Today was one of those days. The kind where when I finally get the kids in bed, and the house is quiet, I am left with a sense of failure.
Last post I talked about how easy my kids were at their current ages. Clearly I was having a good day. Today I have to admit that my kids are frustrating me to no end. I feel like I've tried and tried and nothing is working. Fellow moms out there: I need your advice!
My two and a half year old is mostly a really sweet kid. But bedtime is driving me crazy. She's always been pretty annoying to put to bed, dragging the process out as long as she can. "I need some more water!" "I need to say goodnight!" " I need to say I love you!" etc. etc....... And I have to admit that rather than put my foot down and say "only one drink of water!" or "you already said goodnight 3 times!!" most of the time it is so much easier to just give in to the little stinker because she is so darn stubborn. So this has long been a problem. And then we had the bright idea of setting up her "big girl bed". At first it was fine, and she didn't get out by herself much. Then she started to want to do everything by herself - get her own water, climb in bed, get her dollies, and tuck herself in. Fine. But all this has to be done without anyone else in the room. And do you think she does any of it in a timely manner? No way. Left to herself, she would come out a million times to "say goodnight", so that I finally have to go in and demand she get in bed... but then she insists she has to "do it herself"...and of course if I put my foot down, which I am definitely inclined to do, she has a huge fit and cannot get over the fact that she didn't get in bed by herself and will scream and scream and scream and scream and scream. And the exact same thing will happen every. single. night. AND every. single. nap. And I'm tired of it..but don't know what else to do to get this kid to listen.
And then there's my four and a half year old. Again, she's a sweet kid. At least on days when she wakes up in a good mood. But some days she has the hardest time listening. So over and over she gets in trouble. And every time it goes like this: ex. Maria hits her sister. Mommy says "Maria, that's a two minute time out." Maria throws herself on the ground screaming, "Nooooo I don't want a time out!!!!" Mommy: "Maria, go to your room now or I will make the time out longer." Maria: still screaming. Mommy: "Ok, that's three minutes." Maria: still screaming and running around "I don't want a time out!!!!!!!" Mommy: "four minutes..." Maria: runs into her room, and then back out still screaming. Mommy: "Five....six....seven..." Maria: still screaming and still not in her room. Mommy: "eight, nine..."and all the way to twenty, sometimes higher...until Maria finally slams the door to her room and continues to scream for at least five of the twenty minutes. Afterward, she apologizes and we have a nice little talk about how she has to listen and not throw fits, because if she hadn't thrown a fit then she would have only been in there for two minutes, which is really very short. And Maria seems to perfectly understand this. Until the next incident happens an hour later. And the exact same scenario ensues. Now, I have always considered Maria a smart kid....but how can she not get this, time and time again?! Am I expecting too much out of her?
So between these two things, I feel like I have to be constantly mad at someone. And I hate it! I know I need a new approach, but I just don't know what that is. I feel like a) I am an awful mother, b) my kids are awful, or c) I am an awful mother and that's why my kids are awful kids.