11.26.2007

No entirely ready to discuss this

First of all, let me start off by placing a reminder on here. The only rule I've ever had about this blog, is that if you are one of the real life people in my life, you are free to comment on the blog but in person the blog is off limits. The reason for this, is sometimes people feel entitled to try and fix what I talk about on here, when really in general I just needed to talk about it and move on from it. So, since there are some new readers who know me personally I need to make sure you understand this ONE RULE! Please please, unless I engage you about a topic I've written please do not try and talk to me about what I write on here when it is clearly something personal. With that said, I'll finally talk about whats been on my mind lately.

My son and I don't get along. This has been going on for a while. Since before I had Codi. For some reason Brandon just doesn't want to get along with me. At night when he is tired he is fine. Then he misses me. But during the day he just doesn't get along with me. He basically spends the entire day not listening and trying to see how far he can push me. I'll tell him no and he'll do it anyway. I'm not mean, I say, "Brandon please don't do that." He just does it anyway. So I'll say, "Brandon, your going to go in time out," and he will shout at me Shhh or Be Quiet, or NO or you tine out. It's hard because he only does this with me. Then if he continues doing it, I will go toward him to put him in time out and he will just destroy everything in his path. For instance if he is throwing Cheetos or something and I say no, he will keep doing it. Then I move towards him to put him in time out and he will look at me, throw the entire bag of Cheetos and step on them. So he goes in time out. Then he goes nuts. He starts thrashing around, hitting his time out (a pack n play), kicking it, trying to jump out and yelling at me. I'll tell him to please not yell the baby is sleeping and his response is NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! with caps and exclamation points and in a whole other font really. It's at that moment where I feel like I'm failing. He doesn't do this with anyone else. And I know certain people in my life would argue that it is because I'm not parenting him right, I won't spank him, or I'm to lenient with punishments or I don't want to put him in the corner because it is against my beliefs to embarrass my child that way. And while it is true I could be more of a hard ass, that just isn't the kind of parent I want to be. I don't want my kids to be afraid of me. I don't want them to ever be afraid to tell me they have done something, or are going to do something, or made a big life decision. I want them to feel like I'm always a safe haven, which I guess is why I'm so passive towards punishments.

I think another big part of the problem is it seems everyone wants to parent my kids different then me. People have it in their head that if they are watching my kids they are in charge of how they are parented. I don't agree with this. I feel like if I have set rules in place they should be honored everywhere. I think with all the different parenting styles it's hard for him to know whose rules he should follow.

However aside from the fact that Brandon will listen to everyone around him but me there is another thing weighing on my mind. I kind of feel like he likes my parents more then me right now. He calls their house home, calls me from there to tell me he doesn't want to come back and has more fun there then he has had with me in a long time. I realize a lot of that is my fault, being on bed rest really set me back, and then the remainder of the pregnancy made it really hard to do fun stuff like ride my bike to the park and play with him. I went to the park a few times but climbing up and down and lifting him and sliding actually took quite a lot out of me. Now I'm trying to heal from the C-section and that is 6 more weeks I'm not really supposed to do much with him. Yesterday he went to see my parents. He said he was going home, meaning he was going to their house. I said no Brandon this is your home and he said NO I go home. I bawled when he left. Then I told my mom I was ready for him to come home and she told me he cried when he put his shoes on so they were going to keep him longer. I bawled more. You can't imagine how hard it is knowing your son would rather be somewhere other then with you. I love letting him stay the night there because I know he has a lot of fun and they take him to the park and let him run crazy with the dogs and drink all the chocolate milk he wants, but at the same time it is getting harder and harder for me to let him go there, knowing he is going to be disappointed when he has to come home.

The saddest part of all is Brandon never misbehaves with Rob. He just sits there quietly playing and is this amazingly good boy. Then if I so much as walk in the room he goes ape shit. Literally starts jumping, and bouncing and throwing things, and shouting and it is as though I bring out the evil in my child.

It's like that old song, I know she still loves me but I don't think she likes me anymore, who sang that? Ginger would know. Anyway, I know my son loves me, because when he is gone from me for a while like when I was in the hospital he asks for mommy, but to be honest I just don't think he likes me anymore.

If I was Swistle this is one of those posts I would delete after a day because I'm so embarrassed to feel this way or feel like I'm failing at parenting the way I want. I thought about it all and I realized maybe he was just reacting to m the way I react to him. So I tried to stop yelling, and just talk to him in a calming voice, I tried just reasoning with him and making everything I said to him full of love, hoping he would react in the same manner. I never got to see how he reacted because no one else followed suit and everyone else went right on yelling, or time outing, or making threats, or just generally laughing at my way of parenting. This gave him the idea it was still okay to react poorly to me. I think the reason I get the majority of his bad behavior is that grandma & grandpa are to fun to be mean to, and daddy was the one taking care of him while I was on bed rest, and I am the odd man out in his life so I get the shit end of his stick. I feel like bed rest screwed a lot up. Brandon spent every day with my parents at work, so they were the ones parenting him all day. They set his schedule, they set his punishments, they did everything and I sat at home as an afterthought doing nothing. Then at night it was all about Rob. Rob set his schedule, he fed him, got him ready for bed, bathed him, and he was the one who went to him when he cried at night. Again I was the afterthought. Now, at night when Brandon wakes up, he screams for daddy. If I go in he screams harder, gets out of bed and goes running through the house screaming NO I NEED DADDY I NEED DADDY.

All of this is just breaking my heart and now I have a second child and I suddenly realize that at some point I'm not going to be his everything either. I guess I always knew there would come a time when my son wouldn't like his mom as much anymore, but I was more prepared for that to be around three or four. But not today. I can only hope that he and I can find some balance, some sort of happy medium, some way for us to get along and for him to go back to thinking I hung the moon and listening to me. I remember the good ole days when he only listened to me. Now I'm the only one he won't listen to.

I just know this needs to be fixed soon before I lose it. Today he was in time out and he was being such a shit, he was hitting and kicking and rocking his pack and play into the couch trying to wake up Codi. Then he reached for a plant and I went over there to tell him no and he grabbed the plant and just ripped. I'm lucky I was close enough because that mess would have sent me into tears. I was so upset I grabbed him by the arms and shouted at him NO. He started crying. Not because I hurt him but because I think I scared him. I put him back, walked away and just sat there crying because I had just frightened my son. The one thing I never wanted to do I did. I know he's already forgotten about it, but I never will. I just want to go back to the times when I hung his moon! There are still those moments where he hugs me and tells me he's so happy. Or where he does cry for me, or hug me and not want to leave. But then there are those times like right now, where my son is sitting here crying that he wants grandma, and he wants to go home. My heart is just breaking.

I think this might be a contender for my worlds longest post, but whatever I needed to get it off my chest. I'm so frustrated right now. This was all so much easier to handle before I had baby blues.

16 comments:

Patty said...

My heart goes out to you because I'm sure emotionally this is twice as hard to handle.
And since I'm not a parent for what it is worth here's my two cents...isn't it at two years old when kids start to discover more things on their own? So instead of looking at Brandon separating from you can't you look at him exploring his independence. You'll want this of him in the long run.

As far as calling grandma's house "home" this just goes with the fun factor grandparents provide for all kids. My little cousin would always tell their mom she wan't to stay a grandma's but in reality kids can't live without mom for too long. This could be a passing thing. Besides look on the bright side you parents are helping you at this time when you need to heal.

Ahh the discipline area is tough, I know I've watched other people's kids and I apply the discipline I grew up with - Firm words to instill a little fear never hurt anyone. Kids response to firm words. I know you disagree with this and I respect that. You can express your wishes when other people parent your kids and they should find a way to respect that. However you approach Brandon when he's acting out, it has to be repetitive and consistent and will be a learning process for both of you. He loves you a million times over even if he's not showing it right now.

Can I tell you what I knew growning up at a kid? I HATE myself for saying this but I knew my mom was a push over as far as discipline. I could misbehave and get away with it just by apologizing. Not with my dad, he was Mr. Firm Words and a Spanking on the Ass when we were out of line. So kids know which parent's buttons to push. Remember that and which ever method you choose for discipline the end goal is the same you want him to respect you and know there are limits for all actions.

Heather said...

Shannon-You don't know me,but I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now. For that same amount of time I have been trying to get the guts to write on my own blog( vulnerability is hard!). But today I felt so compelled to reach out to you. I too have a little boy (almost 1) and imagining the pain you feel when you feel like your baby boy doesn't like or need his mommy anymore, broke my heart and brought me to tears. I have lurked for long enough to know that you are an awesome mommy who loves her Brandon so much. Hang in there girl! I don't have any awesome advice, but just wanted to let you know that reading you has touched my life and you are in my thoughts!

uumomma said...

((((HUGS))))

Not So Perfect said...

I argee with Patty, it is so a developmental thing and will be grown out of. Gaining independence is huge for success in life. And I think 2 year olds are masters at pushing buttons hence calling your mom's house home and messing with your plants. They are smart little burgers. When I go to pick up Ella at my sister-in-laws or from grandma's she yells at me to leave or either that runs and hides from me. Then I listen to her cry the whole way home, sometimes when she wakes up in the morning the first words out of her mouth are "get Aly (her cousin)" She isn't even happy to see me anymore. Thank you for writing this post, it really hit home. And I am sure now after reading it our kids are totally okay. Oh and the discipline thing, "dude welcome to my world, Ella has been that way since day one." We have had good friend's even comment on how when I am not in the room Ella is so much better behaved and as soon as she sees me it is all over with. So unfair and heartbreaking. I am still doing the time out thing, I even bought self help books and cd's. I am a nerd I know but I was desperate. You are such a good mommy and he loves you more then anything.

Swistle said...

No, no--I leave up my difficult parenting stuff. I only take down stuff about s-e-x or my mother-in-law---stuff about other people.

All my 2-year-olds (four of them so far) have gone through this with me. It's because I'm the mommy. They get past it. It doesn't seem to me like their actions are about ME (even though they might be perfect angels for other adults), but rather about their developmental stage. I'm the boss, so they rebel against me. They know perfectly well Grandma isn't the boss, so they don't need to react to her.

Also, for me (I keep saying "for me" because I don't want you to think I mean your situation is necessarily the same), I find that after I have a new baby I feel a disconnect from the older children for a little while. It goes away, but while it's there it makes me feel like my relationship with the older kids "isn't right." But for me, it's just because I'm so absorbed and distracted by the new baby.

Heidi said...

No advice, just thoughts. No judgements, just my opinion. I am guessing you are the enemy right now because of all the reasons you said, but also because you just had a baby. He may feel jealous and lonely, missing mommy. Then again, it is so hard to figure out what kids are thinking. It could be redirected agression. More importantly, I hope you realize you are a good mom (from the posts I have read) and I feel you really do care and that is so much more than some people I know (not that I know you). Hang in there.

A Mom Two Boys said...

I just left you this ASS long comment and now it's GONE! GONE! I had lots of exceptionally interesting things to tell you, but I can't bring myself to re-type it all right now. I think I'll just send you an email. You don't know me, by the way. I just read your blog for the first time today and I think I found you at the perfect time! Until you get my email...BIG HUG!!

Miss said...

I feel out of place commenting because who the hell am I to say anything but I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. My son went through a phase JUST as you describe and it broke my heart. But the good news is, he got past it. I'm his favorite momma again and as difficult as that time was, and as much as I resented his resentment towards me, its over and done with. I'm sorry your heart is in pieces but you'll get your little boy back soon.

Ginger said...

First of all, the song is "I know she still loves me" by George Straight.

Second...I think Brandon is at the age where he is starting to realize his independence as his own person and you (in my opinion) have been the major authroity figure in his life. For quite a while Rob wasn't around a lot because of work and your parents let him get away with murder, so you were the one being the mom. And I think you've done a great job with it. But I also think that now that you ARE the mom, he is old enough to know that and wants to challenge and question everything he possibly can. He wants to push the limits as far as they can, and see just how much he can get away with. I think this is part of being a kid. They don't call it the "terrible 2's" for nothing (I would imagine..I mean me talking about parenting is like me talking about brain surgery but...you still have to read me because you can't help but reading the comments left on your blog!). I would also imagine there is a little bit of jealousy on his part with Codi new to the picture, and that part of this is him just acting out to get some more attention, he has learned that an easy way to get your undivided attention is to cause trouble and so he does that. Well that's my parenting advice from a non-parent. And if all else fails and you want to make yourself feel better, you can just invite me over, he always likes you more than me!

Ginger said...

First of all, the song is "I know she still loves me" by George Straight.

Second...I think Brandon is at the age where he is starting to realize his independence as his own person and you (in my opinion) have been the major authroity figure in his life. For quite a while Rob wasn't around a lot because of work and your parents let him get away with murder, so you were the one being the mom. And I think you've done a great job with it. But I also think that now that you ARE the mom, he is old enough to know that and wants to challenge and question everything he possibly can. He wants to push the limits as far as they can, and see just how much he can get away with. I think this is part of being a kid. They don't call it the "terrible 2's" for nothing (I would imagine..I mean me talking about parenting is like me talking about brain surgery but...you still have to read me because you can't help but reading the comments left on your blog!). I would also imagine there is a little bit of jealousy on his part with Codi new to the picture, and that part of this is him just acting out to get some more attention, he has learned that an easy way to get your undivided attention is to cause trouble and so he does that. Well that's my parenting advice from a non-parent. And if all else fails and you want to make yourself feel better, you can just invite me over, he always likes you more than me!

Kat said...

Having no kids I have no advice and I am not really entitled to give any either but I will tell you that you are a great mother and I am sure that the majority of readers that come across your blog will agree. You love your kids more than anything, it shows and that is what matters. Of course there'll be times Brandon will like you less but if you look at it he loves you all the same. It is just because you are the one to parent him most of the time that he starts acting up. I am sure if Rob was home with him for this length of time etc. he would start with him the same way. A big hug to you.

A Mom Two Boys said...

Hope you're doing well today!
I sent you an email to your CafeMom Account, so check it out when you have a free minute...IF you have a free minute!

Murissa said...

Tyler, in many ways, is doing these very same things. It's not to this extent but we'll see when Addie comes.
I do believe it is a phase, a very hard phase, and at this point wouldn't matter on your form of disapline. Tyler get's time outs always first and then a last resort is a swat on the butt (not really a full on spanking) and he still acts the same way that Brandon is.
Hang in there. I'm hoping that by telling you that I can take my own advice. It's so hard everyday and I just cry cry cry. I know we are AWESOME mommies! We just have to say it to ourselves 10-20 times a day!

Sara said...

I totally went throgh this, and to some extent still do with Eddie. He knows that I'm soft and tries to get away with more around me, but he knows that Daddy means business.

In my case, my FIL lives with us, and up until recently, Eddie prefered being with him over Ed or me. It's because he's fun, more of a friend than a parental figure. This killed me when he was little, and only wanted "pwumpa". Seriously killed me.

It's better now. Ed is home a lot more, FIL is now retired and is around ALL THE TIME so being with him is not such a novelty. We have a really good balance that came with time and age.

Lainey-Paney said...

Being postpartum makes all of this worse.

Discipline is a tough & touchy subject. My husband would tell you that you just need to light his ass up once really good, and that would put an end to this behavior.
I'm a mom, and spanking my child is not so easy for me.
So, I see my son behave with my husband, and walk all over me.

I'm kind of in the same boat with you. My son can manipulate me, and get away with a lot more than he can with my hubby around.

Mae Lee said...

This may not help, and it might just be ridiculous and, I think, funny but my dog training book talks exactly about this. :) I have to relate everything to my dogs because I am not a mommy yet... Anyway, it talks about how they are totally in love with you nonstop for a while and then they stop listening but it isn't because they are being bad, it is the independence thing and they are trying to figure out how to think for themselves. Not like you really needed this comment but maybe it makes you smile. :)

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