Terrible Twos? Nightmare Threes. The story of our Easter Bank Holiday.

3 Apr

My recent posts have been largely warm and fuzzy, I was feeling somewhat chilled and loved up with my boy for probably the first time since he was born.

Well totally scrap that right now. The little tyrant obviously decided there has been quite enough love and goodwill in this house and has really pulled out all the stops to turn these warm and beautiful emotions to rot.

Despite his childminders claiming that he has largely been an utter angel when staying with them: eating everything, doing as he is told, playing nicely with the other children etc. etc., his behaviour at home has steadily been declining to that of a wild beast.

And this one Easter Bank holiday has just about tested my patience and love for the boy to the limit.

Friday with me and the little one started with such promise. We sat in bed together and watched Tom & Jerry while daddy worked, we visited Hobbycraft, made decorative Easter eggs (see here for the most impressive results) mostly without a single tantrum.

But then daddy came home for the weekend and before you could say “where’s my sanity?”, the hideous behaviour started.

Poor daddy did his best, but the rest of Friday evening blurred into a steamy haze of shouting, tantrumming and nervous breakdowns.

OK, Saturday will be better. Will it f***.

Saturday started with a refusal to eat breakfast for the first time in weeks, followed by the usual refusal to get dressed until the tired threats to leave him at home were wheeled out.

Eventually by late morning we were on our way to Tescos to gather some much needed essentials. On the journey there we gave Oscar the full lowdown of what would be occurring. We were to get him some rice, some beef for his meatballs, some ham and some Easter eggs for the family (what a random list).There was much agreeable nodding and repeating from the boy to show he understood our joint mission.

From the moment we got out of the car, our mission seemed to take a detour. First he didn’t want to get in the trolley, then as dear hubby pushed him through the entrance (now standing in trolley), he spotted the sweetie promotion stand. He scooped up 4 packets and of course wanted to eat them there and then. I declined, but promised him one after lunch, offering to take him to the restaurant for lunch if he was a good boy. (see, nice mummy).

Well good boy was not to make an appearance today, and as we worked our way round the aisles we were treated to shouting, whining, tantrums and constant demands for juice, sweets, biscuits, etc. you name it, he was after it. We struggled on until the checkout at which point Oscar chose to spit on the food on the conveyer belt, because I refused to let him sit on it.

At this point I lost it. Big time. Tantrums are one thing, but using your bodily fluids as revenge is quite another. It’s the stuff of horror films, and no way am I prepared to quietly side step this little issuette. Thank heavens for Oscar we were in the supermarket, with an audience. God only knows what I might have done if we were not in full view of our adoring public. As it was, I immediately withdrew the offer of lunch at the restaurant and ordered daddy home. I shouted at the top of my lungs in the car for what seemed like an eternity, only stopping when I could find no more air to summon even a whimper.

I know this was not the right response, but I didn’t give a rats ass, you crossed the line buddy.

On our arrival home we were treated to a string of sulks, tantrums and the odd act of aggression, but eventually we settled for a family lunch of sandwiches and hot chicken.

As the animal had demonstrated a full 10 mins of normal behaviour, we agreed to take him swimming for the afternoon.

Once we’d actually made it to the front of the queue at the leisure centre (which took several threats to go home), and through the turnstile, Oscar for once, behaved impeccably. Such was his delight at our visit to he pool, he would pretty much do anything. “Oscar get your swimming trunks on”, “yes daddy, right away”, “Oscar stand in the queue until the lifeguard lets you in”, “of course daddy, no trouble”. Once he was in, he frolicked like a spring chicken, splashing and paddling. For the first time in too long, mummy enjoyed a full hour of inner peace from the viewing gallery.

After our seamless experience at the pool, we visited that restaurant, high on success. Oscar relished his fish fillets, chips and juice and all was well with the world. Ah, maybe this morning was just bad luck and the rest of the bank holiday will run smoothly.

Or maybe not.

The rest of the bank holiday was littered with shouting, brawling, screaming, refusing to eat food and….. Spitting. There were just so many incidents they all blur into one giant trauma that I’m blocking out, but Tuesday just about rounded the whole experience off with a bang.

Tuesday was back to work day. Hoorah for mummy and daddy – back to work for some peace and tranquility, Hoorah for Oscar – back to his lovely childminder to play with his chums. But this morning Oscar was not feeling compliant.

This morning Oscar did not want to go to childminders. I have no idea why, the weekend had been a disaster, and he was off to have fun, but why do that when you can stay at home winding your parents up?

So Oscar dug his heels in deep. He was not to be dressed. Daddy tried asking once, twice, three times. Nothing. He was merely met with frantic giggling and general distraction techniques. So daddy attempted to man handle the little bugger into his clothes like a baby. But this baby was not to be defeated. So he wriggled and jiggled, laughing and taunting poor daddy. I instructed the hubby to go and get himself dressed, then I warned the little so and so that he had 5 minutes to dress HIMSELF or he would have to stay at home on his own.

Cheeky little sod, marched upstairs and shouted “Daddy, DADDY!……. You have to come downstairs and dress me right NOW!” Honestly, it was like listening to a 3 year old taunt a dog.

Daddy, not wanting to miss the opportunity to dress the unruly demon, came downstairs and attempted to get some clothes on. But wriggly, giggly boy was back, pulling his arms and legs out of the clothes at every opportunity. Mocking his dad for being so weak.

At this point I again instructed Ben to go upstairs, and informed Oscar that this was now his last opportunity to get damn well dressed or he would go in the car as he was…. Just pants and a vest.

Child was not impressed with this and began shouting and howling at me. And then the clincher……. he walked over to the footstool adorned with my magazines, work essentials and general “stuff” and SWIPE…… Everything now on floor. I tutted, but largely ignored this effort, so Oscar stepped up a gear. He walked over to his prized Lego police station, built by daddy over the course of two whole days.

“I won’t play with this any more!”

“Ok” I said. “No problem, I’ll give it to your cousin, he’ll play with it”

“No, he can’t have it”…. And so, piece by piece he began dismembering said police station and throwing the tiny pieces of Lego across the room.

“Oscar, this is your warning, you break one more bit of Lego off I will give it to your cousin”

And as he took just one too many pieces off daddy’s prize work, I snapped.

I frogged marched him upstairs to the naughty step, came downstairs, and in front of a highly perplexed daddy, threw the entire police station across the room until it smashed into smithereens. I’m not proud of that, but after 4 days of bull shit from my kid, enough was enough.

Daddy followed through on his promise to put the boy in the car in his pants, and all of 5 seconds later the mini terrorist was back inside putting his clothes on for fear of catching pneumonia.

I calmed down during the day, and resolved for a better evening, but after his usual angel behaviour at childminders, I was treated to an evening of hideous mutiny, as Oscar screamed, punched and hit me, wiped snot on my kitchen cupboards and threw every last magnetic item on the fridge across the kitchen. Why? Because I wouldn’t let him get a Fruit Shoot out of the fridge until his dinner was ready.

So right now, I ain’t feeling a whole lot of warmth in my heart. My boy’s behaviour is downright disturbing.

But as his parents, I know that only we can change it.

So, after that “performance”, I took my kid to the naughty step, but I sat with him and just talked it out. Quietly. No more shouting. I can’t bear it. I don’t want a war zone.

We got over it.

He put the magnets back on the fridge, and the juice stayed IN the fridge where it belonged.

But there were no more fights.

When daddy got home, I banned all shouting in my house. By anyone. This house will be a place where we talk.

Bad behaviour would have consequences, but those consequences would not involve shouting.

I just want calm.

Today we have made some progress. I think we have some way to go with the boy, but mummy and daddy have stayed calm and I hope the love returns to this house really soon.

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One Response to “Terrible Twos? Nightmare Threes. The story of our Easter Bank Holiday.”

  1. Kay Cugini April 4, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    what a weekend! I remember so well the feeling of shouting in the car and not being able to stop. Your decision to talk and not shout is a big step, it’s so hard not to when you are wound up and angry (understandably)but the quieter you speak the harder they have to work to hear you (and they hate to think they are missing something!) but I know its so easy for other people to tell you in airy tones what you should do, then walk off and leave you to have to deal with it (then you want to shout at them too). Ever since Luca started school the word ‘angel’ (usually with ‘sbsolute’ as prefix) was been uttered at very parents evening, they fight over having him in their class, they tell us their life would be wonderful if they had a class full of kids like him; he is, in fact, Perfect Child. However (you will be glad to know that wasn’t boasting, there is a BUT …)over the last couple of years there is a hormonal, moody strop artist in there who only comes out to play at home. D says he has 30-day-a-month-PMT and questions why he seems to have it far worse than her (she’s not wrong!) but it would appear we are in fact very lucky (yes really) this is because he apparantly feels soooo secure at home he can push the boundaries of his behaviour with us where he wouldnt with anyone else …isnt that wonderful?? to be fair to him he is a sweetheart but boy does he have moments when I want to hold him down on the naughty step at the age of 13! All this rambling is to let you know I understand how it feels and remember so well having weekends when I watched him go into school Monday morning and wondered what happened to my beautifully planned fun filled weekend. You want to be the best parent you can be and do the absolute best for your child so you put pressure on yourself, but I think you are doing a wonderful job – the key thing to hold on to in the middle of the battle field is that he knows full well how to behave well, he does it at childminder, school etc, he’s doing what the little buggers seem to love to do, and push our buttons. Even now, the 3 of us can be relaxed, watching endless episodes of ‘House’ with bowl of something sugar laden in front of us …Daddy walks in from work and hey presto Beavis and Butthead will start fighting, I think they know my attention will be on Daddy when he staggers in exhausted form work so they want to pre empt it! Sorry if full of typos, running out to work, but good luck on the no shouting front, know its hard but you are doing a brilliant job, keep us posted – lots of hugs xxx

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