Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rabbit Redux

How funny it is that now, if you ask her about the theatre show, Munchkin will say: "I cried and cried for Mom. And I kicked and I yelled, and I lost my pink mitt."

The tantrum.

Ah, it has been a week of tantrums, of mommy-preference with a vengeance, with its hitting and no-not-you-Daddy, with its random violent refusals. No one wins: Munchkin is obviously angry a lot of time, then, once she pushes us too far, she launches desperate charm offenses and begs us to 'try to be happy' when we obviously are not; Daddy is hurt, having just come back from a trip to Alberta, to be so vigorously pushed away by the little girl he missed so much, worried that too much of the tantrum burden is falling on me; I am tired and sore and angry, mad that Munchkin is manipulating us like this, sorry that she is so out of sorts, hurt that she's hurting her Dad, irritated that I can't, again!, get two minutes to brush my teeth without someone screaming for me, and my back hurts from her lurches and assaults.

I wish I was enjoying this week more. Wish I was better able to cope with this. Wish I wasn't feeling so defeated that even when I try to do something nice, what sticks is still the abandonment: not 'Mommy sat with me at the theatre show,' but rather, 'I cried and cried for Mom.' I know this gig is not about my gratification. There is something unseemly about complaining about the tantruming of a two year old. It's too much to ask her to behave better because Mommy's feelings are raw and her back is sore. But I'm just human, Pynchon is just human, and I think, right now, I'm feeling 'all alone and sad,' ready for a tantrum of my own.


Jenifer said...

Well, from my experience what you are feeling is completely normal and expected. I have my woe is me days where I just want someone to ask ME how I am doing for a change. We are beyond the tantrum years, but that feeling of thanklessness follows. Some days I feel like I give and give and give until there is nothing left.

The good thing is that as they get older and more in control of their emotions, they can tell you much better what is wrong. Not that there isn't a downside to that mind you!

Munchkin will remember the good parts I promise because my girls have done the same. Years later, they remember the good bits, when at the time all they remember was that I said no to that second treat.

Munchkin loves you buckets and in a strange way she is showing it.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

The holidays are hard. From Thanksgiving through New Year's, kids are a mess. They all act out in different ways... one of mine is clingy (she cries every time I leave her at daycare, and she NEVER cries at daycare), and the other is throwing the 7yo male version of a tantrum. It does get better, really, you'll see.

That said, just make sure you steal some time for yourself -- outside work, outside domestic chores. That's what keeps me sane, anyway: thinking that tomorrow I get to have lunch with my friends or on Friday I'm going to the movies! Then I can take a deep breath and soldier through the hard part.

Beck said...

When little wee kids act like serious jerks at home and not in other places, it's generally a sign that they actually trust their home enough to be safe for them to act like a jerk.

She's rejecting your husband BECAUSE he went away. It's standard toddler behaviour - she's trying to emotionally protect herself in case he leaves again. So although it's hurtful, it's actually not when you think about why she's acting like that.

You have to look at why a toddler is throwing tantrums - is she in a situation that's overwhelming to her (like the play, probably)? If that's the case, she needs comfort and reassurance. Is she using bad behaviour to get desired results? If so, she needs that to stop working. Is she over-tired? Try an earlier bedtime. And so on.

Patti said...

I have gingersnaps that I just took out of the oven. They make all days better - want some? :)

Bon said...

umm...i came here with a thoughtful, commiserating comment but now i just want some of Patti's gingersnaps.

it's hard, this two thing, the neediness and willfulness all combined. it blows me away how it pushes my buttons, all of them at once. and apparently three is even better. oy.

kittenpie said...

Been there, as have all of us, I think. It's totally human and understandable to not enjoy something so draining and thankless as the tantrums and such. It'll get better, at least, and meanwhile, do be good to yourself.