January 8, 2014

Crying, and Whining, and Tantrums, Oh My!

It donned on me, while I rinsed off dishes to put in the dishwasher, that I just asked my 3 year old if she was going to cry every day for the rest of her life as if she were capable of answering it honestly.  Or as if it were a fair question to ask a child that age.  

At the time, I'm sure she thought she was answering honestly as she mumbled what I thought sounded like a "yes", but I can't be sure since it got lost in the high pitch sounds of what resembled a puppy cry.  This is what it sounded like when Alivia started to whine.  Between her crying, and whining for what seemed to be the one millionth time that day, I thought I was going to lose it!  Mind you, I haven't been feeling well.  I have been fighting a sinus infection that spread through the house like a forest fire and even still, I mustered up the patience to make a silly game out of asking her not to run around the kitchen island near the hot stove.  I would physically redirect her every time she would get near the stove, turning her around and pushing her off towards her dad who would do the same thing as she approached the other side of the island.  All of a sudden, before the hubby and I knew it, she was crying and acting like her moody little self.  You can imagine my patience, at this time, was dwindling, and quickly.  I still demonstrated control when I demanded she go to her room in a relaxed and eager voice as if I were asking a waiter for the dessert menu. I can't deny that I was eager for her to go to her room so that I could enjoy some peace and quiet.  I don't know what I was thinking.  No sooner than we closed the door to her bedroom was she in full out tantrum mode.  Screaming, kicking, crying, whining, etc.! 

Crying and Whining and Tantrums Oh MY via Cropped-Stories

CRYING, WHINING, AND TANTRUMS, OH MY!

I could feel my face getting hot and the tears began to well up in my eyes.  Without the hubby knowing, I casually snuck off to the bathroom to ball like a baby with questions like "where did I go wrong", "why was she acting this way", "am I being too hard on her", and the question that made me cry the most "when did we drift apart?"

Whether it was true or not, that's how I felt these past few months.  It seemed like when Alivia turned 3, she became different.  She was difficult, moody, stubborn, and questioning.  Just when I thought she couldn't be any more repetitive than she already was, it became worse.  She would ask something, I (or someone) would answer, and she would continue to ask again and again and again.  It was nerve racking, frustrating, and anxiety provoking.  Then, out of the blue, she started asking why all the time and questioning my disciplinary actions.  Maybe you are familiar with this stage.  Lord I hope you are 'cause, at this point, all I want to know is if there are others out there experiencing similar behaviors in their children.    

But I'll tell you what kills me the most, that nearly splits my heart in two. It's a behavior that is the most challenging not to take personal.

It's the god-forsaken MOODINESS! Is that even normal? To be moody at 3? I realize the hubby may be partly to blame for this one (being a grumpy ol' bear himself), but I'm still thinking she's a little too young to demonstrate this behavior.  I thought I had quite a few years before I had to deal with my daughter being mean or hurting me feelings. Wasn't that a conventional characteristic of the teenage years?  Apparently the behavior didn't only define the teen years and this sick joke was on me!  I'll never get over how heartbreaking it was to see her little hand push me away when I tried to cuddle her, ask her what's wrong, or simply play.  Especially when all I could envision was that little hand tightly wrapped around my finger as she slept soundly in my arms in the first few months of her life.  

What can I say; it's been hard. It's been disappointing.  Mostly, though, it's been depressing.  And the frequency of the punishments just seem to be increasing lately!  And just when I thought I'd never be one of those mothers that sits outside their child's bedroom door after sending them to their room, there I was outside Alivia's room rolled up in the fetal position crying like an infant praying she wouldn't come out of her room and see me in all of my, um, splendor.  

Between sending her to her room and taking toys away, let's just say it hasn't been Disney Land over here lately.  In fact, if you walked into our house right now, you could probably cut the tension with a knife.  It's been practically a war zone, and it's safe to say we are all sick and tired of living on fighting grounds.  

Sometimes I wonder what gets me through each day without going completely insane or crying myself into an oblivion. And while I'd like to give up at times, I try to stay strong for my family, for Alivia.  Although I may question my actions and wonder if I'm handling a situation the best I can, the healthiest thing I can do for everyone is exactly what I'm doing. I'll continue to question myself; it's what keeps me in check.  I'll continue to feel disheartened when I have to take a toy away or send Alivia to her room; it's what keeps me humane.  I will not call a truce; I will not give up.  It's just not an option; not for this mommy anyway!

With Alivia growing into what I can only imagine is the first version of herself, I am happy to report she has also acquired some amazing characteristics and behaviors that any parent would be proud of.  Even with her intermittent moodiness, she is, and always has been, a very loving child, and I never question that is her true self.  She is super smart, imaginative, creative, and social.  She's on many occasions demonstrated leadership, thoughtfulness, and has even learned how to stand up for herself.  Mostly, though, she is a happy child.  And isn't that what all parents want for their children (right after health of course)?  Their happiness?

See, I knew must have been doing something right.

Now, it's your turn.  Don't leave me hanging like I'm the only parent out there with a difficult toddler.  If any of this sounds familiar, I need to hear from you especially if you have any helpful tips to get through this phase.  I’d also love to hear how potty training is going.  While Alivia has been trained for some time now, she has taken a few steps back.  She’s been peeing in her underwear, something she’s never done before.  And don’t even get me started on the pooping.  It’s sort of a crappy subject for me (pun intended). 

And before I let you go, there’s only 2 days left to link up to The PINcentive Blog Hop!  As a reminder, our winners (3 are chosen every week) get major Pinterest exposure.  On average, our winner’s content is being pinned between 50-80 times (sometimes more)!  Trust me, it’s not an opportunity you should miss out on!  At the very least, you will be able to meet some new bloggers, find some inspiring posts to share, and make some new friends.  Not too shabby if you ask me!

16 comments :

  1. Trust me you aren't alone, we have our good and bad moments here, too for sure. I remember with my first thinking thank god we got past the terrible twos, only to realize three was no picnic many days either. So, I totally feel for you Elena and we could totally commiserate with one another!

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  2. I don't have a toddler, but I do have an infant! My son can be quite tempermental and my husband and I wonder everyday what he's going to be like when he gets older. We don't know if the version of him we see and experience now will be his actually personality, or if he's just the way he is because he's a baby. We're prepared for anything at this point!

    Tenns @ New Mama Diaries

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  3. Well, I'm way past the toddler stage. I will say that each of my children was different, and I don't think their personalities had anything to do with me. I did try (and still do try) to remind myself that any characteristic has two sides.. a positive and a negative. The persistence nagging could someday manifest as a persistent lawyer.. you never know! Hang in there:)

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  4. I feel your pain - my first child, a daughter, was like this too. I bought a book that saved my sanity - Living with the Active, Alert Child by Linda Budd. Today my daughter is 24 years old and grew up to be a wonderful adult. I needed help dealing with the "many moods of Chablis" as I liked to call them. Chablis was extremely active and NEVER slept. I was exhausted. She was climbing on everything and she never...stopped....talking. This book, and I have no relation to the author or endorsements what so ever, changed my life and the way I dealt with her.

    You sound like a good mom and you truly care. Kids can be overwhelming sometimes and we all need help occasionally.

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  5. This behavior is normal for most toddlers and seems to increase every year as they get older. My six year old boy is the master of meltdowns. He has the ability to cry the instant something doesn't go his way. My 4 year old girl is a drama queen. And my 3 year old girl has gone from being the sweetest, most darling 2 year old to a crier similar to my son. Not as much as him but she is showing signs of turning into him. Yikes!
    I'm in the thick of it with my 3 now so all I can say is hold on. I'm hoping as much as you that it abates at some point.

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  6. hahahahahahaha. I feel your pain 100%. I am not laughing at you. But I can totally relate. When Julianna turned 3 in May, it was like everything we knew about her changed drastically. NO ONE and I mean no one warned me age 3 is way worse than 2. Age 2 is a walk in the park compared to age 3 - no lie. Julianna does the same exact stuff. She cries ALL OF THE TIME and when she does not cry, she whines. The only time she is not whining or crying is when she's sleeping. I have been going through such a hard time with my own emotions and wondering where I went wrong on a daily basis. I think back to when she was this beautiful little baby that coo'd and loved everything and laughed at everything. She has turned into this little whiny thing that will ONLY do things her way and cries 50 times a day over things like needing a bandaid for her imaginary boo-boo ... or the band-aid that she has been re-applying to her hand for 4 days finally stopped sticking and she is tantrum'ing over it! I was crying in the shower this morning as a matter of fact over how bad it's been lately (oh and throw an 8 month old into the mix = total mind numbness!)... But I will tell you this; everyone I talk to that has older kids, especially girls, says age 3 is THE WORST. And they also tell me her behavior is totally normal. NORMAL!? Who could have ever known. Not me! So yeah - this is nornal I guess. Breathe deep. Take a nice hot shower (heck, it's the only place you can get some time to yourself now right??) and relax even if it's for a few minutes. I am told it's all worth it in the end ;) xo

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  7. Congrats!!! You've got yourself a bonafide threenager!

    My son is only 2 so I don't have much advice besides hang in there. I'm hoping it gets better for you. I can't imagine how difficult this time is- heck most of the time parenting is difficult. You guys will get through it...alive!

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  8. Now I'm nearly crying too. I'm at a very similar stage with my almost 3 year old, and while most of the time she's a sweet sunny little girl, she goes through stages where she defies me at every turn, and every request I make is the opportunity for her to let me know I'm not the boss of her. This week is one of those times and I am tired of being the bad guy. I am also tired of being ignored until I stomp and yell. I hope this all gets easier for all of us one day.

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  9. I hear girls are worse than boys, but I don't have any first hand experience. Thanks for joining the Thumping Thursday bloghop.

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  10. My baby isn't there yet with the moodiness (he's 17 mos) but I'm sure this is all normal! My son started throwing tantrums about little things over the past month or so, too! He gets super mad when he doesn't get something he wants or can't do something he wants to do. When did you start potty training? Thanks for linking up with Time for Mom last week (I am a little late on commenting, sorry!)

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  11. Thanks for joining us at Time For Mom last week! Hope to see you there today! My son is 1 and a half and going through the same thing. This stage is killing me! While he can't talk, he is certainly fussy and moody too.

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  12. My son started his terrible 2's early (he'll be 2 in March). Some days, I just want to walk out the door because I'm so close to snapping. All of my sanity is practically out the window at this point. I'm in the midst of this and I totally understand what you're going through. My son doesn't listen, he hits out of anger, bites, and will literally throw himself to the ground if I don't agree with him. The best thing I've found is to wear him out... and still, we have problems.

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  13. No! A resounding and loud NO, You Are Not Alone! I have had 3 toddlers spreading their moodiness at one time in my home and it is not rare but more like an epidemic. BUT There is Hope! Girls tend to be a bit moodier than the boys but it passes. It is also not strange for it to be happening at a young age...my Oldest started somewhere around 3 and even at 6 now she still has the days where she 'wants her space' but they are much fewer now that she is older. So hang in there...you loving little Girl is still in there :)

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  14. You are so NOT alone! Everyone talks about the terrible twos but I've always found 3s to be much more difficult. At 3 they have WORDS and can express their thoughts and feelings. And moody girls? Don't get me started! I have 4 boys and 1 girl. The 4 boys together don't even equal the moodiness of my one girl. Crying and whining... you have my complete sympathies!!! Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

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  15. I have a Threenager too. Oy Oy Oy! I cannot believe the moodiness already and how quickly everything can go SO right to SO wrong!
    Last week was VERY difficult and I had to really reevaluate myself as a mom. I'm just trying to stay calm and not give in to the nonsense!
    Thanks for sharing on #MondayForMoms!

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  16. My Wonderful Husband studied Endocrinology and learned that young children have mood swings similar to puberty because their hormones are fluctuating just as much, and in very similar ways.

    There are days that knowing this really helps me, and then there are those when it doesn't. HTH :-) ----Kimberly

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