Patience is a virtue.
… Except when you’re a mom. Any mother who maintains her composure, while dealing with a demanding tiny person, must be a Saint. Seriously.
I mean, I watch Super Nanny; I know about enforcing the rules, and creating structure. Heck, there are even times when I think to myself, “This discipline thing is a breeze, my kid is minding beautifully! Move over, Super Nanny, this momma is rockin’ it!”
And then days like today come along, reminding me that I am only a few toddler tantrums away from scraping the remains of my patience off the floor. That’s how it goes, right? One week of an angel child, followed by a few weeks of fits galore. As much as I want to throw in the towel, temper tantrums require more discipline, and loads of elbow grease.
It’s time for me to buckle down. Again.
Calling all moms: I need a cheat sheet from the Mommy’s With Patience Club. And, after today, quite possibly some insight.
Maybe it’s the new whining when not getting his way, or the sudden expressive desire to talk back, or the need to exert his tiny control when mommy says the “no” word that is making this momma’s patience wear thin. Whichever it is, my facade is cracking, and the virtuousness of patience is dangling by a thread.
Usually, when I hit the wall of impatience, I take a step back, and try to think over the situation. Very mature of me, right? Not really. My major is in elementary education. Even though it is no longer my field of study, there are times when I fall back on my facilitator skills. Plus, it keeps me from turning into some horned creature around my son.
Today I believe I used the words, “One more time,” and “ballistic,” in the same sentence. Forget it; I’m rescinding the mature statement. Wearing adult caps didn’t work for me at all this afternoon.
Still, I tend to take a step back, and think over a few plausible scenarios for the fits of temper. Is it possible that my tiny human is growing? Well, no. At least, not this month. There isn’t enough chub on him to constitute a new growth spurt. On to the next idea. Is it possible he is sick, or coming down with an illness? Nope. That battle is over, we finished it last week.
My final view on his temperament turns to Mommy’s own actions, and changes in behavior.
At this point, I can believe myself to be the culprit of his backtalk. Though, this isn’t coming as a huge surprise. No light bulbs, or Ah Ha! moments here. Our schedule is a bit off. Mommy is getting over a few months of being sick with bronchitis, and our rigorous bedtime routine hasn’t been as structured lately, having fallen behind last week. So, it’s apparent: the problem is me. Of course.
I never claim virtue status, or even an ounce of withitness. Especially lately.
Tomorrow is another day, and I plan on buckling down, and reigning in the behavioral issues. This Mommy is not raising a hellion. So, I foresee a re-introduction to the Naughty Chair, along with a few other discipline techniques. The television is now a factor in which I can regain positive behavior, along with taking away a few favorite toys.
What’s funny is, overall, I rate Tiny Tot’s behavior level at around an eight. Maybe an eight and a half on a really good day. Generally speaking, he is a phenomenal, smart, quick-witted child. Today, though, he broke a few of Mommy’s cardinal rules.
Number One: Hold Mommy’s Hand.
Number Two: Listen to Mommy.
Number Three: If Mommy Starts Counting, That Attitude Had Better Change, Quick.
Okay, the last one is long, but it is the first one Tiny Tot learned to mind.
While walking through a learning store earlier today, my tiny human wrenches out of my Vulcan Hand Grip, and bolts down an exceedingly colorful aisle. So, I issue a command, “Get back here, and hold Mommy’s hand.”
My little booger looks at me, smiles, and runs away.
I can’t speak for many other mommies, but I do not play chase, unless the words, “Tag, you’re it!” are involved. So, biting my tongue, I start counting, “Five, four, three … .”
He’s lucky this momma does not count to one. Walking is a privilege, and I can carry heavy items with the best of them. In the end, he still leaves–planted my hip–after screaming, “I need this brachiosaurus!” and wrenching out of my hand. Again.
What in the world?! If only testing his limits had been our major problem for the day. It isn’t.
At dinner, Tiny Tot talks back. Not just once, not even twice, but multiple times. The end of his meal coincided with his rump timing out on the bathroom floor, and a stern lecture from me–the quickly-losing-patience-Mommy. And, to top it all off … my son opens his sweet little mouth, toward the end of dinner, and announces, “Shut up.”
Oh, yes. My patience is fried, and I am saving virtue for another day. For now, I need chocolate, and a strongly formulated game plan.