to him i’m an expert on everything

It’s somewhat frightening to me how much knowledge we pass on to our children, especially when they are young. When Elliot asks me a question or looks to me for confirmation on something, my response is gold. He takes my answer and files it away in that sponge-brain of his and he doesn’t (yet) question the accuracy of my response. He trusts the adults in his world to give him correct information.

Some of his queries are straightforward and I feel confident in my answers — a question like “How does the turn signal turn off?” is pretty easy to answer.

But then there are others that I have to think about before I can answer. “How did Amy get out of your tummy?” and “Why are some people good and some people bad?” aren’t exactly easy to answer. And the doozy from today: “Why do we say grace at lunch?” (his daycare has a religious component to it).

Thankfully he doesn’t require long explanations. And thankfully he hasn’t yet asked me how Amy got IN to my tummy.

And for the record, my response to why he says grace at lunch was he’s thanking God for his food. And I left it at that. For now.

my little delightful monster

As with everything, parenting has it’s ups and downs. Sure, we’ve been struggling a bit lately with Elliot, but we’ve had a better week this past week, and it’s reminded me of all the delightful things he does. Like making Amy laugh, telling me things he learned at day care, singing songs, teaching Amy new things, going to the bathroom by himself (yes, this IS delightful), giving “blow hugs”…the list goes on and on.

And I love him to bits, delightful and not.

my little monster

Throw sand at his mother? Check.

Throw sand at his father? Check.

Throw sand at his sister? Check.

Hit his mother? Check.

Hit his father? Check.

Kick his sister? Check.

Throw toys at his door? Check.

Throw his shoes? Check, check.

And so was Elliot’s day today…and this is after spending four entire days with just me, visiting family. No sharing me with Amy or any other kids, no sharing me with Greg, no sharing me with housework, and no daycare for four days. Maybe it was the shock of coming home.

If I had to bet money on whether or not he will outgrow this stage, I’d bet on him outgrowing out, but that’s just the rational part of me. The irrational part of me has a very real fear that this is never going to end.

I hate what this is doing to me. I over-analyze things, I get nervous every time I pick him up from daycare or come home after he’s been with Greg, anxious to hear the “report”. I have to bite my tongue after one of his meltdowns (for lack of a better word) to keep from harping too much on how he’s feeling, and what different things we can do with our anger, and does he understand why we don’t hit and blah, blah, blah. I alternate between wanting to shake him and wanting to hug him. I wonder where the hell these rages come from and I marvel at how quickly he can both escalate things and return to normal as if nothing happened. If only I could move on as easily. With each meltdown, my stress level seems to snowball.

And what frustrates me more than the behaviour is how the hell to respond to it. From what most people have said, we’re doing the right things. I want to see results, but in some ways I think it’s getting worse. My latest theory is I think we should just walk away as soon as he hits us. Totally disengage. The problem with that is you can’t always do it. If something happens to piss him off while we’re in the kitchen and he hits me, if I walk away he’ll start throwing things. And unlike his bedroom, the kitchen is full of breakable things. Ok, so get him to his room and then disengage. But getting him to his room when he’s in the middle of it is awful, because if we pick him up, he’s a kicking, screaming, mass. We literally have to pin down his arms and carry him sideways. NOT FUN. And if we go the other route and try to hug him to help him calm down, he just lashes out again.

So that’s where we’re at right now. This has been by far the hardest few months of parenting for me, and I can’t see an end to it. Despite what everyone tells me.