Monday, November 20, 2006

I thought 4 was supposed to get better?

And let's see, what else do I have to write about? The fact that, in the past 48 hours, at least, 4 has seemed a LOT worse than 2.

First off, J wanted to go to Target yesterday. He howled and screamed and cried after I told him no, we weren't going, we didn't need anything. He finally got over that. Then I got the idea to finally put together the bookcase he'd gotten for his birthday (from Target, of course). I started taking pieces out of the box and discovered that one shelf was broken. Not just chipped or something you could work with, but had a big ol' crack cutting across about a third of the shelf. So I told J, hey, it's your lucky day, we have to take this back to Target. He was all excited. I boxed the thing back up, got it in the car (no small task - keep in mind, this is a 5-shelf bookcase, taller than me by nearly a foot when assembled), and off we went. I got it out of the car and we took the bookcase to customer service first, where they gave us a slip for the return. J got one little bitty thing, and I told him we now had to get the bookcase and a few other things, and then we'd be ready to go. Got the bookcase - no problem other than that it was damn heavy (and we were able to get it in a cherry finish this time instead of maple, which I like better anyway :-) ), and we went to get the few other things I needed. Well, at one point we were in the section with the plates and glasses and whatnot, and J wanted to know if we were ready to go yet. I told him no, I needed a couple more things, and then we could go, that it wouldn't be long. (He wasn't able to ride in the buggy because the bookcase took up most of the space.) Well, he grabbed a dish - just a random black bowl, breakable, of course - and said he wanted it. I had visions of it shattering into pieces on the floor through a careless move, so I grabbed his hand away from it, and told him no, we didn't need it, and it was breakable and he didn't need to touch it. He then went into full pigheaded 4-year-old mode - he started touching darn near every breakable thing on the aisle, in spite of being told no in no uncertain terms. So I grabbed his arm, put my arm around his shoulders, and told him his behavior was horrid, that if he didn't knock it off right now, no toys would be going home with us, we'd leave what he'd gotten there. He proceeded to howl that he didn't WANT to leave it there, he'd be GOOD. Um, son, you aren't listening - if you straighten up, the toy comes home. It's only if you keep acting like a little wildebeest that it stays here. Yesterday I was the parent I feel sorry for in Target.

Bedtime last night - he howled and screamed and carried on that he didn't WANT to go to bed. Well, guess what, it's after 9:30, "want" really doesn't play into it at this point.

And this morning. We were leaving the house, and running late already (which I worry about, since I really have to mind my p's and q's at work). I asked J if he had his drink, his snack, all his stuff. Yes. So, out we went. Just as I locked the door behind me, J said he wanted Curious George. I told him that he knew how we did it, that once we're outside we don't go in for anything not essential, that we need to make sure we have all our things before we leave. And he proceeded to throw the grandpappy of all fits, and I was really hoping the neighbors weren't outside, because if they were, they probably thought I was beating my kid. He howled and screamed, and sobbed that he WANTED Curious George right NOW. And he cried so much I was worried he might make himself throw up. I kept telling him no, we weren't going back in, and he needed to come with me and get in the car, that Curious George would be here when we got home tonight and that he already had toys in the car. (Only about a kabillion at last count.) And he screamed and hollered and carried on some more, and I lost my temper and yelled and felt like the worst parent ever. I tried telling him that I wasn't getting him what he wanted after he threw a fit because he'd think that crying was how you got your way, and he said, "But I won't throw a fit next time!" I told him that he said that now, but next time he wanted something, he'd remember that mama gave in after he'd screamed enough, and he'd do it again because I would have led him to believe that that worked, and I told him I wasn't going to have him growing up thinking that. And I tried explaining to him - I asked him if he liked it when he got time out at school, "No". I tried explaining that if I don't get to work when I'm supposed to, I get in trouble, and that's kind of like a time out for me, and I don't like being in trouble at work any more than he likes being in trouble at school. He chewed on that for a minute, and then started howling for George again. I finally told him to get in the car, and he walked over to his door, howling all the way. He stood there and I asked him to please get in the car. "Noooooo, I don't WANT to!" I told him fine, he might be a big boy, but I could still pick him up and put him in the car, and that's what I did. And he howled and cried some more, and I hugged him and told him I knew he really wanted George, and that we'd all like to get what we want all the time, but that sometimes the answer has to be no. And finally he settled down and was OK, but damn, that kind of start to a morning takes it out of you.

If we have another fit like that tonight, my head might pop right off.

On the bright side, I did get the bookcase put together. I moved the small one out of J's room into the hallway, put the big one into J's room, and got most of the books replaced. Go, me! That was some hard work!


meno said...

Don't give in.
So sorry though, it does take it out of you.
Not missing those days.....

A Mother's Serenity said...

No, four does not seem better than 2!!! For the record, we experience the same stuff over here too...added in with lovely backtalk and snottiness that only a girl can dish out!