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.