Thursday, January 16, 2014

"those" people

at thanksgiving all he wanted to eat were rolls.  rolls - that's it.
terrible two's.  that's what they call it, right?  i reckon "they" being everyone who came before us did that for a reason.  enter independence, enter personal thoughts about how things should go, enter thoughts about what we should eat, enter thoughts about not just doing what mommy and daddy say to do, enter a kid who can kind of talk but you are not really sure what he's saying all of the time.  boom, we have a two year old.

it's great to watch his personality develop.  he's becoming a real character.  he practices giving us "sassy eyes" when he looks at us ever so slightly cutting his eyes with a sheepish grin to let you know he's got a different idea about things.  it's pretty mischievous looking and probably giving us some foreshadowing into his teenage years.  he has also started practicing fake fall downs that include stairs.  his previous fake fall downs were just while walking - oh no, i fell down - kind of a thing.  however, now we've graduated to standing on the base of the stairs and then flinging our body against the two bottom steps and sliding back down them.  he looks to see if you are watching and then even throws in fake tears.  the first time he did it, i was not clued into what we were doing there and i thought it was real.  however, proceed one week to attempt number 47 to fling oneself on the steps and i tell him - "buddy, that's not real - it's fake.  you are a good actor, but you are not hurt."  he cries and carries on and i cannot tell what reaction he really desires from it, or if it is just the fact that he wants some reaction period.

then in the past two weeks we've added in severe meltdowns that first began around 5pm.  usually we begin to pack up from working and head down stairs around this time.  he used to enjoy playing with the downstairs toys, checking up on the dogs, and helping me start to make dinner - and of course he could not ever wait for the arrival of his beloved daddy to come home from work.  however, early last week he was crying and throwing a major fit and so i bumped his dinner time up earlier thinking he was starving.  however, after a few days of switching this up and seeing he was still crying and carrying on, we thought maybe it was his two year molars and that he was not actually being a fussy pants, but was actually in pain.  he had a low grade fever, but seemed fine otherwise.  we reacted by giving him motrin before dinner each night and still no progress.  some nights he was not even staying up until daddy made it home.  then, fast forward to this week and it worsened and started to happen around lunch time too.  cranky kids at meal times just are not fun.  we are tired and hungry too, but we've prepared him something and he just won't have it.  it could be foods he's previously consistently eaten in the past, but now he does not even want to look at it or the bowl that it sits in.  he seriously was gagging and choking so hard from crying about it that one night i thought he was having some allergic reaction.  i administered benadryl and watched over him like a hawk (on standby with my 911 dialing fingers).  however, i noticed that when he was picked up and petting on a lamp shade (removed from the area) that he was all of the sudden fine - and then my light bulb came on.

we're slow here, so give us a break.
we've never done this before.

it finally dawned on me that he is just testing us and working on his own independence.  he wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and he won't take no for an answer.  oh man, how did we get here?  are we the ones with the spoiled rotten kid?  are we "those" people?  gulp.  afraid it was starting to look like that.  so, in the past two days we've been taking a much different approach.  you don't want to eat what we've given you, that is fine but you cannot have anything else.  sure, we said we were doing that before - but because i was the one who is here with him (while trying to work a full time desk job) all day long from sunrise to sunset, i caved and would sometimes give him something else just to 1.  get him to eat  2.  get him to stop fussing.  guilty. as. charged.  

now i can see that what i was doing to make that moment easier has actually made things so much more difficult.  so, we've got a lot of crying and carrying on happening, even more so than before - but we're hoping that this will help us win the battle in the end.  last night we celebrated a small victory where daxton ate everything he was given for his dinner and did not even throw any of it on the floor.  we were impressed, and even hours later i kept saying "i cannot believe he ate all of his dinner!"  some friends said it was a fluke and it wouldn't last, but we hope that's not true and that we are making progress in this struggle.  

hopefully he's learning that we're in the driver's seat and he's buckled in tightly in the back.  we're not exactly sure where we're going, but we know we'll get there.  it's a wild ride for sure.


Melodie said...

Go easy on yourself. Parenting is tough stuff. No one ever tells us this part, right?!!

beth said...

Ah yes you are entering the terrible twos as your nephew is entering the dreaded teenage years. No 13 doesn't count 14 is where it REALLY begins. Dear Lord help us both.

You are *now* doing the right thing. When he is hungry enough he will eat what you put in front of him. It is a hard lesson but he will learn it. Ignore his temper tantrums. James threw one real one. I mean drop down kicking and screaming thrashing about. I paid no mind UNTIL he stopped. Then I made him kick and scream some more. I guess he decided it was not fun because he never tried it again. Then there was the Walmart incident. I ended up leaving the entire basket of food in the check out line because he just had to test my warning. Yep walked right out, with him crying for the movie we left behind, came home put him in his bed and closed the door. sigh. Good news, it does not last, but it is hard. Just remember the more discipline they have now, the less you have to administer later ok..yes in theory but really it has worked pretty good so far. Daxton is a smart boy so he will catch on to what he can and can not get away with quickly.

Cat's Litterbox said...

I don't want to rain on your parade, but the 2s don't have anything on the 3s. The 3s have been the most challenging yet and I pray each night that the 4s bring us relief.

Hugs that the eating gets under control. We've tried the "you're not getting anything else" thing too, but he is a stubborn little guy and held out for nothing. I realized that there are bigger battles to fight than anything related to food.


Kathleen Scott said...

So been there! And I think we still are . . . They really do try to test you and see how far they can get. We went with the same decision on eating. Good luck, and most parents are faced with this tough stuff, and it is heart wrenching.

Visiting you for the first time from the SITS tribe!

Meredith said...

Oh how I feel your pain!! Hang in there...I'm visiting from the SITS tribe too! Can't wait to read more of your blog! -Meredith

BumbersBumblings said...

How funny that we were matched with the same SITS group :) Hope you are well, friend!

AMG3VBALL said...

I totally feel your pain. Our little one is just a few months away from 2, but is already a handful. I never imagined how hard parenting could be before joining the party!

Visiting from SITS! Happy to connect this week. -Ana