This parenting thing is kicking my a**, and I’m done. Beat. Tired. A bloody pulp on the floor, gasping for air.
Max, at two-and-a-half, is completely normal, I think. There’s nothing about him that seems “off” in how he plays or behaves. But I wonder if other two-year-old boys are as exhausting as he is, as stubborn, as defiant. As much as he is growing and learning and amazing me with something new every day, he is also wearing me down with his demands, his tantrums, his inexplicable whining.
He asks for Mickey Mouse on TV, and I put it on. The music barely starts before he’s whining, “no Mickey!”. So I turn it off, only to have him near tears over that. I let him choose between a banana or Cheerios for a snack, and he says, “Banana!” As I had it to him, he pushes it away, yelling, “NO!!” UGH. No matter what it is, we can’t get through the day without a tantrum; and he, in his anger, throws whatever’s in his hand or smacks whatever’s closest to him – despite the fact that no one in this house behaves that way.
Seeing it like this, it all seems normal. But it also seems so endless, so relentless.
And the thing is, the more I feel my son and his antics get the best of me, the more I sink into this hole of crappy parenting. The kind where the TV is on too long, and I’m not creative enough, and I deal by not dealing. My best tactics, the ones I put a lot of thought and compassion and brains and compassion into, quickly wear thin and I end up, by week’s end, a trembling heap on the couch, unable to move, unable to say a word as he merrily tears the house apart.
Wow, I can’t believe I just admitted that, but there you have it. I’m just beat, and my feelings of exhaustion and being at wit’s end leave my parenting skills lacking. And I find myself thinking that this is the thick of all I heard prior to becoming a mother, about the challenges of each age and developmental period coupled with the challenges of life in general: work, finances, time. And I’ve just got what, 20, 30 years to go? FUN!
All right, I’m done. Thanks for letting me indulge in some whining and a bit of self-pity.
Photo graciously provided by wiseacre, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved