Monday, February 3, 2014

Go On and Scream

I'm not a perfect mother.  Sometimes, I'm not even a good mother.  I can be incredibly unfair.  I admit, I hold my daughter to a higher standard than the boys. She's older and I expect much more from her.  BUT, I think I expected more from her at 3 years old than I do from the boys now at 3 years old.  I've always had high expectations for her.  And she routinely exceeds them.

My girl was two-and-a-half years old when the twin boys arrived.  She was fairly independent.  She usually dressed herself and put on her own shoes.  She helped pick up the house and took her own plate/cup/utensils to the sink after meals.  She knew the entire alphabet and could count to 20.  She could also visually identify the numbers 0-20.  Her independence was a blessing when the boys arrived.

Since June 4, 2010, the boys' birth date, I've been fighting drowning.  In the first year, I nearly went under, but somehow managed to keep my head above the water.  I made it through, to shallower water, badly beaten against the rocks along the way.

When the boys turned two-and-a-half, the waters ahead looked better and better.  I started to hope I would finally find a way to wade myself to shore.  Routine, limiting public exposure, and NOT TRAVELING ANYWHERE were key to surviving the baby/toddler years.

But, just as I stretched my entire upper body out of the water, got a good look at the land ahead, and took a deep breath, I felt the current pulling at me;  dragging me away from that promising shore.  Back to the depths, where the waves are rough and the fight is so hard.

At three-and-a-half, I feel like we've come back to the beginning.  The fits are so hard to handle.  Fighting.  Whining.  Someone is ALWAYS crying.  The screaming.  Oh God-save-me, the screaming.  JoJo, twin B, is so difficult I've had to take a time outs and get away from him.  I can never please him and his frequent fits sometimes make life less enjoyable for everyone in our home.  The other kids give in to him to avoid the fit that follows when he doesn't get his way.  Despite our efforts to stop that, it continues.  Kids are better at picking their battles, I guess.  I'm a nervous wreck around him.  One of us needs medicated to survive the other.

Both boys are highly attached to me.  I cannot do anything in our home without them right beside me or even on top of me.  Both boys want to be carried around like babies.  (SERIOUSLY!) I never give in to that.  But it's wearing me thin.  If I leave the room, both boys come running after me, screaming for me, begging me not to leave.  I don't know where this separation anxiety comes from.  I rarely leave them anywhere.  I feel like I'm terrorized, held prisoner by an army of little kids.

Every day, I feel the water rising higher and higher.  I've lost sight of the shore. I'm going under.

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