Posted on | August 20, 2013 | 23 Comments
Everything is a battle lately and I’d be lying if I said I thought, even for a moment, that I was winning.
I am not winning.
Parenting through this stage is like a war of words and tiny fists and feet and so. much. whining. And I am losing every day, little by little, inch by inch.
I do not know how to win this war, you guys. EVERYTHING is a battle. This morning I sent my kid to school with a belly full of a “healthy” breakfast of cheese and veggie straws because nothing else would work. I chased him around the house, finally grabbing him by his ankles and tossing him on the sofa to put his shoes on. Raspberries were blown in my general direction. Words were hurled with precision, meant to wound me with their pointed edges. Words like “I wish you weren’t my mom” and “I don’t want to live with you any more.” Words I thought I could postpone hearing until at least ages 13 or 14.
This feels so much like failure, like I’m doing everything wrong… like somehow I’ve managed to create this little tyrant by my inability to do something right in parenting. I wonder if I’ve hugged too much and punished too little, if I’ve not enforced enough rules or consequences… if I’ve been the push over one too many times for his curls and cuteness.
There are times when it’s fine, when there is a lull in the whining or worrying or needing something or everything but they are few and far between. He needs a snack, he needs my attention, he waaaaaants something different to eat for dinner because this is awful terrible stuff and no one should be forced to eat it. He doesn’t want his shoes on, he wants different shoes, his socks are burning his feet, his pants are too tight or too loose or his shirt is scratchy. I’m mean because I won’t let him have ice cream, or another container of yogurt, or a pet elephant to keep in his room. I’m not fair when I make him brush his teeth or wash his face and don’t even get me started about washing his hair.
I’m glad to have an opinionated child.
I love him dearly and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.
But oh. my. God. this feels so much like failure these days. Where is the sweetness and cuddly goodness of baby? Where are the silent moments and loving hugs? WHERE ARE THOSE MOMENTS THAT NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTED, DAMMIT? I want Coca Cola at a counter with big smiles and straws in the bottle, not a red faced screaming banshee who ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT HAVE APPLE JUICE BECAUSE IT’S YELLOW AND HE HATES YELLOW TODAY. Now it is all rough and tumble, tears and yells, “no’s” and “You can’t make me’s”.
But every so often… just for a brief moment… he is still. His face calm, his smile sweet, his hand reaching out for mine. Every so often, he leans his head in and rests it on my shoulder and sighs out a soft “I love you.”
And in those few and far between moments, I figure that if this is losing, then at least, at most… I am losing to him. And, let’s face it, I’ve been lost to him since the day he was born.