Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Motherhood = Punishment??

I apologise in advance. What you are about to read isn't organized, thought out and may not make a bit of sense. What it is, is a mother VENTING about the frustrations of having a manipulative control freak 4 year old. Read at your own risk!

What the hell did I do to deserve the B/S that goes on around here at bedtime EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? My 2 year old is a perfect angel when it comes to bed time. She, very happily, goes right in, brushes her teeth, goes potty, washes her hands and face and goes to bed. INSTANTLY. NO MUSS, FUSS OR B/S! You'd THINK that a FOUR year old would know how to behave?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Not in THIS house. Ya see, my 4 year old is a manipulative beast. She does this same B/S every SINGLE NIGHT. She pretends to have a stomach ache, doubles over in agony, screaming, writhing (she'd be a friggin GREAT EXORCIST ACRESS! If anyone knows any directors, send them this way!! ) acting like she's DIEING. (And no, she doesn't have anything wrong with her, we've had her checked, she's just manipulative because SHE doesn't want to go to BED!)
It makes me SO mad that I can't even enjoy the rest of my evening. She carries on for atleast 2 - 3 hours PAST BEDTIME. The other night it was past MIDNIGHT. AND NO, I DON'T CATER or CODDLE this B/S. I IGNORE IT. We've done everything, even gave her a chewable mylanta ( dr approved). She's perfectly fine. She's just a really manipulative personality. Whenever there's something SHE doesn't want to do, she automatically doubles over in agony. I swear people must think I'm the worst parent on Earth! I ignore the behavour but she's strong willed and she's screamed up to almost 5 hours. I can't go up there or I will explode and possibly say things I'll later regret. I am in such a foul mood that I can't even enjoy being down here even though she's been left to my husband's responsibility now. I want to EXPLODE.
I can hear her up there, and funny, the moment she walks into MY room and wants to 'explain to me about her tummy ache' and plants her ass on MY BED, MAGIC HAPPENS! SEE? Said Tummy ache magically disappears. Until, of course, her feet are back on the FLOOR and I am ushering her to her OWN ROOM. Then it magically reappears and wow, can you believe it? It's EVEN WORSE! Wow! How interesting! On MY bed = INSTANT CURE. Feet on the floor = WRITHING IN PAIN! Ok.. so maybe you think she's craving attention (wow you're good!) but... I could understand that If I was at work all day and she at school or my hubby at work but we're BOTH HOME ALL DAY EVERY DAY and SO IS SHE. We spend every waking hour together so it's not that she doesn't get enough attention. It's that she's a control freak, she's manipulative and she's a REALLY GOOD actress! (seriously folks, if you know anyone doing any casting calls for 4 year old drama actresses, she's the one they want! BELIEVE ME!)
I am so glad that I don't have blood pressure issues because I know that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, I'd have the highest blood pressure on EARTH and I'd have a stroke at least 4 times a week.

13 comments:

Maria said...

You think it's bad now, wait until she's 16.....good luck with this Gabs!

Petra said...

Aren't you and I related? Our kids? I know what you are going through...a little since mine does not have this attitude every single night. What makes it worse is that it affects you because you love her so much and because you are such a good mother. And it has an effect on your me-time. I explode because of this too.
Unwanted advice: do not make her too active or eat to sweet before going to bed, have a routine at bedtime that you do no matter what (does not have to be long but keep it the same and the same order), try to keep responding every time (if we do not things get worse) but your reaction should always be so that she will return to bed. "I am so sorry for you but your body needs to rest now...", "The day is over for you, I will bring you back to bed now". Maybe you can make her tell things that bother her to a cuddle or something? Try to keep her room calm/tidy and not to warm. Try to figure out how much time she needs to sleep. Maybe something extra before going to sleep that her little sister cannot do? Maybe not putting her into bath at night or just do that...Hope these suggestions will make you find out what works. In the meantime {{{{hugs}}}}} from me. I am wondering how my princess will do during the holiday...

looney said...

hi, gabi! i'm mary ann's sis, looney...love your blog by the way and love your kind and supporting words you've sent to my sis through her blog-follow your bliss. i missed your comments lately on my sis' blog so i wanted to see what you're up to...glad i did because i totally know what you're going through times 2 at the same age-4...first of all, love the way you write, totally empathized every step of the way and made me giggle too! it's not funny when it's happening but when you sit down and reflect, it's funny how children know how to test you.

totally agree with petra. this exact episode of the "exorcist" has happened more than i could count...but what turned the corner for our lil' family is by sticking to routines. children need routine and need structure. you're doing the best you can, gabi...you're a very loving and good mommy and you wouldn't be so nuts about this if you didn't care. i mean, i would get all flustered, frustrated, pissed off and yell and say terrible things and the more the kids would act up. then, i'd feel so terrible afterwards and think that that they didn't deserve all that hype...one day, i mentioned this to the kiddies' pediatrician, he told me to keep firm and positive, try not to yell bec. kiddies' sense this and will know that they pushed the right buttons to get that reaction...so i changed the way i reacted...whenever the kiddies test me by acting like "linda blair", i'd be firm, but not screaming and would tell them that they were so tired from such a great day that (like petra would say) they needed to rest their tired little bodies so they could wake up the next day to start their new adventure...then would do our nightly routine around 8 p.m., brush teeth, take bath, put pjs, read them a book or two, say prayers, put their soothing lullabye tunes, kiss them good-night and tell them how much i love them all by 8:30-9p.m.. at first, it didn't work (they would one by one get out, break dance, scream, get into our bed, scream i'm hungry, thirsty, need that, need this... you name it...) but i was determined to make this work, so every night, we (ok, mostly i did it bec. dh is in the military away from home) did the same thing until they totally got used to it and now they know what we need to do and if i diverted, they would call me on it and i have to stick with the routine...you know i also told each of them the consequences if they didn't go to bed or do "whatever". i tried to explain in kiddy language like, "you know if you don't get to bed right now, you might not be able to enjoy the activities we have planned tomorrow, or if you don't listen and do "whatever" you'll be going to time-out etc." most of the time, the kiddies understand what time-out is and they usually shape up...

there are times where our routine wouldn't work bec. we either were at a family function or there was a special occasion where they stayed up late and we'd pay for it with their crankiness, but i'd stick with our routine no matter the time and they'd tell me that they're tired etc...and fall fast asleep...

you're a wonderful mommy, gabi...your lil' 4 yr old angel loves you too, she just needs a lil' more guidance than your 2 yr old...for me, it was a lot of patience, determination and long nights to get our routine down...once in a while the kiddies get out of hand but i'm better in controlling my emotions, they see that and when i say it's time for "whatever" they try to understand. i know exactly how you feel, gabi and will be thinking of you!!! good luck with your angels and remember, you're a good mom, be kind to yourself and you deserve the very best of everything too!

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

Oh Gabi, I loved the part where you say "plant her ass on MY bed" You crack me up! No pun intended.
Well, in my best Dr Phil voice....."she must be getting something out of this." I would lose it too. My first thought was give her something horrible like castor oil when she has these stomach issues. Maybe take her to her dr and have the dr say this is what she needs to take when this happens. But, I'm evil. What about just locking her in her room when she is throwing her fits and just let her be? (as long as she is safe of course......no pounding on the windows etc...) Sounds bad, I know. Good Luck. Keep us posted.

skrpndiva said...

Not sure how I'd handle this one. My kids both went to bed fairly easily. As a matter of fact, my daughter used to put herself to bed when she got tired. Naps and everything. She's definitely doing it for the attention factor. Must be something you can do to get her to think about things. Like, no treats, take away her favorite pasttime...t.v. perhaps. For you it would be a pisser for a few days, but once she got used to it, she probably would stop. Either that, or ignore her. Put her in her room...let her scream, cry, kick whatever...don't feed into it Gabi dear! You'll drive yourself crazy.

DEW said...

Poor Gabi! You are certainly NOT a bad parent! You are being smart not letting her get away with it - that would only make it worse! But boy, how do you fix it? I like the idea of the bad tasting medicine! But then I'm on the evil side. Perhaps we should lock her and Mac up all night and she can scream in him ear. No, on second thought, the two of them together may be able to take over the world seeing how manipulative both of them are! Just hang in there! I did give Mac a carrot for you. He said "It's about time." He's an ungrateful cuss at times! :-) I've been trying to figure out how to email you - but I'm an idiot! Hope you do better tonight with the mcf child! Good luck!

Petra said...

Gabi, whatever you do....Please never lock them up! Locking up is never a solution and will not make you or them happy on the long run. I always see she can go to the bathroom or drink water if she wants to. Going to bed should never be a punishment and locking them up is. Sorry, just my 2 cents..
I will try follow the advice to never shout but I myself rather shout to give air to my frustration then slap her behind...YKWIM? { hugs }

Tracie said...

At this point I'd seek professional couseling for her! I can't even imagine having to go through this! Like Jacquie's kids, mine are angels when they go to bed. And if they weren't I fear I would do more than yell and scream. I guess when you hear that saying "God only gives you what you can handle" this makes you believe it to be true (hence your no stress/high-blood pressure)!

I do feel for you though, my 4-year old is a beast in other ways (like his smart mouth for instance)Would you believe my FIL bought him a shirt that says 'my mouth has a mind of its own'!! Now that has to tell you something!!!

Lots o luck on taking some of this advice. (I also agree with taking away things that are important to them, it seems to have a bigger impact than punishment and/or spankings).

Yummyteece said...

OUCH.... that must be so difficult.

I totally respect that you are strong enough to be a parent, and honest enough to share thoughts like this. THat takes a lot of personal integrity, and i think that's absolutely essential to good parenting.

Best of luck with this!

firstborn said...

gabi,

you are NOT alone...as my sis looney, er, commented (WHOA that was a long one! lol!)...

i've seen it happen a kajillion times...but they don't get all crazy with their "cool auntie"...bec. i always set them straight! i guess, it comes from my days working with developmentally delayed preschoolers...& the fact that i have a lot of experience dealing with the high-strung pre-school set as a sppech therapist...i swear, in speech school, they actually taught us how to control inappropriate behavior of kiddos using "controlled, calm voices"...i kid you not...whenever i see my nieces & nephews getting all wild eyed, i just pull out the speech therapy card & do my behavior mod thing...works like a charm usually...

anyway, you sound like my sister(s)...which means you are a wicked good mommie!

:) mary ann xoxoxo
p.s., thank you so much gabi for your sweet & generous words...your support means the world to me! i hope that your move to your new digs went well? please let me know how it turned out...

Going For Greatness said...

We really think her recent bedtime buzz stems from the fact that we are moving and her world is in a state of constant change. She's watching me pack my favourite things in the world, into boxes ( my scrapbooking/craft supplies) and I really think she's just subconsciously uncertain and nervous. She's lovely during the day happy. It's just the act of getting her to relax at bedtime.
Last night was better, though she did TRY to start, I quickly put an end to it by quietly telling her over and over to be quiet because her sister was sleeping. after 15 minutes she fell asleep. She's a tough number, the move is probably the factor and I can't wait till it's DONE!
Thanks to all for your comments and advice!! It's surely appreciated, more than you know!!!!
XO
Gabi

DuhhhBlond said...

hi GfG,
thanks for your comments on my Sunday Scribblings hotel story..
just dropped by to check your blog out, too..
and I have to say you have my complete sympathy here..
I, too, have a manipulative, control-freak daughter, except she's 15..
and I really want to throw up when people suggest that perhaps she is the way she is due to my crazy life..
when I understand it is just that she will never get enough attention no matter what..
sorry to tell you, it never ends..
we just have to deal with the theatrics FOREVER..
kids!!!!!
some more unwanted advice: story-time from 9-9:30pm as a nightly ritual and straight to sleep afterward helped a little bit

Loreluca said...

Oh, gab, I'm sorry to tell you, it doesn't get any better! My kids are TERRIBLE sleepers, and Cesar (the oldest) tried EVERY trick in the book. With him, it's usually his legs, but he goes through a whole variety of things: I'm thirsty, I'm hungry, I have a fever, my legs hurt. Usually on that precise order. With Nicole, one time, it was 2 AM!!! We had all lights off, and you could hear her still singing and la-la-laing, refusing to sleep. Then again, I look at myself... can't remember the last time I WENT to bed ON TIME!!!!