Having three kids is never easy. Yes, I have moments when they are all delightful and well-behaved but more often one or more is causing some kind of trouble. My 4 year-old has actually bloomed into a very sensitive and conscientious boy and has left his atrocious tantrums of his younger days behind him. Don’t get me wrong….he still gets overly emotional and looses it from time to time but he’s mostly matured out of the horribleness of the 2’s and 3’s. My 10 month old is a baby so she cries. She’s actually a great baby but she’s as needy as any other 10 month old would be. And she’s not walking yet so she needs to be watched, and carried a bunch, which makes parenting the other two slightly more challenging. And then there’s my 3 year-old. He was such a joyful and care-free 2 year-old…..then he had a birthday in October and he turned into a different kid. He’s now a screamer. He screams as his main form of communication. Its tough and frustrating.
So, there I am….at my parents house on a Saturday afternoon with my whole family. The kids are actually being pretty good, or so I thought. Then my father asked my 3 year-old to stop throwing a rubber ball up in the air and when he didn’t listen we took it away from him. Just then he screamed “no” and ran away (or something to that effect…..I don’t remember all the details exactly). Then I heard the words no parent ever wants to hear, “when you kids were little, you would have never gotten away with that…..saying no back to me and running away”. I asked, “what am I supposed to do, beat the s*** out of him?” and he answered “whatever it takes”. I sat for a moment, then got up and told me kids we were leaving. My mother had just had a conversation with me earlier in the week about this little boy, his behavior and how I parent him, so it was a bit of a sore subject. I found myself spiraling. My boys were crying because they wanted to stay, my Dad stormed out of the room, and tears were welling up in my eyes. I felt dizzy. I was probably overreacting but this just pushed me over the edge. All of my kids are well fed, dressed, and alive…..isn’t that enough?
But seriously, do I really need this when (like most parents) I question my own parenting skills on an almost daily basis. I think I’m fairly strict but don’t want to be too strict. I strive to spend more time praising then punishing. And I want to enjoy their young years because I know I’ll blink and they be almost grown, and I’ll miss them at this age.