I have so much I want to talk about.
Like how tonight was one of the hardest parenting nights of my life. Watching Brandon spend 3 hours refusing to do anything we asked. Not because he is bad, but because he is three. He is testing boundaries. Learning defiance. Being THREE. For a long time my answer to this was to yell, to shout, to take things away and punish him. Then, his teacher told me how at school he is yelling when people don’t pick up toys, he is getting angry and impatient and I realized, he is emulating me. So. Tonight I did something new. I talked. I just talked. Until I was blue in the face. He didn’t listen. He fell asleep not listening, yet I talked. I gave him choices. Take a bath or sit in his room. He chose crying and shouting. This time I just walked away. Something suddenly clicked in my head tonight.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
He won’t always be this way. He won’t always argue. He won’t always push. But for now, while he is three, he is going to. I am making my best promise to him and to myself now to learn to just deal with it. Tolerate it. Ignore it. Stop reacting to it. Because I know, soon things will change, and I will look back on all the wasted energy. Energy spent yelling, not loving. And soon, he will be older, he will listen better, he will understand consequences and, AND he will remember my yelling, my anger, that he was afraid to talk to me, he will remember all the energy his mom wasted being a jerk, instead of just loving him.
He kicked someone at school recently. The teacher told me. When I asked him he lied. He lied and lied and lied until I finally said, "tell me the truth you won’t get in trouble." And he did. And at that moment I realized my child was afraid of me. He was afraid to tell us the truth. So, I kept my word. He did not get in trouble. Instead, I praised him for telling the truth. We had a very calm, very relaxed talk about kicking and then went about our day. When Rob got home I told him to tell dad what happened. I also made sure to say loud enough for Rob to hear that if he told the truth, he wouldn’t be in trouble. He told the truth, Rob talked to him and, we went on with our day. No trouble. For a minute my son trusted me. I want to keep that.
Therapy is draining me. While it is really nice to have a partial diagnosis (OCD, we took the assessment test today and I qualified like a collage kid qualifies for a shiny new credit card CACHING sign me up to the crazy house). He also feels there could be more there. One thing at a time though. I don’t know that rule. All I know is the fix it all now rule and it’s hard trying to pick one thing and concentrate. He enjoys having me as a patient though because there is nothing I won’t talk about. NOTHING. Sex. Fine. Crazy irrational fears, sure why not. Past mistakes, you got it. I’m an open book. Today he said, he likes that, makes it easier for him. The problem is, maybe I need to learn when to be open and when not. I’ve slowly started practicing keeping things to myself. Not telling the people I used to tell. I’m practicing working it out on my own before I go to someone else for help or advice. It is nice. It is refreshing.
My doctor would like me to pick one thing at a time to try and desensitize OCD wise. This week I have picked drinking from a glass instead of a plastic cup. So far I have used a glass 3 times to take medicine. I put about a half inch of water in, swallow my pill, dump the rest of the water and promptly pick up a plastic cup to drink something else so I can get the taste of water from a glass out of my mouth (yes, in my head water in a glass taste different). The doctor said that was progress.
Last night at the dinner table Rob put a glass of water in front of me and I looked at him 100% serious and asked, "are you trying to kill me?" Because drinking an entire glass of water while I eat my food IS NOT POSSIBLE. The world would collide if I did that, or, maybe I would just puke or something.
My favorite part of the assessment today was when he asked me if I had magical thinking. Obviously I related this to little magic fairies and wizards and I replied no. Later on a new part of the assessment I offhandedly mentioned the fact that I never ever ever say I hope my kids stay young, or I love the age 2 I hope they stay 2 forever, because in my head, if I do that then God will make it happen and my child will die at 2. There are a lot of things I will never say because I know if I do, they will come true.
"Okay so magic thinking, YES CHECK CHECK CHECK."
Huh? "Wait what, what are you saying?"
He explained, that, that right there was what they classify as magic thinking. That when you think in your head that if you say something it will be true or you believe that impossible things will happen due to impossible reasons it is magical thinking. Well shit. I barely scraped the surface on that, we could waste a whole day on things I won’t say, think or do because of consequences like that.
I guess in summation, yes I am crazy. Yes I want to try harder as a mom. Yes eating a couple Thin Mints during a stressful situation really does make you smile for a couple seconds.
And, sometimes only a couple seconds are enough to make you re-evaluate your current path of anger.
And sometimes you have to realize, no matter how many pictures you take on photobooth, you can’t always put on a happy face and make it okay.