When parenting goes wrong
Today started off really well, I woke up feeling good and the children seemed to be in really good spirits. My cousin was coming to visit for the day and we were looking forward to going out for lunch and having a catch-up. The children were really excited when M came, they played nicely in the lounge until it was time for Beanie Boy to have his nap and then Little Bean cuddled up on the sofa with me until it was time to go out.
We went out for lunch and the children behaved reasonably well, Little Bean didn’t particularly eat well but hey, there’s nothing new there! We had a nice couple of hours out and about then returned home which was when the day took a troublesome turn.
Let the tantrums begin
Little Bean ran to the playroom asking if they could watch the TV so I said “no” I didn’t think there was any need for them to sit in front of the TV. I had jobs which I wanted doing upstairs so they could come upstairs with me and play in their bedrooms or help me. Cue: the first tantrum from Little Bean followed by Beanie Boy who doesn’t like to miss out on an opportunity to copy his big sister. I did what any clever Mummy would do and totally ignored the two of them and got on with sorting out the washing pile.
Within minutes they both calmed down enough to get on and play together in Little Bean’s bedroom. Within 10 minutes Little Bean was screaming because Beanie Boy was trying to do the magnets in the book that she was looking at and she didn’t like it. I found a similar book for Beanie Boy to do and then continued with my jobs.
Less than 5 minutes later, Beanie Boy was screaming because Little Bean had taken the book away from him. My next form of diversion was to put Beanie Boy in his cot with a selection of books and toys and all was quiet for about 15 minutes as they each played happily in their respective bedrooms. After 15 minutes Little Bean decided it would be a good idea to go into her baby brother’s bedroom and play with all the toys that he couldn’t quite reach because of his confines, cue more screaming from Beanie Boy.
And on, and on it went
The next hour continued in this manner as one wound the other up and then they swapped roles, in the meantime, I felt like I was going out of my mind. I decided that my role as referee clearly wasn’t working and I felt that perhaps they were doing this to get my attention and stop me from doing the household chores so I opted to let them sort it out for themselves.
Tidy Up Time
The fights continued but became less frequent and slowly were replaced by laughing instead. Success, at last, I thought . . . until I went into Little Bean’s room to see all of her clothes, books, bedding, cuddlies and toys were strewn all over the floor. As it was nearly tea-time I asked them both to tidy up for me, which fell on deaf ears. I reminded Little Bean of her reward chart and that if she didn’t tidy, she wouldn’t get a sticker and was on her way to not getting her to treat this week. She said that she couldn’t tidy her room on her own, “it’s too messy” so I reminded her that if she started to tidy, Beanie Boy would help her and that she had managed to make the mess just the two of them, so they could easily tidy it up too.
Help is at hand
It didn’t happen!!! I ended up doing the majority of the tidying myself until my Mum arrived and helped me. I know that this was wrong, neither of us should have done it but I just couldn’t leave it in such a state. Mum then went downstairs and cooked tea for us all whilst I finished off doing the last of my chores.
Tea Time – more tantrums
At the tea-table, it was Beanie Boy’s turn to turn up the volume. I don’t know what it is with my little man but the second he decides he is hungry he SCREAMS and SHOUTS and cries his eyes out until the food touches his tongue. I don’t know why he does it and I never respond to him when he reacts like this but honestly, it is EVERY SINGLE MEALTIME and it drives me potty!!
The next battle began at bedtime. Little Bean had been playing with her brothers in Curly’s bedroom and they were all definitely a little over-excited that ‘Bro’ was home for the weekend. Little Bean and Beanie Boy went into full-on meltdown from the second they were told it was bedtime. Neither of them wanted to go, yet it was quite clear that they were both overtired. After some wrestling and finally a calming cuddle I managed to get Beanie Boy down to sleep but a bigger battle was going on in Little Bean’s room with Daddy.
First, she didn’t want to put her pyjamas on, then when Daddy was trying to pull back the covers on her bed for her to get in, she threw herself on the floor and began screaming at the top of her lungs. Daddy gave her the count of five to get up and stop screaming or she wouldn’t be getting a story and guess what, she didn’t stop and she didn’t get up, so she didn’t get a story! Cue: more screaming, followed by coughing and eventually choking!
Questioning my parenting skills
Sadly these outbursts are occurring more and more frequently from both of my little tiddlers and I really don’t know why or where I have gone wrong with them. I honestly can’t believe how stressed two small people can get but it’s really upsetting to see and be part of. At those times of the day, it’s very lonely being a stay at home Mum.
If anyone can wave a torch at the end of the tunnel for me I would really appreciate it – any comments or advice would be gratefully received. . . .