Tuesday, July 08, 2008

When a Mental Health Day Is In Order

If I was Number Two, I'd be filing a harrassment report against The Boss over in HR right about now.

But the little guy just sits there and takes it.

Yesterday one of The Boss's fits sent a television remote whizzing right past his head. The day before that, she threw her bowl of dry cereal at him when he would not stop crying in the backseat of the car. She went over to her nana's house last weekend and was witnessed putting her hand over his nose and mouth.

It's not just Number Two who has a valid case against his superior, though. I myself am studying workplace policies to find out what kind of recourse I have when it comes to The Boss's tantrums.

My frustration came to a head last night when she refused dinner on the grounds that it was--AND I QUOTE--"not tasty." Her hysteria rose quickly. When I told her she needed to eat the food anyway, she began to huff and puff and blow sheets of snot from her nose. I put her in her room. She ran back out, screaming. Somehow she made it back downstairs, all the while yelling in barely coherent tones about her thirst. Something about "milk, not juice." She tore into the living room, where she launched a full cup of watered-down Tropical Blend across the coffee table and six feet of carpet.

I made the mistake of calling The Partner. I don't know why. If I wanted sympathy, I was barking up the wrong tree. If I wanted advice, I'd be better off calling someone with practical experience and a non-Hitlerian approach to child-rearing. He immediately went on the defensive at the sound of my impatience, shouting out a string of commands for me to use on The Boss. In fact, I'd already tried them all (except the ones involving duct tape and rope, obviously). Nothing worked. They were tactics that only proved effective when administered by The Partner himself. The Partner's word has always been law as far as The Boss is concerned. My word is white noise.

As it turns out, knowing that The Partner was on the other line of the phone was enough to send The Boss back up to her room of her own accord. I had just hung up on him--being yelled at from both sides didn't appeal to me--when I heard The Boss's last defiant cry behind the slamming door. And, silence. I was still for a moment as I waited to see if it held.

It did. I slunk into a heap on the kitchen stool. My energy drained from all useful parts and pooled like sewage in my chest. I stared out of the picture window onto a long row of weeds interspersed with roses and tiger lillies.

Then Number Two started to burble. Then he started to cry.


Fairly Odd Mother said...

Hmmm, maybe we could have a cage match with your #1 and my #3. Seriously, where did my cute little boy go? Last night, he screamed and tried to hit and kick me for 20 minutes, sighed and said, "I'm tired", gave me a kiss and fell asleep. WTF?

The odd thing is that I vaguely recall that my girls were terrors around the Boss' age too. They aren't that much older, but somehow their tantrum stage has been pushed out of my memory for the most part. So, hang on to the fact that a mother's tired mind gets fuzzy with time and you'll barely remember these moments.

slouching mom said...

aww, binky. i remember this time -- newborn and, in my case, disgruntled 4-year-old -- so well. i'm sorry.

it won't last all that long in the scheme of things, there's that.

Mary-LUE said...

It has been so long since I've been by... The new look, the new baby! So many changes.

Although my children are eight years apart, I remember both the difficulties of three and the challenges of two in the beginning. Hang in there, Binky. Slouching Mom is right. It doesn't last. Before both you and I know it, you'll be writing posts about the Boss getting her driver's license and a whole new set of teenage-size tantrums.

Jenifer said...

I am so gald I am not the only one!

I have an 8week old at home, along with an almost 4 year old and a 22 month old. I swear the littlest will take damage before long. She is the escapee of flying toys on a regular basis.

For us tantrums and fits send you to the "naughty spot" If you leave the naughty spot you are put back and your "time out" is re-started. A minute for each year old you are. My son is still put in the play pen for his time outs since he is small enough to not get out. It is usually enough to get them back under control.

As for the eating thing.... I don't force the kids to eat, but if they choose to not eat supper they know they will get NOTHING more until breakfast the next day. I keep dinner until they have gone to bed and if they complain they are hungry I offer to re-heat their dinner.... if they don't want it they are obviously not that hungry. It usually works like a charm... some nights not so much but they are certainly not wasting away!

Why does parenting have to be so difficult!!??!!

And why are husbands no help????

Binkytown said...

I'm sorry. I'm about 4 days into this and experiencing very similar circumstances. Only it's me crying over here and not number two.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh, man. I feel for you, sweetie. And I fear the future, because I see similar evenings in my own house.

But take heart - 2 will give way to three (is she still 2?) and it will ease up.

So sorry you had such a bad day.

ps - will you guest post for me while I am out with the new boy?

iheartchocolate said...

Seriously, did I write this one? Cause I sure coulda!

Sorry, I am in the same boat, all I can recommend is a trip to your doc to see what they can give you to help cope. If you do go, either share or tell me what works!

jen said...

i think it's lousy that we can't find the support we need from the other half of the parenting spectrum. it is what it is, but it sucks.

i was reminded reading this about that 70's cartoon, Wait till your father gets home..do you remember that?

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

right there with you.

oh yeah.


toyfoto said...

Tantrums are the WORST. I really think, though, in time you will look back on this post and be amazed at your own coping skills.

Still, you are right. You need a massage and a pool boy to hand you tropical drinks with just enough kick under the paper umbrella.

Can I come with?

Heather said...

It will get better. I promise.

Jerri Ann said...

I don't have a new baby to contend with now. But, I did when my oldest was 22 months old and I remember wanting to pull my hair out. I don't however remember it being as bad as number 2 is now because this kid has been in so much trouble that I had to take him to another teacher in the daycare (we own it) today because I had tried everything and nothing was working. Then, his father came to get him and the kid went to sleep...as if...if he had slept during nap instead of climbing the walls, he wouldn't have been in so much trouble nor would he have been so tired that he got in so much trouble. Kids, what is really going on?

Amy said...

Hang in there baby... it gets better. Until then, drink.

Lisa said...

Rough day...

I've got some sangria and cheesecake... Want some? (Because booze and sweets make everything better...)

lildb said...

my breath is all kinked up 'cause of the incredibly kick-ass redesign.

(well, and your writing, which still, to this day, turns me white and wraith-like in blood-boiling lustful envy. but also, wow, it thrills. how do you manage it still? what with being all responsible for srs parenting duties and shit?)

sigh. you write like a dream, i can't finish a sentence without tacking on "and shit."

you = genius.

duff said...

"My word is white noise."

Good lord, we are screwed. I don't know why I'm romanticizing 3. Can you remember back to age two and tell me?

I always think it's funny when other people's daughters slam doors. You can laugh at me mine doing it to me soon, I promise.