Tonight we had the tantrum to end all tantrums! I ended the hour-long bed time battle in tears, feeling defeated, hopeless in my abilities as a mom with my heart hurting. Let me preface this by saying all of my posts won’t be about how difficult parenting is and how exhausting it can be but it has been a rough few months for us for whatever reason. Not sure if it’s the specific age of each kid or the combination of ages at this very moment, but I can honestly say that I have been more stressed recently than I can ever remember. I don’t doubt that things will smooth out soon; parenting, like all of life, is a roller coaster and I’ve learned that as soon as you think you can’t handle another day at the current pace, things settle down. Unfortunately it works in the opposite direction too; just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and you’re feeling like a pro, you can be sure you’ll be thrown a curve ball at any moment.
So, K was overly tired and every single suggestion or bed time requirement resulted in a display of screaming, kicking, body flailing chaos! The unreasonableness of an upset little person’s brain became most apparent when she turned from saying she didn’t want to go to bed to crying because she didn’t like the “strings on my sweatshirt” (the hood drawstrings) and screaming “I don’t want you to have that shirt anymore!” Really at that point I knew we were doomed for the evening – that’s the point where they are so exhausted there is just no turning back.
My husband and I tend to disagree on technique occasionally and our inconsistency and noticeable disgust for each others methods (all of which were being attempted in this situation) cannot add any value to an event like tonight’s. This is what I mean when I talk about patenting changing relationships. I doubt anyone discusses, prior to getting married, how they will handle an out of control 4 year-old, and even if they think they are on the same discipline page before kids, well, like they say, “a baby changes everything”.
In the end, after exhausting every trick in the book, I decided it would be best to just get the child to sleep. So she won, on every front, got every request granted, all of her books read to her, and fell asleep the victor of the battle! But what the heck, at least she’s asleep. I’m not sure any different approach would’ve worked tonight, it seemed destined to end the way it did. I retreated from the battle feeling like a failure. All of my “it’s about the right outcome” BS didn’t do Sh*t! Like I’ve said before, I feel like I’m well on my way to knowing nothing about being a parent. But as always, I love her; that spunky, feisty, so beautiful even when screaming, little girl; and I pray that is enough!