January 13, 2008

My downward spiral may be coming to an end...then again, maybe not.

I think I'm guilty of misleading my readers of late. Well, maybe not misleading, but I know I've made light of a very difficult situation. BabyGirl's unwillingness to get dressed has become a life altering factor at our house. I'm beginning to feel trapped. We are practically held hostage by a moody, smart mouthed, strong willed 6 year old. It is not good. I cannot truly describe how bad the past week has been & how much stress it has heaped on my already slouching shoulders.

Friday night I took the boys to J's to play so I could clean the bathrooms & mop the kitchen floor. BabyGirl was supposed to go as well, but when she refused to dress, I said forget it. I drug her out to the van in her night shirt to take the boys to Uncle E's & wouldn't let her go in. I brought her & Bitsy home, sent a squalling BabyGirl to her room, stuck Bitsy in her swing in front of a Baby Einstein's DVD & cleaned. J is BabyGirl's favorite person in the world. She love to go to his house. She was miserable, but I thought keeping her home would change her views on obedience. Nope.

Yesterday I gave up. I know this goes against every parenting rule in the book, but I just didn't have the strength to fight. I pretty much ignored her all day (and still am to be totally honest). I spent most of the day on the couch near tears. When I went to check on the boys I discovered B.B. had slid his toddler bed across the room, pushed #1 Son's mattress onto the floor, stripped the bedding off it, dumped the toy boxes, emptied the shelves, and generally destroyed the room. Livid does not begin to describe how I felt.

By the end of the day I'd turned into a bitter, hateful, cantankerous individual. Everything everyone did made me angry. EVERYTHING. The kids were playing & got loud & I got angry. Husband said, "They're kids. They're going to make noise." I said yes, but in a minute someone would come in the room crying because they'd been hurt. I don't think it was a full minute before just that happened.

It was bad. I finally got dressed, dressed Bitsy, and left for Busha & Bucka's. I called & told Busha I was coming because, "I've got to get away from here. These people are making me crazy!" I spent about 2 1/2 peaceful hours chatting with my grandmother with only Bitsy to pay attention to. Busha made me a burger. She held Bitsy so I could eat while the food was still hot. We laughed. I told her about my frustrations. She could completely relate. We had a good evening.

When I got home I was glad to see my kids. I was glad to see Husband. I sat on the floor & played with them. I read more bedtime stories than I've read in months. I felt like a mother again & not just a zookeeper.

But best of all, while I was gone, Husband cleaned the house. He picked up the mess in the living room, he put the kids' rooms back to rights (including the massive disaster the boys' room had become), he took out the old microwave, he made the kids' dinner (and let them help cook), he vacuumed the entire house. Husband is not exactly a domestic kind of guy, so this was a very big deal to me.

And to top it all off, this morning I found out I won the Honesty Contest for best picture all thanks to Donald Duck. Yeah me!


Mim said...

Just a suggestion, and maybe you've tried this already, but have you tried letting her pick out her clothes the night before? Maybe if she had more control over what she was wearing it wouldn't be such a power issue. My youngest is almost 7 and we had these issues last year. We started picking something out the night before and then in the morning it wasn't such a big deal. Occasionally he would change his mind, which was frustrating, but I tried to put it in perspective. Hope this helps.

Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

I have had many of those days too. So I totally know how you feel. Sometimes a little escape can work wonders. I'm glad you got to get away for a little bit. :)

Anonymous said...

and i thought i was having bad days..i vote we run away together for a bit..maybe they'll appreciate us a bit more.

Kork said...

See?!?!?! I told you all Never Never Land was a good idea!

Seriously...I'm with Mim...everything I've read talks about letting your children have some form of control (even if only to choose between 2 things) lets them feel better about themselves.

I'm praying for you, and sending lots of love your way. I wish I had a magic pill to make your kiddos a little less...well...just a little less than the bad days make them seem.

Part of the whole Hot Mama idea is to make sure you focus some attention on yourself, and I think that going to Busha and Bucka's was just the way to do it. And give that hubby a big hug from me, and tell him he makes me proud to be friends with you guys!

Nan said...

Wow! Your hubby got a lot accomplished in 2 1/2 hours, and you did, too. Sometimes you've just gotta geta break.

As for BabyGirl, I have no suggestions. I think you're doing all the right things, so hang in there. This, too, shall pass.

conleyclan said...

i know it is a big deal and a good thing that he did all that cleaning and stuff but isn't it a little annoying the amount of stuff they can get done in a little amount of time. they get stuff done like that in warp speed when we couldn't vacuum and clean in the same day even if we were there alone!!! it is crazy, how do they get the kids to cooperate with them?!?! you are lucky you have family nearby that you can run to, when i have days like that i just go to the movie theater and watch a mindless movie by myself, very theraputic! makes you feel like a new woman!
i agree with the ones that have offered advice about baby girl, i think it will pass in time but one thing that i did with my boys (e and i would have knock down drag outs about clothes on a regular basis) i got them one of those shelf things that hangs in their closet and we picked out clothes on sunday night after church for m-w, then wed after church we did t & f, just for the school clothes and on the weekend he could live in a costume if he wanted to (which he did) unless we were going out. it really helped us cause we did all the fighting at one time and it was over for a few days then we could do it again, it really brought peace to our house and it only lasted a little while then he was over it and i had also helped him understand a little bit about what outfits he would be allowed to wear so he learned what he could do and it helped him win more battles because he was making better decisions, just a peek into what helped us.