Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh, please, can I just go home?

I'm tired. J was in rare form last night. He didn't give it up and go to sleep until nearly 11:00, and he was a pill just about every second of the evening. He finally asked to sleep in his own bed, and fell asleep there in short order. But he woke up just before 5:00 with pants full of poop and wanting milk, so we changed and got milk. Then he crawled into bed with me, and by the time he fell asleep, it was close to 6:00. Just in time for the alarm to go off. I hate nights/mornings like that. If he wakes up at 2:00 in the morning, or 3:00 in the morning, at least I have a few hours of sleep left. When he wakes up like he did this morning, I just get to sleep long enough to make me REALLY not want to get out of bed.

I'm starting to wonder about his behavior. I don't know what's just normal 4-year-old/strong-willed boy behavior, and what might be cause for concern. He's always been busy, but now I seem to be noticing a lot more inattention and outright defiance. Seems like everything I've asked/told him to do or not do the past couple of days, he turns around and immediately does the opposite of what I asked. When I ask him why he isn't listening to me, he just says, "I don't know." When I'm asking him a question, it takes three or four times asking to get a response. I know his hearing is fine, so it's not that he doesn't hear me. He throws fits over seemingly insignificant things - I mean, screaming and howling and sobbing because I've told him we can't stop at Whataburger for dinner, come on. We've talked about hamburgers and take-out food being occasional treats, he knows we don't stop there all the time, and yet he screams. He goes against rules we've already talked about, that I know he knows. And it's making me crazy. I don't want to use spanking as discipline, never have done, but there have been moments recently that I've certainly considered it. So. I don't know how much of this is a function of being 4, how much of it might be post-Christmas letdown, and how much (if any) of it might be something to be worried about. All I know is, I'm tired of fighting these fights Just once, I wish he'd surprise me with an easy bedtime, or with not screaming when I tell him no, or with doing what I ask without me asking fourteen times. He's four, so I think he's old enough to understand what I'm asking and to mind when I do ask (allowing for the occasional spurt of disobedience, since he is four, after all). But it's like he pushes every button he can possibly think of to push, and then some. It makes me tired. It might be easier with a man around the house to share in the discipline, or perhaps the behavior would be better if there was a man around the house. I don't know. I'm just tired.

It doesn't help that I'm trying to fight off the crud. My head is clogged, my nose is running, and my eyes are itching. I'm loading up on vitamin C. I hope I can avoid a full-blown sinus infection and a trip to the doctor. I have neither time nor money for that. I haven't even refilled my blood pressure meds, I'm certainly in no position to shell out $40 for Augmentin. I sure hope bedtime is easier - and earlier - tonight.

I won't be home until after 8:00 by the time I pick up J, but at least he will have had dinner. Since it's my late night (oh, yay, I just love answering phones until 7:00), K is picking him up, and he and A and J are going out to dinner. I expect J will eat a boatload of spaghetti at Johnny Carino's. So hopefully when we get home, I can wash the sheets (they're wet) and get them dried and on the bed, and get him bathed and asleep in fairly short order.

At least I have lots of sugar to get me through the afternoon. My friend John brought pralines that his MIL made (they're fantastic!), my friend Rose brought pecan pie, and I bought a caramel brownie at Starbucks this morning. Hopefully all that will fortify me sufficiently that I can make it through to 7:00.

I just hope it's a quiet day. I don't have the energy to deal with whining.

Oh. I got a neg letter from Ellis County re: the felony prosecutor position, and from the Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation re: the in-house counsel position. Things suck here, so it makes me seriously question whether I belong here, but then every possible open door I find is slammed in my face. What does that mean? Will I ever figure out where I belong? Will things ever get better? I'm having a despondent day - no surprise when you combine no good job news with lack of sleep and feeling halfway crappy.


meno said...

I have NO idea what normal behavior is for a 4 year old. But i do know that all kids are exhausting much of the time.


Lisa said...

Thanks, Meno. I can always use some courage!

And I keep reminding myself that he won't be little forever. I just worry that somehow I'm screwing up and raising a spoiled brat monster child instead of a decently behaved, halfway sensible young man. Ugh. This is one of those days I wish children came with instruction manuals.

Nell said...

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Clear consequences and swift follow through. I've been raising other people's kids for 20 years, and it really does work. J is in control right now, you gotta be the boss. Lemme know if you want to talk about it, or even just to vent.

crazycatlady said...

Sorry, I can't help you in the kid department :( Hope things get better soon.