Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.

6 Apr

It’s a war.

I need help.  NOW!  a terrible thundering hand slashes the water in the tub.

Not until you say please Ros. There’s a nice way to ask. Find it

We’ve hit the impasse for the last 10 minutes. Her voice becomes more shrill with each shriek, her face more contorted, her ability to lasso what she’s feeling less. Her black eyes blaze at me through the doorway as I attempt, calmly, to do what all the books say and model a quiet, reasonable tone.

Apparently, these books have yet to meet Ros.

As it affects her mother, the reasonable tone just serves to infuriate Rosalyn more. I’d like to say I can’t relate, and that I don’t turn to stifle a snicker. She’s so my daughter, even in her anger and frustration. But she’s prone to grunts and slaps when angered beyond what she can control, throwing, stomping, heaving bosoms and spit. She’s been like this since birth, a child of two gears, awesome, and totally fucking pissed off. She doesn’t seem to recognize grey. It’s not in her nature to.

Say please Ros.


Please. Say Please.


Heh. Fat chance kiddo.

I find myself staring into the backyard, the sand recently churned up by my children, released into the wild after the frozen months, the blessing of a beautiful weekend evident. Her voice turns into the trill of a storm, in the background, there, but not. I can hear her moving from frustration to no control, feel her stability crumble as simply as the corners where the pool once sat. Why am I fighting, at 8pm on a Sunday night after a weekend spent playing and walking and meeting people? What am I trying to win-against her, against me? Who is truly served?

I return to the doorway, leaning. Her face is red, and fallen, her eyes helpless and nearly vacant. She is worn, and blank.

Come on honey bear. Let’s get out of the tub shall we?

She fights me, even on this, her will sated, her anger still sore. I wrap her in one towel, ignore the screams as I toss it in the laundry, and grab the fluffy pale blue one instead, fresh from the laundry, and sweet.

I’m cold Mummy.

Come here bubbie. I’ll keep you warm.

13 Responses to “Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.”

  1. sweetsalty kate April 6, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    You’re able to stay reasonable? Even if that’s just some of the time, you’re one up on me.

    It’s tough. It’s just so damn tough sometimes. xo

    • thordora April 6, 2010 at 7:22 am #

      oh, I’m not usually that reasonable. There’s generally lots of yelling and cussing. You’ve met them. 😛

  2. Maggie,dammit April 6, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    I struggle with this, wanting to both nurture and squelch at the same time this crazyintense will and passion my girls have. I want to own them, and yet I want them never to be owned by anyone. How?

  3. slouchy April 6, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    ahh, when your kid is a lot like you, it’s the toughest, i think.

    it’s true for me and my second child.

  4. Jennifer April 6, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    Second borns are evil incarnate.

    Saying “can you say please?” also turns into a screaming fit and ends up with louder demands. Instead I walk away saying “When you can ask in a nicer way come find me”. That straightens her out right quick.

    I’ll also say “is there a better way you can ask me to do something for you” or “You are not asking very nicely” or “you need to use nicer words to ask me Emily”.

    I find it’s easier than trying to force a please. I think because it gives them more control over the language. Technically she isn’t being “forced” to use a word – to comply or bend to my will. She’s a VERY strong willed kid.

    Ironically, even though I don’t demand a please from her, when I ask her if she can ask in a nicer way, it’s tends to show up a lot more. If anything, her tone changes dramatically.

  5. Marcy April 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Amy has an amazing capacity for anger, too. She kicked Mark this morning after first whining and then yelling at him.

    We’re trying to do the reasonable tone thing, and walking away instead of engaging, being quicker to give timeouts when a request to stop whining or yelling doesn’t yield results…

    I have to work hard to resist pushing her away too much or labeling her (even just in my own head) as an angry, mean, inconsiderate, and unpleasant person. She’s still at the age where perspective-taking isn’t quite over the horizon yet, and so I can’t expect her to understand that aspect of things yet.

    I have to make sure she gets enough hugs and positive time with each of us.

    And especially what Jennifer says — try to avoid making it a matter of force — boy is that hard when I want to win.

  6. flutter April 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    MAN you are patient.

  7. coldspaghetti April 6, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    You rock. I need your patience. Or, at least the ability to have endless patience.

  8. Shana April 7, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Ugh. Unreasonable kids. I am dealing with them RIGHT NOW as they refuse to eat their breakfasts after multiple proddings and I am trying to rush to get to work. Jennifer, good tips – though it’s not my 2nd-born who’s evil incarnate, but my first.

    I don’t know how you, Thordora, and some of you other mothers manage to want to HUG them when they’re like this. I just want to shout at them and put them in the corner.

    • Forgotten April 7, 2010 at 8:39 am #

      If they won’t eat it, walk to the front door and throw it out. They won’t wither away to nothing after missing one meal and they’ll learn a valuable lesson about how they need to eat their food as long as you’re not trying to force them to eat something you know they won’t touch anyways.

  9. Forgotten April 7, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    It’s so funny that everyone says this about second borns because of my twin boys born two minutes apart, the one that came out second is the one I have my screaming matches with. He’s all temper and fury and bossy raging against any authority (almost just like me, I actual follow most rules but I do have the loud temper).

    I have to put both of us in timeout sometimes just to get my temper and his temper in check. He’s going to be a handful when he gets big enough to overrun me because unless he starts respecting my authority, I’m in trouble. It’s hard to set the boundries when they just keep pushing back, isn’t it?

  10. bromac April 7, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Oy. I hear ya. Just last night mine had to be taken from the soccer field screaming at the top of her lungs. When I got home – I’m the coach- her dad said she was screaming mama the whole time

    I think that my need to comfort her and love her when she is like this is part natural from being a mom and part fear that she will be like me, have this illness, and wanting to sheild hert from it…nurture it out of her

  11. atthetone April 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    oh good lord. I’m SOOOO not patient. Many days end in yelling and me eventually waking up to the fact that she’s just tired and bullish. She usually uses her manners, or a gentle reminder gets her using them. If she’s tired or worn out tho? HELLS NO. She kinda like an adult that way. :p

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