Humility – my new best friend.
Lately, things with Samuel have been a bit “tough”. He is getting closer to turning 4, and he is bound and determined to become independent RIGHT NOW! Every day, he pushes my buttons and finds new ways to make himself a contender for the “Most Annoyingly Independent, Charmingly Spastic and Crazy Cute, Drive My Mama Up a Wall, Three Year Old” award. Lately, I’ve found my patience running thin, and there has been a bit more yelling (from both him AND me) than I’d like to have in my home. Well, honestly, I’d rather have NO yelling, so it’s been a bit more than a bit more… it’s just been too much. I am struggling with finding the right kinds of discipline for him, and being OK with those choices.
Last week, we had the Mommy/Son clash from you-know-where. He has been having extreme difficulty with naptime, for a variety of reasons. First, there is the “I’m not tired, even though I’m yawning and fussing a lot” reason. That’s numero uno with three year olds. Secondly, there is the fact that Mommy can NOT get both boys synchronized, so they nap at the same time. I try, but to no avail, so far. So, Baby goes to sleep too early, and wakes up right when Samuel should go down. Or Baby goes to sleep about a half hour early, and Samuel wakes him up when he goes to bed. Or Samuel goes to sleep, and Baby is still up, but then goes to sleep, but is fussy, so wakes Samuel up. Or any mixture of the above scenarios, times 10, per day.
So, I’m a bit frustrated at nap time. And Samuel knows it. He pushes and pushes, checking on my limits and the boundaries in the situation. And, last week, he pushed one too many times, and found a new limit. Mom turned into a Screaming Banshee… and within 30 seconds, all three of us were crying/yelling/screaming. (Poor Baby Allan – he was just hungry!) It wasn’t a happy few minutes. And it was certainly the kind of tantrum I’d hoped to avoid at all costs – and I’m talking about the Mama tantrum!
Amazingly enough, Samuel took a nap that day. But, I wasn’t as happy about it as I would have been under other circumstances. I want him to nap, but I’d really rather not scream at him to get it to happen. It’s such a tough thing for me – finding the right balance between healthy discipline without turning into a scary mom. It was the first time I felt so at my wits end, (thankfully it hasn’t happened before to that extent!), but I often feel uncomfortable with discipline in general. Samuel seems to need us to be harder on him right now, but I don’t like it. And I think he is smart enough to sense my confusion and uncertainty. I wish I could be 100% convinced that how I’m disciplining him is the “right way”, but I’m not even close. Hubby is sure – with no doubts – and I envy that.
About humility. I need to work on a plan of action for discipline, and be ready to stick with it – and I also need to work on my anger. Lately Samuel has started reacting angrily to me when we clash on something, and he has this funny little “ggrrrrr” thing he does. Only, it’s not so funny, because as hubby pointed out the other night – he got it from me. Ouch!! I didn’t realize how much I “grrrrr” when I’m frustrated. But I need to stop.
So, here’s to 2006 and working on patience and ridding myself of needless anger. And to better naptimes!