been pushing the boundaries. He is still the cutest & most fun guy in the world!

Mom said...

I'll let you know what I think after babysitting him this weekend. I have to admit you have me a little nervous. Mom

Donna said...

We haven't brought John to the movies yet. Maybe this summer we'll give it a try, but I think we'll wait until he's a little older. He doesn't watch movies at home yet, just 1/2-hour videos or TV programs sometimes, and even then he doesn't usually sit still for them the whole time.