Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maternal Failings... again

At 9am today, I took my almost-3-year old son to a toddler gymnastics class that he has been to many, many times and usually loves. But today he decided he didn't want to participate. At all. Both of the teachers kept trying to persuade him to join the other kids as they jumped, laughed and played. And honestly, I was feeling really angry that he wouldn't join in. And also embarrassed that all of these others kids his same age were able to be part of the fun class, and have a great time together, while my son sidelined himself and threw a tantrum about wanting to sit with me in the place where the grown-ups watch so he could play with the baby toys. I ended up taking him home early and gave him the silent treatment all the way home because I knew if I spoke I'd say something ugly.

My reaction really surprised me. I guess we have entered the Horrible 3's a few weeks early.

I hate the feeling that my kid has this shitty tendency to misbehave loudly, publicly, and to a seemingly greater degree than his peers. I feel like none of the many techniques we've tried have worked. It seems the only solution is to keep him home because that way, at least we're not feeling so humiliated about it (she typed as both of her children wailed and pulled at her feet....)


mom2boy said...

omg - the whining!!! Is it at your house, too? It happened overnight like some sort of three year old curse and it is NEVER ENDING. This morning he fake cried all the way to the car because his bike was already in the trunk of the car and he wasn't able to ride it. That was after a 20 minute full on crying jag because I wouldn't let him have chocolate for breakfast. I feel like a spectacular failure at parenting right now, too.

Melba said...

I think the "I won't participate today" thing is really really common for this age. Rosie is in a 3 year old ballet class, and inevitably there's always at least one mom, sometimes more, doing exactly what you did. Trying to persuede this stubborn little girl in a tutu to please join the other little girls in the class, and the girl just not wanting to, often without even a reason other than "because I don't want to".

My Rosie hasn't done it yet. I'm not sure if she will... its not really her personality. But I feel for the moms who have to do this every week, especially the ones who also have a baby in tow.

This week, the little girl who refused to go in had a little sister, probably 18 mo. to 2 yrs, who was just DYING to go in. So this poor woman simultaneously tried to convince a child who did not want to participate to do so, and a child who did want to participate not to. I gave her lots of understanding looks. This parenting gig is friggin annoying sometimes, eh?

Jac said...

DS, who turned 3 three weeks ago, has been lovely the last couple of weeks. I feel like we are holding our breathes, walking on egg shells, etc. I've been trying not to say anything because I don't want to jinx it. But maybe 3 will bring a period of equilibrium for you? The change on our end was quite sudden and dramatic so am wishing you a similar respite.

Having said that, I have been in your shoes on many occasions. One of my worst parenting buttons is when I try to do something nice or special for DS (and enrolling him in fun classes is definitely along those lines) and it comes back to bite me in the ass. They really are ungrateful little shits.

Zenmoo said...

Ah - ungrateful little shits... Aren't all kids? Some don't grow out of it and turn into ungrateful big shits of adults. They annoy me far more than kids. But on that theme, The things my parents did for me that I am now grateful for that were NOT appreciated at the time... Ah, I cringe at my stroppy teenage antics in hindsight!

Claudia said...

NOT maternal failings! He's doing his job (and quite well. Too bad we don't like the job description!). You're on learning curve # 48,209,093 out of a total of about eleventy gazillion.

Our three-year phase wasn't too bad, compared with the 2.5, but there were most definitely some. days.

We're now just a week away from 4.5 mark, and I'm holding my breath like Jac. She's been lovely. Is it a ruse to force us into complacency? Is hell on wheels around the corner? Who knows.

paola said...

Almost 3 was a killer. Then something went click about 2 weeks before DD's 3rd birthday. The same thing happened with DS 3 years ago too: just before his 3rd birthday he turned normal. 3 was so great for 3 months or so and then another bout of shitty behaviour and poor sleep. 3.5 was refreshingly easy (DD is 3/9months). The quarter birthdays are the worst for us. Yes, she is pretty awful again.

I too have avoided public areas during particularly bad behaviour times, but it doesn't last long. I find there is a peak of really really terrible sleep /behaviour just before a developmental spurt and then they are fine again, or at least better.

Best of luck.

caramama said...

Good lord, they can be enough to send us the mad house, can't they? Totally ungrateful little shits!

BUT it's definitely not a maternal failing! AND it's not just you with a kid who does these things to a greater degree than the other kids. Remember there are those of us out here with spirited kids like your's, we just don't live near you so you don't get to see our kids doing the same incredibly frustrating things.

Mucho sympathy and understanding. And a reminder: It's just a phase. It's just a phase. It will get better... and then shitty again, but then better again... etc.

hush said...

Thank you all for the commiseration. I wish we all lived in the same community so we could reassure each other whenever our kids were being precious clever adorable ungrateful little shits. @Melba - that poor mom with the little kid who wanted to join the class and the older one who didn't was totally me yesterday. Suckety suck suck suckiness indeed. @Jac & @Claudia and other "breath holders," you have given me hope!

Our sweet babysitter, who has 3 kids of her own, fortunately gets it and has been attributing every shitty thing DS has said or done this week to "well, it is hard giving up the bottle." (Until we had DS throw out all the bottles last week, DS was about to be the oldest child on the planet still drinking exclusively from a bottle and carrying it with him at all friggin times. I kid, sort of). Even when he said "I don't like you and I want you to go home now" to her after she gave him this clown drawing she did, she still was good to him. Her patience amazes me.

Cloud said...

Everyone else said it all already.

I think that everyone's kid melts down in public at some point, right? You just don't always get to be there to see it....

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Hey, we just got called in for a parent-teacher conference because my kid painted on the walls at preschool. And apparently the preschool teacher hadn't yet seen the kind of DEFCON-5 tantrum that followed putting him in time out.

I feel your pain. But anyone who tries to tell me that a "normal" three-year-old doesn't act out occasionally is going to get a hearty round of laughter from me. Kind of like the "normal" three-month-old that sleeps through the night consistently, right? It's because I'm not doing something the way I'm supposed to, right? Right?

Oh yeah, I've heard -that- one before.

One thing is true, though: this too shall pass!

paola said...


there is one of Noah's friends at kinder who is a year older than him (so now 6.5) and STILL drinks milk froma a bottle, so you.are.not.alone.