Sunday, February 27, 2011


"Get. Over. Here. NOW!"

I am done chasing a giggling 3 year old. She thinks that running from me is a game, something that she can get away with. I am done.

I walk away, tell her good-bye and leave her behind. She comes chasing after me, begging me not to leave her, letting me know that she is right there with me. I am tired of the threats, the bribes, the warning and yelling. I don't like to yell, I don't like feeling like I am talking to myself and I especially do not like to be ignored.

I know that passers-by and little old ladies are judging me and that they find my parenting skills lacking. And, at this point, I am not sure that I care anymore. They do not know that I deal with this behavior everywhere. At home, at the grocery store, at church, restaurants - you name it.

If I should I actually snatch a grasp of her defiant little hand she will wrestle herself down to the ground. She has laid herself out in the middle of floors, parks and (my personal favorite) parking lots. I am not doing this anymore. If I allow her this type of control at 3 - then I will be battling it at 4, 5 and beyond. And I refuse.

I critique myself often and I always come up short. I am jealous of women that can talk to their children in a calm, rational, soothing way. I am afraid to get down to her level (at times) because she has been known to spit, hit, scratch or bite my face. (Yes, really.)

Things weren't always this way. I used to be able to speak to her, to rationalize with her, but as she has grown stronger and smarter, her ability to push every.last.button has intensified. Other children love me, this kid hates me from sun up to sun down and I cannot fathom her reasoning.

I have reached my breaking point and it is not pretty. I am exhausted. My body aches. And she is still pushing. It is ridiculous that it is Sunday night and I am looking forward to going to work tomorrow.

In my critiques of myself, there is a lot of guilt.

I should not want to go to work (and I used to not want to). I should want to be at home taking care of my child.

I should not yell at my child or (dare I say it) threaten to spank her when she gets out of line (although the few times that I have managed to swat her, she has laughed at me - or hit me back). I should be able to reason with her, talk to her about her behavior, something.

I should be a better parent. Statistically speaking, we did everything right - we weren't high school drop outs, we waited until we were older, she has been in church, literally, since she was 6 days old, we read to her constantly, I breastfed the whole first year, we co-slept for, like, forever. I don't understand it.

I hold myself up to these ideals, this idea of Michelle Duggar who believes that you should not have to raise your voice, bargain with or threaten your children in order to raise well-behaved children that grow up to be honest, hard-working, virtuous adults. And she should know, she has 19 active children that seem to know how to behave in public, how to speak to adults and respect their parents.

Instead, I find myself idolizing Kate Gosselin, lately. I am pretty sure if I were in her shoes when 6 of her children were 3, I would have been in prison for murder. I cannot imagine what it would be like to wrangle 6 children all going through this same (I don't even know what to call this)stage as well as twin 6 year olds and a cheating husband. And to be able to keep a clean house, cook organically sound meals, plan exciting events for TV crews and (did I mention?) keep a clean house. The woman should be called a saint, a martyr instead of a B (but that's a story about double standards that I may blog about in the future).

I need a break, a vacation. Not a family vacation, maybe not even a spousal vacation (although that might be nice, for the hubs and I to just be a couple again, instead of parents). I need some time for me, a vacation to be able to read and speak and, well, whatever I want to do (karaoke, anyone?) instead of having my life dictated by a moody 3 year old.

I have been thinking about attending this conference. Aside from being fun to get away, maybe I will also learn to be a better parent.

And maybe, just maybe, I will find out that I am really not lacking by as much as I thought.

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