Sunday, 5 August 2012

Maybe...

I'm just not cut out too be a Mummy...???!!!

This is not going to be a 'Poor-Me' post, or a 'Woe is me' post; not even a post begging for 'nice' comments or encouragement, or wanting any kind of feed-back post. I promise - so you can read on ;-)!

This is an observation post; and really the title and first line are just attention-grabbers - it got YOU interested, didn't it?!?

I have noticed, and I am certain I am not the only one - that children seem to be able to bring out the worst side of you (well, me anyway)! They also seem to highlight, in you, all your worst 'I'm working on that' features... especially when you start to see some of your own foibles glaring out at you from within two year old little bodies.

Yep - this gorgeous two year old is right in the middle of 'those two year old days'... most of the time she is GREAT, and a relatively easy child; but she has days (like today) when she just pushes her boundaries left, right and centre (as any child does, I know this is not abnormal *grin*)!


Can you see the tears dripping down her face in this photo?!?
Photo taken back in June, not today ;-)!

Our daughter is a Drama Queen... I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before or not, but if things don't go her way the whole world has to stop! I'm not talking just 'normal two year old drama' stuff, she unfortunately, takes after me - I too am a Drama Queen (you heard it here first *cringe*)! I had no idea I was, nor how bad I was - until this sweet girl entered our lives; right from Day 1 life has been a big drama for her, thus life has been a big drama for me also. 

Let me give you a recent example... on Friday we finally made it to Playcentre this term, at morning tea time I took a cupcake for myself - and like all two year olds, my daughter is a vulture & begged for a bite. So I gave her a bite and carried on feeding 'lil M and talking to the adults... she got a bit grumpy and tried getting my attention, I figured she wanted more so I turned and gave her some more and told her it as the last piece. Turned out it was too sweet for her, and she was getting my attention as she wanted to spit it out... by the time I had realised what was happening, she'd worked herself into such a frenzy she was starting to gag. I managed to get most of the cupcake out of her mouth and told her to drink her water to get rid of the rest (she disliked it so much, she drank nearly her entire bottle of water, hahaha)! Anyway - by this stage most kids would be moving on, because the offending food and flavour had all but gone, and they'd had some attention and a side-ways cuddle from Mum, so life should be back to normal. But not Button - she just kept getting more and more worked up, she wanted a CUDDLE from Mum, not a quick hug over the top of bubs! I tried everything - settling her, talking to her, telling her off, threatening/bribing her...  in the end I had to hand 'lil M over to someone else once I had finished feeding him, and then CUDDLE her! Within five minutes all was fine again - but this drama had been going on for a good 30 minutes leading up to the cuddle (or at last it felt like it)! 

So if you had been questioning just what I meant by Drama Queen - there is your answer... Drama Queen EXTREME!

So you can now just imagine some of our days: Button going hard-out crying over something unnecessary, me going hard-out reacting to it (I won't say yelling, as I don't do this all the time... in fact I am trying very hard not to yell too often at all at the moment; it just doesn't work *eyeroll*).  Hubby then gets THE phonecall - 'It is been the worst day EVER'; in which he has to decipher whether it really has been, or it's just me being a drama queen again... quite often I get asked to explain myself or to calm down, at which time I start to realise just how silly it all sounds; and she's only two years old still. I need to get on top of this before she gets older - this meaning me and her, the whole drama thing! It really is ridiculous at times, and she knows intuitively how to push my buttons... but I think the scary thing for me, is seeing myself playing out in and through her.

I have also discovered how much I sulk... I even sulk with her; it's pathetic really, and there have been times I have to shake myself and remind myself that I am the ADULT, not her! It drives hubby absolutely mad - he is very good at sorting things out quickly, I need to go and sulk and think for a while before I am prepared to sort it out! 

I used to think that I had faced and dealt with all my demons, but it turns out it's not that easy... as I watch my daughter struggle through some of the same issues I deal with every day, it makes me cringe to think that these things are my fault. Because, this Drama Queen stuff is a struggle - she feels things so deeply, and gets so upset; despite the fact it feels like 'nothing' to us, and we have to tread lightly and try not to downplay it, but at the same time we don't want to encourage this kind of behaviour - especially when it is used to manipulate a situation to try to get her own way. 

I remember feeling scared of her as a baby, literally scared, as even back then she could wind herself up quickly and easily to the point of gagging and vomiting. She was completely unpredictable, and I spent many months tip-toeing around her before I grew a backbone and started to realise I could stand up to her... now days I don't worry so much, I do try to sort things out before they get to that point, especially in public; but if a tantrum is required, then so be it! She is generally sent to her room, and welcomed back out when  she has calmed down... I remember one afternoon recently she ended up back in her room about five times before she finally got the message and came out calmer!

I over-react, I yell and scream and even cry sometimes, I send her to her room probably more times than I should, I don't give her what she wants sometimes, while other times I give in and let her have her own way, I don't spend enough times with her, I let her watch far to many DVD's (or in Button language = Toot-toots, one day I'll explain where that came from), I over-analyse, I worry, I'm not consistent... basically I suck at being a parent - it isn't easy, especially when you start seeing your own negative traits coming out in your kids.

But I know this is something all parents struggle with - I know she'll be okay in the end... and I just have to trust that because I love her to pieces and will spend the rest of my life doing my absolute best by her; that this is enough to compensate for all the negative I bring into her life also.

And thankfully for me - for all the negative traits I see, there are so many more positive traits showing up in her... she has her fathers generosity, she is compassionate and hates seeing anyone crying or sad, she is beyond intelligent - scares me with some of the things she comes out with, she has amazing concentration skills, she is fun and teases a lot (has her fathers sense of humour already), she loves the outdoors and animals, she is reasonably patient and actually fairly obedient for a two year old, she is sweet and cuddly and has the cutest smile and gives the most exquisite cuddles, she has got a photographic memory I reckon - A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! There is so much more to her than what I can explain or tell you; and I think the most frustrating thing is that most of you will never meet her, nor get to 'see' just what we see... because even if I do know you 'in real life', Button is fairly shy and doesn't cope well in big groups... and while she does relax and cope with small groups - she never relaxes the same as what she does when it is 'just us'! But really - I guess we're all like that, whether we mean to or not, but those closest to us see us at our best and at our worst.

Ah well - this is enough deep and meaningful for one night...



6 comments :

Cat said...

Oh yes two year olds
I can guarantee you that the two year old phase passes and brings new challenges called the three year old phase.
I'm currently going through the 7 year old boy phase and its challenging !! !! !! And some days I wonder "maybe .. .. .." but then I remember how blessed I am to have my miracles

Callie @ InfiniteMonkey.co.nz said...

Wow, that is one of the most raw, honest posts - ever! And yes, you did draw me in with that opening line... :D Okay now please bear with me while I rant about my daughter, in my looong drawn out way of saying "I think I totally get what you're saying, and have been there too".

My four year old daughter was also prone to getting incredibly worked up to the point of vomiting, right from newborn. She was so so anxious, clingy and would melt down at the drop of a hat. Literally. She once dropped her hat and threw a massive wobbly over it! In our home environment she was usually sweetness and sunshine - unless a tiny smidgeon over-tired, in which case she'd be a shrieking banshee and nothing we could say or do would placate her. Honestly, our neighbours must have wondered what the hell was going on in our house at times! But outside of home or when visitors came by, it was like she just couldn't cope with everything around her, whatsoever, and she'd shut down.

It was hard to be consistent in dealing with it, because as much as I tried to tip toe around her and comfort her, there were the times when I just couldn't cope and I'd yell and throw a wobbly of my own... And yes, I'd often wonder if it was nature or nurture causing it all!

I worried about whether she had autism, attended a parenting course to see what I could be doing better to help her... But she pretty much sorted herself out by the time she was around three and a half or so. I'm not sure what change took place inside her head, but she gradually outgrew her panic attacks and over-dramatic meltdowns until I one day realised weeks had gone by, and - asides from the normal preshcooler tantrums from time to time - she had finally learnt to manage her extreme emotions.

She's still a bit highly strung - probably always will be and yes, probably gets that from me. And yes I definitely see some of my negative traits reflected in her at times, and often catch myself reacting to a situation in a way that doesn't help matters at all (the days when I'm grumpy and give a snappy response to something and think afterwards "well, that was really unnecssary" and realise if I'd replied nicer to her, she would have replied nicer to me.

Yes, I can completely emphasise with those days when you feel you've over-reacted too much, yelled too much, over-analysed too much, not provided enough consistency, and then that fear/realisation of seeing your worst traits reflected in your children.
It's so easy to worry endlessly about the kind of job we're doing as parents, but I'd like to think that worrying like this is a sign that we're actually doing a fantastic job - it means we care about the kind of parents we are! There are so many out there who just don't give a fat rats, and that's REALLY sad!

The main thing is to soldier on and completely ignore fairy tales of perfect parents who never step out of line - it's bollocks. There's no utopian parents out there, I'm sure of it. We all make mistakes and over react at times, and like it or not we're all going to find some of our not-so-great traits reflected in our kids, because they in turn will never be utopian people. They'll take the best and the worst from us, and their environment and own personality traits will dictate the rest, and with any luck they'll grow up to be normal people who know life isn't perfect and neither is anyone else out there. Hopefully...! :D

At best, we can hope the good will always outweight the bad.

Btw, if you're in the area for it, I recommend finding out about the Incredible Years course. Seriously, it's a pretty awesome course for understanding your kids, and your own parenting techniques. https://northern.familyworks.org.nz/services/for-parents/incredible-years

MaxineD said...

Oh dear - sounds like me and A - he always knew which buttons to press - but you two survived and you and Button will too :-) As Callie said, you care, and that over rules so many imperfections in in the long run, for both you and Button.
Blessings and love
M

Ange (Tall, Short and Tiny) said...

Can you see me vigourously nodding along as I read this?!
Well - about the two-year-old tantrum/time out bit and the crying/yelling/DVD watching on my part, anyway. It's often easier to give in when you're tired and have a nursing babe in your arms - but I don't think that makes us bad parents, it makes us busy parents! They seem to know when the most inconvenient time for a tantrum or cuddle would be.
She sounds like a beautiful little soul, Drama Queen tendencies aside.
xx

bloggingmumof3 said...

are we twins? lol. my 2 yr old is the same. well my 5yr old is too. and i over reat. i hold a grudge. i shout more than i should. thanks for making me feel normal

Simoney said...

She may be a drama queen (as most little girls seem to be) but she sure is CUTE!
Hugs to you elizabeth
x