May 27, 2010

As much as I hate to admit it, he's right

Alternate title: My parents and brother seriously still love me? How is that possible?

Hello friends, no for reals, it's me. Here I am! Hello! Apparently starting a new business endeavor completely on your own and branching off from every form of income as you previously knew it, makes for a pretty busy lifestyle. So, I'm not going to try and make up for time lost and write about all the past three months, instead I'm just going to drop a big, heaping, steaming pile of complaints and poor-me whining on y'all. So, without further ado, here we go...

I wasn't exactly the "easiest" of all children. I'm pretty sure my parents will verify this. I have memories of points in my life, in what I know was very young childhood, where I would purposefully see how far I could push my parents. I needed control, I needed to be in charge and when I couldn't be or didn't get my way, I would TRY and insight anger in them even, try to get them to break. And, when they were completely at their wits end? Oh yeah, that's when I'd push even harder.

As I result, I logged many hours in a particularly awful corner of our living room, in a perfectly awful red velvet chair known only as the dreaded "quiet chair" (basically the 1980's version of time-out). I'm pretty sure if there was a bar graph of time spent in the quiet chair, Erin vs. Mark, my brother's would look like a tiny little adobe home, that barely stuck out of the ground, but that sat next to a towering skyscraper - the largest in the world. In fact, go ahead and just look at what I found when I googled this phrase: quiet chair hours logged erin vs. mark jones. Once in that chair, I would go into silent destruction mode - I would bite, punch and pick at the threads on the chair as if to punish it for being so red and velvet and AWFUL. This sounds pretty harsh, but I'm ashamed to say it's all true. I. Was. Difficult.

Well, guess what friends? Pay back is a bitch. I thought the "terrible" two's were rough. Hahahah what did I know, it's all relative, right? I spit on you and your mild tantrums, terrible twos. YOU WERE NOTHING then and you are nothing now.

The tantrums of the first part of 2010 have been unlike anything I have ever witnessed as a parent, or actually, just as a living, breathing, human being. The only thing they remind me of is... well, myself. Oh, and also a few choice scenes from a particularly well-known movie about being possessed, save for head spinning, at least - knock on wood- so far. Oh my god, the appreciation I have for my parents is beyond words. This is really hard. To watch your sweet, loving, caring little babygirl turn to serious exorcist-type behavior is just heartbreaking. And the cause? You name it - bedtime, nap time, morning time, Shane looked at her funny, she wants her Dora shoes, she doesn't want her Dora shoes, she's breathing.

To be fair, she is not like this daily, but it does happen and honestly it happens more often then I'd care to admit. I hate to be angry with her and I hate to feel any kind of bad feelings toward her, but in those moments, the moments where she's kicking me in the stomach from her bed or refusing to say sorry to Shane while screaming the shrillest most awful screams at the top of her lungs as he stands close by with the most confused little boy look, I have to honestly say, I don't like her much. Don't get me wrong, I love the hell out of that little girl, but those times, oh those times, those times are hard. Sidebar: Li'l g, I, in all seriousness, apologize to you, too. I'm pretty sure you probably wore those same confused little brother - what the hell is wrong with my sister, she's scaring the crap out of me - looks a time or two (or forty or fifty) and honestly, 30 years later, that breaks my heart, too.

I feel like we try every technique in our arsenals and usually all of them at once during one "episode" and while I keep telling myself this is a phase and it will get better, I honestly am afraid, very afraid. Because, well, I know myself. And "myself" took a LONG TIME to stop resisting authority or restrictions, and well, umm, actually maybe I'm still working on that. And, honestly, that scares me, because she reminds me so much of myself. Yikes.

In fact, most of the time, when Tim and I are discussing what to do, or buying the latest book on "scream-free parenting" (which, btw, I do not endorse as I have yet to read this book - finding it somewhat unrealistic for me, but I'm still going to try) he likes to remind me of the unfairness of it all. He was not that bad of a child, he did not destroy furniture out of anger or even kick or hit his parents or siblings, well, except for that one thumb biting incident and I can't even remember if he was the "biter" or "instigator" in that, why is he subject to this cruel karma? Fair enough, Delant, fair enough.

So, there you have it - the big pile of parent (poor-me-and-my-daughter's-tantrums) whining. Now, I would be lying if I didn't admit there's a small part of me that admires this in her. I can't help it. She is determined, driven, full of emotion and opinionated. And, even through these awful fits and scream-a-thons, she is still one of the most loving, caring little people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Who knows, may be one day in the future she'll have trouble keeping up with her blog.. or whatever they are by then... because she is too busy taking on her own business (or even the world) so SHE can be the one in charge.

PS - If any of you have any words of wisdom/advice/so been there/hang in there sister/ about this which does not involve the following duh information:

  • Don't let them get to hungry/too sleepy
  • Keep a consistent bedtime routine
  • Stay calm, keep your voice low
I'd love to hear it! :)


rachel... said...

I almost hate to tell you this, but I have one of those, too. She's ten now. It really wasn't a phase. So, I'm interested in reading the advice you get, because, duh, I already do those other things, too.

mcdelanty said...

For the record, Tim was so mad at me for doing nothing but being a cute little sister that he took my thumb and bit down as hard as he could. I have the scar to prove it. Sorry no parenting advice except to keep Shaney away when she turns pscho and watch out for his little hands.

Lisa said...

ok so i'm a month late reading this, but omg i am laughing. especially at your request for non-duh advice. same with Ben - when he had colic and now as he's never been a good napper and i usually hear have you tried a routine or soothing music? you don't even want to know what i've tried people. i am pulling for it being a phase. perhaps you can at least videotape some of the, er, episodes, in case she questions your wine intake in a few years.

Courtney said...

I'm only 4 months late reading this...but it's a good one so I had to leave a comment :). Our daughters sound a lot alike although we are still in the 2s so now you have me very afraid for the 3s and beyond. Like you said, I also love Laura to pieces and I'm proud of her strong-willed, independent little self...but man can she be tough! Sadly, I have no advice. At the moment, we are doing a lot of "no tv, or no books before bed time" type threats unless you "brush your teeth, get a new diaper, put on your pjs" and so on. I don't feel good about this method but at the moment it makes sense to her and puts an end to the hitting, kicking, screaming tantrums she can have. Would you recommend any certain books? Maybe you will tell me that in the past 4 months, super nanny came to the rescue and all is calm in the Delanty household :)!