Monday, July 21, 2008

The Second Road on the Right Past My Wits' End

I'm at my wits' end with Punkin. Seriously. I really just don't know what to do anymore. Every single interaction that I have with her ends in some kind of tantrum. I know she's two, but she's almost three and it seems like we should be getting out of this stage by now.

For an example, let's take bath time. When it's time to wash hair she screams and cries. Then once we're out of the bath I have to chase her and hold her down to comb her hair, while she screams and cries. Then I have to do the same thing when it's time to brush her teeth.

I've tried asking nicely. I've tried warning. I've tried threatening time out. I have even, on occasion, spanked her. NOTHING WORKS.

I'm tired. I'm tired of it. I feel like a bad mother. I feel like I've failed. And I don't know how to fix it.


1blueshi1 said...

You are NOT, repeat, NOT a failure, and you are not failing your child. In fact, although this is traumatic for YOU, she will not even remember this when she gets older!
I went through the same thing with Bookey. Didn't want to wash her hair. I bought sweet scented baby shampoo and let her do herself--okay she did a crap job but she's gotten better and I don't have to listen to the screaming. She didn't like having her hair combed and after over a year of fighting that battle I had it cut. Now I comb conditioner through her hair in the shower. Now, I will admit that she does not usually throw a fit over toothbrushing. I take her to Wally and let her pick out her own toothbrush (last one was Barbie, current one is pink w/sparkles and lights up) and toothpaste--kid's colgate makes one that is glittery but the glitter is actually little strips of breath freshener.
I know these battles take a huge toll. Give yourself a break and a trip to TJ Maxx, 'K?
YOU ARE GOING TO SEE MEEEEEE in just a few days, how bad could life possibly be?
Wait, don't answer that....

Fannie Mae said...

Oh hon, we've ALL been there. I am so caught up in teen daughter drama that I forget how HARD toddlers were in their own way.

Have you tried earplugs? Copious amounts of wine?

Leslie said...

You're NOT a bad mother. I know how much you love Punkin. But, as a wise mother of grown children told me once, these things tend to go in 6 month cycles, and it's okay not to always like your children (well, really, to not like their behavior, but sometimes it amounts to the same thing!). That helped me so much! We are going through a similar cycle with Little Brother. I just keep telling myself that it too will pass. Eventually. I'm sending soothing thoughts your way and Punkin's, too.

Stephanie said...

Terrible Twos, and it's not your fault. It really isn't. Don't internalize it. This too shall pass. And when she gets older there will be other phases that come out of nowhere and those won't be your fault either! Sometimes we just have to stop asking ourselves what we can do to make it better, and just let it be. I don't mean just let her cry, but just don't blame yourself. I'll stop babbling now.... :)

Colleen said...

seems like the terrible twos turn into threatening threes before you get to the fabulous fours...or at least that seems to be the case w/all little ones I know.

and don't worry, there are days, WEEKS, even, that I swear I've done nothing but scream at Gavin and put him in timeout. Thankfully he's getting out of it some, but he still has his days! As far as I can figure, if both of us survive the day, we're doing good.

calicobebop said...

You're not a failure! Please don't ever think so. I think most of us go through that stage with our kids. Sounds like yours is lasting longer than most, though and I'm sorry. I hope she gets straightened around soon - for your sake! :)

ImpostorMom said...

i'll say it again, you ARE NOT a bad mother. and although I doubt it helps any I think that's pretty normal. If it isn't, there is something terribly wrong with MY child as well.