Tag Archives: stress

*exhale*

Ok.  So it’s been 4 days since the Day Of Reckoning, and things are a lot better.  Tuesday was spent at home, all day.  We didn’t do any chores, we didn’t run any errands, our main focus was to have fun. And we did.  We played with blocks, and balls.  After a small argument about the necessity of wearing a coat, we went outside and played with the dogs.  I think I handled that one pretty well, actually.  I asked Claire if she wanted to go outside and play.  She said yes, so I put on my coat and held her coat out to put it on her.  She shook her head, and walked away.  So, I said, “You have to wear a coat outside.  If you don’t want to wear it, we’ll stay in.”  Three tries, and she let me put it on and we had a great time.

That was the only hiccup the whole day.  Wednesday JR stayed home from work, so of course Claire was a little angel.  She got in her carseat without even a whimper (at one point while we were driving to get lunch, she was kissing her baby doll.  Making a liar out of me, she is) and we had a lovely lunch.  Thursday was much of the same.

Today’s been a little rough, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Granny watched her last night while JR and I went out to dinner, and when we got home (at 11), she was STILL AWAKE.  Granny said she tried to put her down, but that she wouldn’t sleep.

The one saving grace throughout this whole thing is her naps.  She still takes two, one at 9 or 10 (depending on when she gets up) and one around 4.  Both times I take her in her room, make sure she has her milk, pacifier, blanket and pillow, and she just lays down and falls asleep.  How long she sleeps is another story, but it’s been my one victory that she falls asleep so well.  Of course now that I say that, she’s going to cry and thrash about every time I try to put her down.

The next week is packed with holiday visitors.  My dad is coming in tomorrow afternoon, and staying until Monday.  My mom (assuming she can get off work – please let her get off work!) will be coming in Wednesday and staying until Sunday.  We have Christmas morning at my lovely sister-in-law’s, Boxing Day on the 26th and JR’s old theater troupe is having a reunion at our house on the 27th.

My Christmas shopping is done, save some stocking stuffers for JR and Claire.  I need to wrap everything and ship presents to JR’s dad, but I can do that tonight.

So, things are better.  Much better.  It might be her, but it might also be my attitude toward her.  I was so frustrated on Monday, and she could tell.  I’m not letting myself get frustrated like that anymore.  She’s beautiful and wonderful and yes, a little headstrong, but that’s ME and JR in her.  And I love her; I just have to show her more often.

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Filed under Houston, Note to Self

Stick a fork in me

I’m done.  I can’t handle staying home anymore.  If it’s not the never-ending, overflowing sink of dishes (seriously.  There are three of us in this house.  And one of our dishes are made entirely of plastic.  How in the WORLD do we have so many dirty coffee cups?!); or the toys in the living room that I swear I JUST put away; or our bedroom, which STILL isn’t unpacked, nevermind that we’ve lived in this house for almost 2 months, and is filled to the brim with dirty clothes (because my lovely husband REFUSES to put his D@MN dirty clothes in the hamper, then have the audacity to complain that he never has any clean clothes.  Dude, the only clothes that I can TELL are dirty are your effin’ socks, and that’s only because they smell like someone DIED in them)

All that? I could handle.  If Claire was being even remotely managable.

MrsMillerTime, you might want to skip this part.

Everything I say is met with either “No,” which I can sorta handle, or a full blown hissy fit, complete with a crumpled body falling dramatically to the floor, and screams that are no doubt making the neighbours think I’m murdering pigs in my free time.  It can be something as harmless as, “Claire, let’s put your shoes on.” You’d think I just asked her to kill a f@cking puppy or burn her eyes out with hot sticks (which, coincedently, I have the urge to do on a DAILY basis).

Eat? Forget it.  Why would I ask her to subject herself to something as terrible as FOOD?!

Get buckled in her carseat?  Might as well be driving her to her death.

Everything is a fight, from getting dressed (we’re becoming hermits because I refuse to let her leave the house without pants), to taking a bath (“What do you mean I can’t stand up in the tub? HOW DARE YOU?!”)

I can ignore the dramatic meltdowns for little things; I simply say “Claire, I’m going into the kitchen.  When you’re done, come find me.”  But for things like standing in the tub, or getting buckled, I can’t just let her go and walk away.

I found the end of my rope tonight.  After going to the gynocologist with her in the morning, and the resulting fight to get dressed, one 1 hour nap, and a fight every time I put her in the carset (sorry that we had to go to the store to get YOU milk.  I won’t do it again), we went to my niece’s dance recital where she proceeded to perfect the limp fall onto the floor when I wouldn’t let her spin in circles while the other kids were doing their recital.

It didn’t help that my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, his mom and sister, and my mother-in-law were all there and not one of them tried to help me.  In fact, after seeing both my niece and Claire (they’re the same age) get in a little fight over the kid’s chairs, my mother-in-law picked up my niece.  Even though Jane’s other grandma and other aunt were right there.

I lost it on my way home.  DH offered to take Claire for the night (um, duh) so I could get some coffee or a drink or something.  But I can’t think of a worse evening than to spend it alone after a terrible day.

So, I’m sitting in my garage, as far away from the Devil Incarnate as I can and trying to re-group.

I hate it here.

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Discipline

I was just rereading my last few posts and I noticed how negative I am about Claire’s behavior.  I would love to say, “It’s not that she’s bad, she’s just a bitch challenging.  She’s not stubborn, she’s strong-willed.”
But the truth is that she CAN be bitchy, and she is one of the most stubborn people I know.

Take last night, for example.  After finishing dinner, I started the bathwater, like I do almost every night.  She was pretty stoked for bathtime, and I got her out of her clothes and in the tub in record time.  It was about 15 minutes past the time that she usually takes a bath, but dinner lasted longer than I thought and I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Heh.

I had put her in the tub while the water was still running.  She continued to stand up until I turned the water off.  Fine.  I don’t like it that she does it, but I’m picking my battles (see: the necessity of wearing pants, and: eating only crackers all day).  The water turns off, she sits down.  I mean, that’s what supposed to happen.  But, last night, she didn’t sit down.

I asked her nicely.  “Claire, please sit down.”  Nothing.  “Claire, bottom on the ground.” That one usually works.  Still nothing.  At this point she’s not looking at me, she’s not really DOING anything, she’s just standing.  I remembered what I’d read over at Backpacking Dad’s place about discipline so I tried the Dog Voice.

“CLAIRE.  SIT. DOWN.”

She jumped a little bit and started crying.  I picked her up and placed her in the tub, bottom down.  She screamed and tried to get up.  I asked nicely again, “Claire, you need to put your bottom on the seat please.  I don’t want you to fall.”  Yeah, didn’t work.  So, I quickly washed her hair and body while she was standing up, screaming.

She stopped crying for a second when I dumped the water on her head to wash off the soap.  She looked at me and I asked her if she was finished.  She did the sign for all done, so I pulled her out of the tub, not 2 minutes after I put her in, and wrapped a towel around her.  She wouldn’t make eye contact.  I opened the door to the bathroom (the part of the bathroom with the tub and toilet is seperated from the sinks by a door), but she didn’t follow me.  I tried to pick her up, and her whole body went limp and she started screaming again.

“Fine.  I’d just wait out here until you’re finished throwing a fit.  I love you.” I told the little body sprawled on the floor.  I turned toward the mirrors to do a quick count to ten, and heard the door shut behind me.  I tried to open the door, but she was behind it, pushing it back closed, screaming the whole time.  I let her close it, and counted again, to twenty this time.  I opened the door, against her little will, and sat on the toilet.  She had both hands on the tub, facing away from me, muttering to herself.

I thought back to Backpacking Dad’s trio of disciplinary techniques.  Dog Voice, Outlast Mode was next.  The problem was that she wasn’t ASKING for anything.  She was just screaming.  Last in line was the Telepathic Staredown.  THIS would work.  I KNEW it.  I calmly held her arms and turned her toward me.  She kept her eyes down.  I lowered my body closer to the floor, trying to get her to make eye contact.  She still wasn’t looking.  I got lower, and lower, until I realized that I was practically laying on the ground.  This couldn’t be very intimidating.

So, I did what I always do when she gets like this.  I scooped her angry, writhing body up and put her on her changing table.  I wrestled with her to put her diaper and pajamas on, calmly saying “Claire, now we need to put your pj’s on.  I love you.  Claire, I love you so much.  I hope you have sweet dreams.  I’ll see you tomorrow (actually, probably later tonight, since you refuse to sleep through the night) and your daddy and I love you.”

She cried the whole time.  JR walked in, swept her up and put her to bed without so much as a whimper (from her, not him.  I on the other hand was whimpering and rocking in the corner the whole time).

It’s hard to know what to do when disciplining her.  I don’t think she understands cause and effect yet, but she needs to know that there are things she CAN’T do.  Like stand in the tub.  I’m getting good at ignoring the silly fits.  But it’s the serious ones, the ones I don’t want to ignore that are slowly erasing my will to live.

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I’m already stressed

J’s 10 year class reunion is this weekend and I tried to call to make an appointment at the MAC store to get my makeup done.  I’ve done this before in Austin and it was free.  Not at the Galleria!  It’s $50!

Who wants to participate in an impromptu “Teach C How To Put On Makeup So She Impresses All Of Her DH’s Ex-Girlfriends?”

Come to think of it…I need an outfit.  Looks like I’ll be forgoing yoga tonight to try on tons of clothes and take pictures of myself.  Look for it in my blog tomorrow!

This is really stressful.  And they don’t even have an open bar!

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Filed under Random thoughts