Monday, May 19, 2008

I want patience now!!

Scene 1:
I go to pick sonny from school. All morning I have been running around getting dinner ready, re-arranging stuff, making place for Soni's stuff,etc. Sonny runs out excitedly, insisting he wants 'schkooi bus'. We watch the kids load up in the bus, sonny waves to them, bus takes off, we walk home. As we enter the gate, he spots his cycle. Now he wants to ride his cycle. I check the temperature outside. Its 40 C. How can anyone want to ride around in this heat?
I say no. He digs his feet into the ground. I stand my ground. I drag him inside. Sonny doesnt like it - he yells loudly, throws his cap onto the floor, bangs his shoes on the floor, I yell. Sonny resorts to banging the door against the stopper, I drag him further indoors. He spots his cars in the basket, he runs to them, picks them up and throws them with full force on the floor, I pretend to ignore and escape to the kitchen. Now he picks up the phone and throws it on the floor. How can I ignore this? I yell harder, threaten to lock him up in the bathroom. More crying from sonny, more yelling from me. No one's listening to anyone - both mother and son are yelling.
In sheer desperation, I turn on the TV- its Teletubbies time. Peace reigns momentarily.

Scene 2:
Sonny and I are out - its evening playtime. Sonny stops and stares at every passing car. C'mon, I urge him on. No reaction. After much dawdling we reach the playarea. Swing, says sonny. After 30 mins on the swing, I ask him, does he want to play on something else. No, he says, swing. Another, 15-20 mins go by. I take him off the swing. Now he's stuck on the fountain. I wait. It's getting late. We need to get home, have dinner and turn in for the night. Sonny doesnt agree. After much cajoling, warning, threatening - I finally haul him off physically. Sonny is yelling and screaming. I am huffing and puffing with the additional 35 pounds I have to carry on me. Mother and son are really mad at each other.

And some more such scenes at lunch, dinner, sleeptime.
Everyday - day after day - for 3 weeks.

Everyday, I promise myself - tomorrow will be different. I will keep my patience, I will not yell, I will not let tantrums get in the way of mother-son relationship. But everyday - its the same. Sleep begins to elude me, hunger subsides. I throw my own tantrums with hubby, who now has 2 crazy people to deal with. So hubby additionally yells at sonny.

I stay up at night wondering what the hell is going on. What happened to my sweet natured, docile, obedient child? Suddenly whats going wrong? Ok so I do have additional pregnancy pains - breathing is difficult since Soni is pushing hard up against my diaphragm, my back is a mess, acidity is giving me additional heartburn, the list is endless. But I am an adult - and I know ways of dealing with stress. And yet something is going terribly wrong.

Since sleep is anyways elusive, I sit down and make a list of the times or places where sonny throws his tantrums. I realise that coming home from school is a huge tantrum zone. I know he is usually hungry and very tired when he gets home. And yet he wants to ride his cycle around. When I do let him ride his cycle - he moves a few paces, then sits down on the cycle and asks me to push him. I assume he's tired and get him home. Again he throws a tantrum and wants to be out again. Its a no win situation for me.
I figure there are a few things i have to do. Firstly, distract him from the cycle. Secondly, get him inside the cool confines of the home and make sure some food goes down his throat pronto. He is his mother's son and cannot handle hunger (and still he wont eat the snacks i send to school - since he's busy playing). And as quickly as possible get him to nap time.

First things first - I let him come home on the school bus. He's majorly excited and I can maneuver him inside the house. I've kept food ready on the table. I hand him his sippy cup with apple juice - which he drains in one shot. I've broken a few self-made rules - juice before food, and now I break the next rule. We turn on Teletubbies and I feed him while he watches TV. Food in tummy - sonny seems to relax a bit. I'm going to break another rule. Food done - I put him in the bath tub - where he can play for a bit - while I gulp down food. He's nodded off to sleep before I've even finished with the first story.
Good show mommy!! Now I can relax a bit.
Some days I change the sequence - I let him wash his hands on his own (and mess up the bathroom) to distract him from wanting to go outside. Some days I turn on the hose pipe and get him dripping wet outside the house. Big risk with that - I could skid and fall. Some days we read the license plates on cars - getting all alphabets and numbers right is a big turn-on for sonny. And we keep experimenting. Mostly it works - sometimes it doesnt.

There are a few changes I need to still make:
1. Eat before Sonny gets home. Coz once he is home - I just run around like a headless chicken. And I cant get a morsel in until he has fallen asleep.
2. Stop using the word 'jaldi' or fast. I have become a slave of the clock. Sonny 'has to' be in bed by 9, we 'have to' eat at 7. Not really - So sonny is lingering in the bath - ok - so he'll sleep late and wake later. Its preschool for Christ's sake - what does he need to learn quantum physics?
3. Control my temper. The poor child the worst of me - already. I am tired - I yell at him. I'm mad at hubby - I yell at him..... the list is endless.
4. Lots more hugs for sonny. This one we're already working on. I try and make up for my madness by hugs for no reason, lots of cuddles and big sloppy kisses which sonny finds really funny.
5. Kick hubby in the rear. Its obvious sonny is stressing me out - when is the big man planning to step in?
6. Play by the ear. If sonny seems tired - there's no need to go to the park in the evening. We can sit and watch TV (yeah yeah we're doing a lot of that lately)

and so on.

And most of all - I need to keep in mind that sonny's life will soon go through a tizzy when Soni gets here. The more settled, relaxed and smooth I can make this transition phase the better it will work for us.

I've already begun seeing results of the changes I've initiated. Tantrums are down 90%. We still have the occasional flare-up - but what the hell. Hubby has taken over sonny's evening outing - both father and son enjoy driving around in the car.
Peace is finally reigning over the household. Sonny seems happy and I am relaxed. Amen.

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At 5:38 PM, Blogger Kodi's Mom said...

I am amazed at how wonderfully you have handled it. and as you can expect, I can relate to most of this - esp the tantrums coming back with a vengence. funny thing is he was gentle and cooperative upto 2 weeks ago, now every single day is a new tantrum - ok, ok, will stop complaining abt me here and go to my own blog. but I wanted to say, awesome job, really. and I am totally going to copy your calm approach of listing problem points and solving them one by one.

i wouldn't worry abt using TV as a tool, you are not doing permanent damage, and it is easy to distract them to something else when the time comes. oh and another tip, bump up the #5 on your list to priority #1 ;)

(ps: is your family coming over to help you?)

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Maggie said...

Oh boy, can I relate! I just wish I had handled it as well as you have. I'm so impressed! That said, things are much better here too. After I had a near breakdown a few weeks ago, the husband has finally got his act together and is pitching in a lot more.

Almost there now, huh? Good luck, good luck! And plenty of hugs for you and Sonny.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger ~nm said...

I repeat Kodi's mom! "A big Applause"

I can learn a few things here from you now!

Even I need lots of patience! And I have seen that patience works but thinking of being patient at those tantrum times is what we need to practice!

At 1:48 AM, Blogger Just Like That said...

Phew! that's a lot to handle, STS. You know, I identify so much with the tantrums and the change from being a sweet obedient boy. Right now, all Sonny boy wants to do is play. If he could play 24 hrs, he would! And anything that goes against that, results in tantrums.
Hopefully this is just a phase, and things will get better.
and yeah, I end up taking out my frustrations on hime too, and while I realise it and am utterly mortified by my behaviour, I still don't control my temper too much, so its just not fair to expect him to. After all, mostly what he sees is shouting, be it at him or at the husband. Sigh! I sure hope its a phase- with all of us. Hugs to you. :-)

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Imp's Mom said...

Wow! You are handling it very well..

I've broken a few self-made rules - juice before food,

fruits and juice should always be had before your food, as they breakdown fast. If you eat them after your food, then it just turns into acid as your food needs to dissolve and digest first.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Islam said...

Thank your for sharing
Messenger of Allah


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