Sunday, May 3, 2009

It Was the Best of Times... It Was the Worst of Times

Motherhood, that is. Parenthood, I should say. Teagan is 4. Zach is 18 months. They can absolutely delight me. As I type, they are sitting together in a rocking chair, watching Tinkerbell and sharing crackers. Teagan feeds her brother, they hug, they giggle. This is a major change from the past couple of days. Teagan did not have a good day on Friday at daycare. She was whiny and demanding and not playful. Saturday was extremely difficult in our house. Teagan was demanding, whiny, dramatic, mean. She would stick out her tongue when she didn't like what she was told. She would tease her brother. She would lie blatantly. We had a busy day scheduled and maybe the day should have been cancelled. Taking the car to the shop, out to breakfast, off to dance class, a trip to the store. Home for Zach's nap, then lunch. Jeff and Teagan went to see a local community theatre production of "Beauty and the Beast." Zach and I made dinner (lasagna rolls that were delish). The family ate, Christy came over, we all went out for ice cream. In the course of that busy day, Teagan had time outs, was yelled at, had firm talking to's... the night ended with her trying to run away from me- something she's never done before. This morning started out the same. She woke up a bear. From the moment she woke (around 5 a.m.), she was demanding, questioning everything, creating drama and problems. Then came the breaking point. She stuck her tongue out at me. When she did it yesterday, I made it clear that if she chooses to stick out her tongue, she is choosing to immediately have time away in her room. She stuck it out one time before dinner and was taken immediately to her room. This morning, after nothing but fights and questions and questions and questions... she stuck it out at me. Directly to her room. Crying, screaming, wailing- of the over-dramatic, not sincere variety. We ignored her. I went in to talk to her. I spoke calmly. I made it clear that I preferred to spend time with the Teagan who made good choices and was loving and fun. That we would all have a better time if she was making good choices. And that if she couldn't start making good choices, we wouldn't be able to go to church. I left her in her room. Mind you- the entire time I was talking, very calmly, Teagan was crying on the floor, weeping that she didn't want me to be mad at her, demanding that she didn't want me. But something sank in. She came out of her room about 10 minutes later and she was her "old self." She was smiling and happy and helpful. And has been ever since. She's needed some redirection, of course. But within normal bounds. So I have no clue what was going on for the past 48 or so hours. I am beyond relieved and happy that the change has happened. I wish I knew what the answers were... but we fought through the storm and have hopefully found a spot of calm in the sea.

12 comments:

Jim and Garret said...

Wow, sounds like we need photos of her tantrums! Children are hard work. House plants are easier.

Garret

Eternal Lizdom said...

I can at least keep kids alive. I've never had the same luck with house plants.

I'm Grace said...

I would chalk it up to growing pains. I remember my kids having days like this, it is just part of growing up. Sometimes life gets overwhelming for them and they release their frustrations the best way they know how. Sounds like you handled it perfectly.
Hope the rest of your weekend is peaceful.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Thanks Grace. In my head, I know that both kids go through cranky times and fine times. Great times and low times. It's when we are in the midst of a bad couple of days that you start pulling your hair out and your mind starts seeping through the gaping wounds left behind...

Ha. Kind of.

Nancy said...

I am glad that she came around this morning. Must be something in the air, Delainey was like that Friday night and Saturday night. So far, so good today.

Did T and Jeff enjoy the show?

Eternal Lizdom said...

Jeff said it was so-so. He wants me to go see it so we can compare notes. Teagan was very taken with all of it and has been talking about meeting Belle and Beast and Mrs. Potts after the show.

We had one last run in before Grandma and uncles arrived for an afternoon visit. The kids were angels, of course. Being the center of the attention universe makes it easy to be good!

Did have a very pleasant evening, though. Cookout for dinner, family went home, bathtime, and all Teagan asked to do was snuggle and watch a TV show. She asked to snuggle and I happily obliged!

Mim said...

I had a major showdown with David on Saturday morning, I wish I could say I stayed as calm as you did but no, there was yelling and the making of outrageous threats and all sorts of unpleasantness. We both ended up in tears.

All because we were trying to go out to the shops and he hadn't done his laundry, had no clean clothes and was flatly refusing to try on an pair of moleskins that his dad had stashed in the wardrobe from back when we were just married. I still don't really understand why it was such a big deal, all he would say was he didn't want to, and they would be too big.

Eventually he did put them on, they fitted (but only just, Adam was skinny back then!) and there was mutual apologising and many hugs. Since then he's been much more pleasant to be with than he has anytime in the last week.

It's all rather exhausting really.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Exhausting is a good word for it, Mim.

I handled it well on Sunday. I can't say the same for Saturday. I made attempts at handling it well but I wasn't being a Star Parent by any stretch. I just felt so worn thin... I wanted a good, fun weekend and it seemed T was determined to keep that from happening.

Glad you guys got your situation sorted out!

Heather said...

What did she eat on Friday at daycare? I find that when my girls have these exact episodes, it can be tracked to red dye or too much processed sugar. Or gluten, but that's specific to my girls and their medical history.

Alix said...

Although I remember those days vividly in my own home, it seems far less serious now as memories than it did then as reality.

I applaud your fine parenting and offer this: it WILL get easier. Just not until your kids are married and have children of their own.

You're welcome. (Hehehe)

Eternal Lizdom said...

Heather- a good suggestion and something watch (sometimes). I don't think it was the culprit this time. She was acting like this all day at daycare on Friday. Totally not herself. I haven't seen her act like this before. Defiant and not connecting the way she normally does.

Alix- Gee. Thanks. :)

Tom said...

Sounds like you did exactly the right thing. I like the touch about "preferring to spend time with the Teagen who made good choices." that's great stuff. I'll have to adopt that if you don't mind.