Sunday, January 3, 2016

I Want Mommy to Do It

Words I'm hearing a lot lately.

No matter who is around, he wants me. And sister is starting to follow down this (frustrating) path.

We were lucky enough to have the Maryland grandparents visit a week ago. We were able to have some freedom and also lots of time to catch up and indulge Benjamin and Claire in nonstop attention for a few days. Gramie and Grandpa went home quite exhausted. But when a tantrum is on the horizon, the words start coming.

"NO. I want Mommy to do it."

No one else will do. Even when there are 4 adults around to help. We visited the Field Museum downtown one day and as we were finishing up our last exhibit, the exhaustion and frustration started to rise in his little body. When this happens, clothes usually come off (lately... somehow these tantrums have evolved over time). Socks and shoes are first to go and then the rest. We try to avoid a fully nude episode in public though, of course.

This time, socks came off and Gramie helped put them back on.

Pulled back off because... you guessed it. Mommy wasn't the one who put them on. And Mr. Bossypants thinks he can choose who helps put things on, including things he is fully capable of handling on his own. Like socks.

On principle, I refused. It was like 20 degrees outside and we walked carrying the angry child about 1/2 mile to the car without a sock or shoes on.

I could've just done it. The problem is, he wins. And while I'm cool letting him win sometimes (and often as long as our needs are both met-- like getting ready for school), I don't want the precedent to be set that he is always in control (particularly about things that are simple and stupid!) and affect us as he ages. It's simply unacceptable to raise him to be the bratty teenager and entitled adult. I refuse to allow that. There's no denying he was born with the tenacity he has, but it's how to break this behavior before it affects him in his life, career, relationships.

He proceeded to scream the majority of the way home and peed himself in the process. This has now happened 3 times since (during tantrums). Twice it appeared he intentionally did it (as he was naked and I watched!) and twice I'm unsure. He's been potty trained for a year, including nights. I can count on one hand how many times he's peed the bed, so this is truly confusing to me. He's been throwing tantrums of large magnitude for 1.5 years and now he's peeing himself as he does it? Is he doing so because he's trying to punish us, knowing that would require us to do lots of cleaning?

Yesterday, the trigger was set because I wouldn't put on his Crocs for him. Out of the blue, he requested I do it, despite him turning 4 next month and having been putting these exact Crocs on himself for about 1.5 years. This ridiculous and unnecessary episode resulted in me taking Claire to the children's museum solo, him peeing his carseat, and Dad spending that time doing a load of laundry and cleaning that carseat.

Sister is seeing this behavior and now I'm the chosen one to brush her teeth and put her down for nap and (insert the activity here). It has this mama feeling exhausted.

His Gramie said it best when she mentioned that he's a really awesome kid about 90% of the time. It's that 10%. Oh, that 10%.


Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

But that 10% is exhausting and wears on a mama! And probably daddy too since E is awesome and helpful and then probably feels helpless in these situations.

No advice, friend, but I just want you to know I think you're doing a wonderful job.

Party of Three Heads said... [Reply to comment]

Just so you know. My kid... he has that 10% too. And while he never pissed himself throwing a tantrum I've seen some equally as bad. Such as my niece... when she went through that stage she would get herself so pissed, she would hold her breath and make herself pass out.. so her mother would give her the attention/give in that she was wanting... they all have a way to make us give in some damn how. There is light up ahead...

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

What Caroline said.

Grace plays us- so if Scott is helping her get out of the bath and she doesn't like how he dries her hair, it's "NO- mummy do it!" or if I try to jam her into footed jammies it is always, "no, daddy do it!". I just give in but it's so frustrating and makes me want to eat chocolate. A LOT OF CHOCOLATE ALL THE TIME.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Oh mercy. That 10%. You know I feel ya, sister. You are doing a great job.

Mom in Limbo said... [Reply to comment]

I've commented her before that his behavior sounds so much like my daughter, and this is no exception. She would totally strip down and pee on purpose as her fits went on. I wish I had some sage advise. I'll try. 1. When she went to all-day preschool at age 3, the fits drastically reduced, but didn't go away. 2. She's gotten a lot better just with age, but we still walk on eggshells around her. 3. Don't walk on eggshells around him. You're right - you be the boss. I gave in too many times because I was experimenting with what would stop her fits (nothing but maturity) and also was trying to avoid them. But man - she would throw a fit for over an hour...tear up her room...bite things...pee... It was horrible. I think she has serious anger issues (she's almost 6). Poor munchkin. Good luck. You're on top of it, and that's half the battle.

ekiwi said... [Reply to comment]

Dude. He puts his socks on by himself?! Sorry, sorry. I have a very particular sock wearing nazi at my house... maybe because she JUST recently agreed to start wearing things OTHER than dresses and tights? Super impressed with Benjin's skilz (90% of the time). Q totally peed herself during epic tantrums for a random period of time too. Went away as oddly as it came, perhaps because I designated the bathroom as tantrum-central until she locked it up? Probably not though. Am I totally rotten to say our split is like, 60% and 40%?? (insert hair pulling emoji here)