“Remember when we had our first child and we thought we only had to worry about the Terrible Twos,” my husband said yesterday, while our four-year-old screamed in the back seat of the car. And then we laughed and laughed and laughed. Oh, how foolish we were.
Her tantrum, over picking the red fluffy toy from the doctor rather than the red one, had been going for 15 minutes. We were rating each squeal out of 10. Her two sisters were giving her moderate scores, because frankly we’ve heard worse in our house. Except one squeal, with an accompanying guttural snort, did achieve a 15 out of 10.
Then like a demon possessed she shouted: “You will go back to the doctors and get me the pink one NOW”. Then we all laughed again. Like hell we will.
Time passed and all calmed down, but then this morning the eldest child thought she’d top her younger sister’s effort (she gets a little competitive like that). This time with an epic meltdown in the driveway over her lost green fluffy toy, also from the doctors (fuck you doctor and your fluffy toys). Apparently, it’s her “most favourite toy ever” and she can’t “live without it”. She threatened to scream until I found it for her. I threatened to leave her on the side of the road and tell her school Principal. She stopped. Naively, she is under the misguided impression that I will be finding it today and then taking it to school. Ummm…let me think about that. NO.
I’m waiting for the trifecta. You see the youngest child of the three, who now wears nickers, gets herself so worked up when she tantrums over such things as the “incorrect spreading of cream cheese on her biscuit” that she wets herself. And that’s exactly what I feel like doing today – cleaning up warm urine.
Last week I was in the midst of solo parenting again (my hat’s tipped for single parents because frankly, it’s really, really hard) and the girls were in fine form. By night four I was so tired, had been shouted at so much, had cleaned many puddles of wee, taken away the football book, used up all my bribery options and just wanted five minutes without someone asking for something. Then my youngest started screaming over something silly. And she would not stop. I grabbed her and placed her on her bed and walked away very quickly. I felt such anger inside of me I scared myself. I had to remove myself from the situation.
I had hit rock bottom.
I retreated to the couch and just sat there as still as I could be, in the hope no-one would see me. I breathed deep breaths. I calmed my heart rate down. I tried to ignore her screaming. I told myself it’ll pass. I willed myself not to leave the house, with the kids inside of it.
Then my eldest girl found me. She snuggled up tight and held my hand. “I wish I could shield you from her shouting Mum,” she whispered. “I’ll try my best”. We sat quietly together holding hands.
And then the screaming inside my head stopped. And the house was quiet again.
It’s hard work this parenting caper.
I’ve been there too, many a time, and I only have a 3yo to deal with. Love that your eldest came to comfort you though – sometimes they can be the devil, and then, a saint. Love ’em for that…
swings and roundabouts xx
One more sleep and you’re away for a blissful girls weekend. Hang in there. xxx
By my fingernails. love you x
Oh dear. That was a really tough day! Hope it got better.
Thanks it’s better today x
Have read your blog for a long time now but never commented! Just wanted to say thanks for your post. I have an almost three year old & a 13 month old, and a husband who works away 3 weeks of the month…I often feel that surge of anger & have to leave the room and have a big ugly cry. It’s scary and awful. Glad to know I’m not the only one…because when I’m in the midst of it I feel like the worlds worst mother. Thanks for your honesty. I needed it today x
Thanks so much for commenting – it helps me know I’m not alone. You are not the world’s worst mother. You are doing an amazing job xxxx
Wow, Bianca, what a day! Sounds just like our house really LOL. Your blogs make me laugh, certainly not at you, but definitely with you (because when you’re in it, it’s far from funny!). I distinctly remember a time alone in a house with two little humans doing lots of those things that give you a momentary lapse of sanity. I looked outside and my eyes fell on the car….just sitting in the driveway waiting for me to get in and get the hell away from the shit that was happening inside the house. I feel no shame in saying that the thought did actually occur to me to grab the car keys and run, leaving the little buggars inside the house to fend for themselves….what was the harm in that, I thought, I’ll just lock the door behind me. In the end I didn’t do it, but was damn near close! xo
I have often thought of locking myself in the car with a bottle of wine! Thanks so much for your fab comment x
Oh the screaming. My 4 year old boy has now decided to join in on what was solely his sister’s territory. The fall to the floor sobbing is a favourite of my 6 year old. Thankfully Al takes us with us if he has to go away for work – it doesn’t happen very often at all. Enjoy the upcoming weekend away!
Hi there, thanks so much for your honesty and sharing. It’s only on reading this that I know I’m (slightly) normal! I struggled to come to terms with having a second child – 4 years after the first. i am now blessed with another little girl, whom – don’t get me wrong – I love dearly BUT she’s just hit one and is the most defiant, strong willed little screamer, LOUD little screamer! And it’s in those moments – usually between 4pm and bedtime, around 6.30pm that I’m left wondering how I can go through this again?! It’s only for people like yourselves who make me feel I’m not alone that get me through, that and wine!
Big love to all you Mum’s. What a gig. xx
It really is hard at times. You are definitely not alone. You are an amazing mum, because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t care. And you do xxx
You are very normal. Those night hours in particular are really hard at times. At least your one year old will stick for herself!! xx
No, you are not alone, we have all been there and walking away is at times the only course of action. Hang in there, it does easier as they grow – saying that we are having such “fun” currently with a testing twelve year old and ferocious fifteen year old, both girls – similar tantrums just less urine. Xxxxx
Its so hard sometimes isn’t it? Lucky kids are wonderful little people x
Ah yes. The screaming four year old (or in my daughter’s case 0-5 year old). A big screaming tantrum can literally derail the whole family. It’s astonishing that one little person can wield so much power so devastatingly.
People keep saying it gets better, I hope so – for yours and my sake x