Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Fleeting Mom of The Day Award

After Tuesday's post, you guys made me feel like a mom rock star, and I am so grateful for your kind words. I still have to respond to your comments; I'll get there.

Tuesday itself, however, proved no joke, and quickly swiped my glowing mom moment away with the brush of...

No. It wasn't a brush at all but more of an open-handed slap in the form of unexplained toddler grief that began over the choice between blue socks or white socks to get ready for the park and ended an hour later when he saw me playing with what I call an old-school-army-man-guarded oil platform complete with helipad for the accompanying helicopter. That's quite the description. I'll give you a second for it all to sink in.

Better yet, here's a picture of my handiwork.

Awesome right? Yea, that would stop me in the tracks of my worst tantrum too!

Let's go back to the issue at hand. Tuesday morning kicked my tail. I kept my calm which some, ok myself included, will call success, but what the heck happened with my sweet boy? And why couldn't I do something to "fix" it sooner?

I have no idea what went wrong. I just know that for an hour, yes and hour, he wanted to do the opposite of what I offered. The redirect technique offered no assistance. He simply cried to do what it was that we were just doing, no matter what it was and then cried if I tried to accommodate to do the other thing I had offered. I tried ignoring him for a while, and let's be honest. I kind of suck at that. Maybe I should have ignored him longer, but I feel like such a complete jerk doing that. He wasn't lashing out and throwing things (or himself).  He was simply crying and confused it seems, and nothing I offered could fix that. In my heart I felt that ignoring him was ignoring the opportunity to help him work through his feelings. Maybe I thought about it too much!

I wouldn't say I failed as a mother this Tuesday, but surely I went wrong in a couple of places for his fit to have lasted so long. I don't mean to sound whiny. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and I realize that mothers every day, every hour, are going through the same things. So, what's working for you?

Do I continue to offer him choices? I've read that's it a good way to give them the opportunity to exercise some independence. Perhaps I just limit the times during the day that I offer this chance.

I've got to do a bit of research, you know, read the books, check all over this Internet playground. I'm sure Pinterest offers her own perspective. I kid (sort of). Today is Wednesday, and we are also attempting the park at some point. Here's to actually making it there instead of getting derailed by socks!


Jess said...

When my kids were younger (and even Liv now), I'd always do a quick check when they acted like that. Are they hungry? Tired? Feverish? If none, then I'd do one of two things.

1. Change of scenery. Sometimes just going outside on the front porch for a few minutes would change everything. Look for bugs, or collect rocks. My kids would spend an hour looking for the perfect rock.

2. Offer two choices only. "we can do this, or we can do this. if you don't want to do either, then you can go play quietly by yourself". My kids learned from very early on that they had two choices in any situation, and that they had to pick from one of them, because I was NOT going to offer any other choices. Ever. I'm not a drive-through. There's no menu of choices in our lives.

Not sure of this helps, but it's always worked for me, and even now my kids are pretty great about playing by themselves, or picking an activity.

Am I Really Grown Up? said...

When Annabelle was small, 2-ish, she would break down for no reason I could find. When it got to the point of no return, I would hold her, even while she was hitting and kicking. Wrap her tightly in my arms and legs and whisper to her how much I loved her, how I wanted her to feel better, that it was ok to feel bad but good was coming soon. It was so hard to do but I reallt think that it helped both of us not melt down any farther than we already had.

D @ Naptime in Suburbia said...

Ugh, hang in there! Well done not losing your cool-that's one of the biggest battles in and of itself!

We're not at that stage yet, but I can only imagine what Noah will be like. He's already stubborn!

Kat said...

i am NOT looking forward to the big tantrums! Our pediatrician told us to let them happen, that they're a natural part of toddlerhood, and stand by and be ready to hug and kiss them and tell them its ok when it's over. Not during. Me? I'm not great at ignoring either :(