28 June 2012

unruly.

I don't know about you ladies, but I like to appear always in control. Always on top of everything. But that couldn't be any further from the truth, especially right now.

In the last couple of weeks, Bennett has become completely unruly. I feel at a total loss as to what to do with him. He's throwing crazy tantrums (non-stop!), he's not listening to direction whatsoever, and he's running off and away from me anytime we are out somewhere in public. This is making it particularly hard to want to go anywhere or do anything because the truth is that I'm terrified of my child right now. I'm scared of how I will handle his attitude and behavior when we aren't in our safe, comfortable home environment. And on top of this, how do I tame this crazy 2 y/o with a 2 month old that has to be held all of the time??

I hate feeling like I'm trapped at home because my kid is a hyper-active freak of nature that has more energy that should be humanly possible. And when he doesn't get his way, forget it. It's OVER. The kid just freaks out. So much so that I can't even handle him AND the baby alone in public anymore.

Is this all happening because of the baby? The lack of attention? Or is this happening because the Summer in Seattle doesn't like to actually start until sometime mid-july, which means, we are stuck indoors for the majority of the time (and don't tell me to go play in the rain, that is not possible anymore with my itty bitty baby in tow). So all of this put together is what I'm assuming is causing my little tornado child to spin out of control. Either way, it's been rough. And don't even get me started on discipline. That needs to be an entirely separate conversation.

Okay this kind of turned into a venting post but this is real life. This is us. This blog would be a lie if I didn't talk about the hard things, too.

Don't get me wrong, Bennett is totally awesome and hilarious. Through everything, he still puts a smile on my face more often than not. But right now, he's testing me. He's challenging my ability to be patient and understanding, while still being the disciplinarian.

So mama's, please, any advise you have about how to handle a crazy 2 y/o and a baby, please.... for the love of coca-cola.... TELL ME!

{this is what i look like all day, every day. no make-up, hair is a disaster and i never even get dressed. tell me i'm not the only one!?}

51 comments:

melissa rohr said...

have you thought about putting him in a daycare/preschool one to two days a week? we always did stuff like that for the girls when new babies came along and i want to say it helped tremendously. chances are his behavior will be a lot different for the person in charge and it will be something just for him that he can look forward to every week, that doesn't involve east.

Jen Mallinson said...

oh my goodness this is my life right now! i have a 2.5 year old and a 7 month old. for awhile i worried that abbey (the 2.5 yr old) was acting this way b/c of the baby but i really think the majority of it is the age. i do think some of it is for attention but i think the straight up defiance and asserting of her will and opinion is more age than anything. i started to let some behaviors go because i feel like i was rewarding her behaviors with the attention she was trying to get-even if it was neg attention. so the things that aren't complete disobedience or hurtful to her or someone else-i just let go. i've noticed she's quit doing a lot of those things since i've stopped responding to them. we still struggle with getting her to follow direction out in public and i don't even try to go into a store without having the baby strapped to me in a carrier so that my hands are free to grab her when needed. it is ROUGH but it's life stage and eventually it will pass. you are so not alone!

molly said...

Oh Mandy. It can be so difficult. Believe me, I know! I'm not sure if anything I say will help. I am NOT an expert. But if you haven't done this already, maybe make it a point to go on a mommy/Bennett date. Can your husband take care of the baby for awhile and you can just focus on Bennett?

Also, I have little pep talks throughout the day with Landon and Brigham. Granted, they don't always work. But I will tell them that I am sad that they chose to misbehave instead of listen. Sometimes when they feel my disappointment their behavior will change. Time-outs don't always work for us (Brigham seems to think they're funny) but sometimes just talking it out helps.

libbyuglesich said...

Oh you are so NOT the only one who doesn't put on make-up or get out of their pjs all day. Oh and washing my hair everyday is a thing of the past... I haven't done that since Zane was born 2 years ago! So do not feel alone at all because I am definitely right there with you. 

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Girl, hang in there! I'm thinking it is totally just a normal stage and the fact that you have a 2 month old just makes it harder for you. Once Easton is a little older (and sturdier) it will be easier. And as Bennet gets closer to 3 he will start listening better (well, that's my experience anyway). Trust me, it is all normal! & you look GREAT with messy hair and no makeup. :-)

melanie @ now a queen said...

I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say thank you for the true life blog post! Irritates me when I read a blog that has a perfect family, perfect home and perfect life! This post is a breath of fresh (honest) air! PS...it will get better (not that I know, just that is what people say, right?)

Chelsea @The Curly Cues said...

I wish I could help you, but this is my future so I don't know how to deal with it yet. Luckily for me, you will have been through it and can give ME advice! ;) I just hear a lot that 2 1/2 is when kids really start testing their boundaries. I like Melissa's idea of getting Bennett an activity like a preschool. It would give you a break and be fun for him!

Nikki said...

Whenever I tell my Mom about my friend's kids "stages" she always brings up the Love and Logic method...you'll have to google because I only sort of get it ;)  Good luck dear, he's working to make you the most patient mother on this earth, you can do it!

Jessa said...

Very, very carefully.  I did a lot of 'dance parties' when my kids were little.  I'd turn up fast music and we'd all get our wiggles out for a few minutes.  I remember building a lot of Thomas train tracks.  And we bought a slide that fit inside our house when I went on bedrest, plus an indoor pop up kids tent.  Those things were invaluable when I had my daughter.  I also made tents out of furniture and blankets.  And sometimes we even played ball in the house.  LOL

Faith said...

I I am so the same! I like to appear calm, composed and in control. Mine was a runner at that age too and he didn't have any baby to compete for attention with - it's mortifying. I've gone through the full-on tantrums in the store as well. Yeah, not the best of times. I think the most important thing to remember right now is that this is a stage and it will pass. It is especially hard with your first though, since you haven't lived through it yet, but it WILL get better and easier.
Another thing to remember: good moms don't have perfectly well behaved kids, good moms respond positively when their kids act up. I tend to feel like my kid misbehaving in public makes me a bad mom, or somehow tarnishes my awesome-mom status. That is so not true. All moms, even the awesome ones, get to experience public meltdowns. I have 5 kids now and I am regularly embarrassed/humiliated/mortified but I try to use those moments as teaching opportunities. Which is extremely difficult when you've been cooped up in the house all week and you just want to get out of the house and wander around Target for ten minutes!!! Really? Is that too much to ask?!
I used snacks with one - that helped. We'd get $1 bag of Animal crackers and she was so pleased. With my son I used game privileges which would be lost if he ran away/ threw a fit.
Okay this comment is getting really long but I want to say one last thing: this stage IS HARD. You're not struggling because you're a wimp, or a bad parent or whatever else, you're struggling because THIS IS HARD! It's super draining physically, emotionally and mentally. It's both mind-numbingly boring and mind-bogglingly complex simultaneously and it can be really hard for husbands to support us or empathize with what we go through day to day. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and don't expect too much. This is a humbling stage but you'll be better and stronger for it in the long run. Lots of love to you sweet mama!

Kiara Buechler said...

I will tell you, but only for the love of Dr. Pepper...

Andrea said...

I am sort of experiencing the same things with both of my boys.  School is out, but the weather is NOT good enough to get out and expend energy in the way they need.  Behavior is no bueno and the patience is not flowing.  I don't have a baby, but I am in stuck in the house a couple of days a week babysitting and we cannot leave :(  Which of course for the last two weeks has been on the only nice days we have had, grrr.  
We have done a few scavenger hunt type things both inside and out that were pretty fun.  Get a bucket and have him collect some treasures in the yard (or at a well contained park).  Also, we have been dividing and conquering with our boys... they have really been benefiting from one on one outings with each of us and I could swear it helps behavior.  Or maybe it just renews my patience a little ;)  

Jamie Lincoln said...

We're going through the SAME thing here! My older son is 2 years and 9 months and my youngest is 10 months old. It's crazy up in here! My oldest won't share a single toy with his brother and sometimes I think he hates his little brother. It makes me so sad. I'm also out of patience with him. Love him to pieces, but I'm slowly unraveling.  No real advice, just letting you know you're not alone. I have been trying to get in one on one time with my oldest and do fun things that incorporate them both so he has some positive experiences with his brother. It's so hard! But, "they say" it gets easier! Here's hoping! 

Julie said...

Been there, done that:)  Try to get out as much as possible, just make sure you have extra hands with you. I don't live near family---but we met up a lot with friends at the pool, park, anywhere that is toddler friendly.  If you head out, just put the baby in the car seat/stroller combo or the carrier. You can do it, it will save your sanity:)  When we were home, I was outside a lot, but I have to admit that we definitely used the tv just to keep us all sane!  Good luck--it does get easier, the 2 year old age is hard!
-Juliehttp://www.thechirpingmoms.com

Sara @ Seeing Purple Stars said...

i have so been there hun!! Alex was 2 1/2 when Owen was born. My life was quite crazy for awhile. i don't know if you live near family, but what always helped me is having my family watch them so I could get out of the house, even if it was only for an hour. It will get better!! :)

lrailing said...

Our 2nd is on the way right now, due in less than 2 1/2 months and our 1st is 4 1/2 and testing every.single.boundary and noise level that he can! I don't even want to know what it's going to be like in 3 months when the baby's here! But, a couple things I do know that help at least now- I don't schedule doing stuff during his "witching hour" lol usually the late afternoons. It doesn't *always* help because sometimes he'll sometimes start the day off with fits. I try to have things he can earn that are fun if he listens. sometimes that doesn't work. it's kindof a guessing game with the mood he's in for the day. I like going shopping at Fred Meyer's here because they have a kid playland so Andrew can go play there while I go shopping which I know is going to be a lifesaver after Adrian is born! I just ordered love and logic! It is really good! You might look it up! Keep up being consistent and it will go far! he might scream and hate it during the fits but it really in the long run helps a lot. Family helping is really great too. Or another person along with you.  (I know you can't always have that happen though and I know it's totally frustrating though. Get help when you can and try to survive the rest of the time!) Above all- find ways to stay sane whether they be little things, like deciding that the plans for today just aren't going to work and a movie time would be better, or taking a mama time out. You'll make it through it!

ashley - the domestic wannabe said...

How you described Bennett is very similar to Ryann right now, and I do NOT have a two month old.  So I wouldn't say it is necessarily the baby to blame, just rather that some toddlers are insane and like to make us go crazy.

Ryann is seriously driving me NUTS these days.  She doesn't regularly throw huge tantrums or anything, but she never freaking listens to anything I say.  If I don't physically force her to do what I want her to, or threaten her with something (taking away a toy or what have you), or bribing her with food, so just goes right on doing whatever she wants and completely ignores me.  And she is always trying to run off in public, I hate it.  I feel for you 100%, especially with your little babe in tow.  I can only imagine how difficult it can be!

Angie M. said...

i wish i had the answer!  there are times when K is perfectly behaved...will sit on my lap quietly during storytime...and others when we end up leaving the libary with her kicking and screaming the whole way...and then peeing all over the backseat of the car because she's in such hysterics.  i wish there was an answer...but i think this is just a really hard toddler time...and a really hard mommy time...and i can't imagine doing it all with a 2 month old!  do what you can, but don't stress yourself about it...it's not your fault...and it will get better!  big hugs momma!  this is a hard time!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Yes I have thought about it! It's a constant discussion whether or not we can afford it. It's not cheap!! But it might be worth it.

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thank you!! Yes I have started choosing my battles. The things that he's doing just to get attention are being ignored lately... I can see that it diffuses the situation a little! Just gotta hang in there!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Yes my pep talks don't see, to get through to bennett at all...but I will keep on trying!! This is definitely a challenging age

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thanks Libby!! It does help to know people an relate!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Oh I hope you are right about the listening!! We'll see I guess!! Thanks for the comment!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thank you!! I try to stay honest, I want to be able to look back at my life realistically. Ya know?? S happy people aren't scared off, ha ha.

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Yep. Is will be you soooooooon!! :-)

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thanks Nikki! I will check that out!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thanks Andrea! A scavenger hunt is a great idea!!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

It's so hard not to unravel when dealing with a strong willed toddler! And yes, one-on-one time is super important!!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Yep, the TV has been a lifesaver...especially when I nursing the baby. You do what you gotta do! Lol

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Crazy is an understatement. ;-)

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thanks girl!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Oh man, it's hard to deal with toddler behavior.... With or without a baby. This too shall pass :-)

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Thanks Angie!! Yes it's rough, but I keep telling myself that it's all so worth it. Before we know it they will be 14 and we will be wishing they were 2 again :-)

Tori Myers said...

When we brought our six month home my oldest was 3 and I had the same problem What really helped us was the behavior chart.  Make a sticker chart, its so easy.  For everything he does right, or every time he follows direction well give him a sticker, after so many stickers say 5, he gets a small reward.  We did little knick knacks or candy.  It really helped her, associate good things with good behavior hope this helps! Hang in there it will get better!! 

Christy Owens Johnson said...

Oh this is SO my life right now! My son is the exact same age as Bennett and I swear a switch just flipped in the past few weeks and he's been NUTS. I call him my tornado of terror! We're expecting another baby this weekend and it's going to be quite the challenege parenting both. Post any advice you get that works so I can use it too!!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

A behavior chart is a really good idea!! Thank you for the comment!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Oh goodness, isnt this age crazy!? Good luck with your new additon! I will definitely post anything I've found to be helpful... You do the same :-)

Ashley Paige said...

... I wish we could parent together Mama. Bennett and Carter could tire themselves out. On top of behaving quite similarly to B, C has also given up his ONE NAP of the day. I just am at my wits end. I don't know what to do. Some days, I feel all I do is yell "NO! STOP!" ;( Patience is not my strong suit lately.. Hugs.

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear you're going through the same thing!!! It's tough. And yes, carter and Bennett would totally tire each other out. Move to WA please!! :-)

Victoria G said...

Oh, Gosh! I wish I had some encouraging words but I'm going through the same thing. We don't have a new baby in the house, so I'm sure your stress is through the roof. When we skipped the "terrible twos" I thought - YAY- then we hit four, and my house is in chaos too! 

Erinnrd said...

i have a 23 mo old and a 7 mo old. My almost 2 yr old does his fair share of testing and tantrums too. I find that having a schedule (which i know is impossible w a 2 mo old but you;ll get there) really really helps. I start the bed routine at 8 weeks which helps and nap routine at 4 mo. With my 2 yr old if i stick to one nap a day and really giving him my all when baby is sleeping it really helps. And baby wearing..,...my sling and ergo are my best friend. And husbands- have him take out Bennett solo. It will give you a needed break and help Bennett feel special. And prayer :) God and your Guardian Angel  is always there for you.. Hope this helps!
 

Sarah Rolf said...

My boys are two years and two days apart. Life was HARD for the first year or so of my second son's life. We started using 1-2-3 Magic and that worked pretty well with our older son. I know it's so tough! Hang in there! 

Janietilly said...

This is EXACTLY my life!! My son (Alex) is 3 and my new baby (Bennett, too!) is 6 weeks. We are in Houston, and summer for us starts in April so we are more stuck inside due to the crazy heat. By sweet lord, the word "testing" is putting it lightly. Every.single.thing is an argument, everything is a battle. I was thinking it was because of the new baby, but we have been spending better (and more) time together trying to do fun things to compensate for the changes the baby brings, but they still manage to bring out terrible tantrums that sometimes, at the end of the day, I am too exhausted to make the effort. He doesn't nap anymore so it really results in a 13 hour day with more time out's than I want to admit. I don't have any advice but just wanted to share my empathy that you are NOT ALONE!!! 

When Alex turned 2 he really started to run away from me in public too. 24 or maybe 27 months is when going out anywhere was a total crap shoot. I never knew what kid I was going to go out with so it was easier to just stay home. I can't imagine what I would do with a baby in tow. (Although the sympathetic looks I get from other moms when I am out when Alex freaks out on me now with a baby on my hip do make me feel a little better and less judged). We did go to the zoo a ton because I figured it was a logical place for kids to kind of run around so we could practice holding hands in public and walking close by my husband and I. I was **this** close to getting him one of those back-pack-leashes you see I the stores.  Again, no suggestions just so you know you aren't alone or raising a demon....cause sometimes the thought has crossed my mind. Not really....

I have to say I love your blog. Pretty much anything I thinking or feeling that is less than Hallmark card-ish you post within a day of me thinking it. I was SO over my last pregnancy about the same time, got the same crummy remarks from other people about assuming I was disappointed on not having a girl but another boy, had the same hormonal issues and now this. I don't know you & we will probably never meet (unless you are ever in Houston, TX then come on by! :) but I am really appreciative of your openness and honesty. Especially today when I heard "Go, mommy, go!" more times than I care to count. 

Thanks, girl!! 

And I know this comes across way stalkerish but I promise not to show up at your house with a bunny to boil in your kitchen. :)

Emily @ PeckLife.com said...

It looks like you are in good company from the comments. 2 is a challenging age - Sky has been this way for about the last 3 months and I don't know if there is an end in sight.... :( I wish I had good advice to give!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I can't reeeeeeeally comment because I do have the 2 year old...but not the baby to boot! BUT, I will say about the running away, the harness/leash back pack is a MUST for us when we're in really public places like the zoo or a big big store. He's much better at the grocery store or if we're with his older cousin, but he still runs away at times and I can agree it's so frustrating. I know that you do babywear Easton...so what about babywearing and the toddler leash/harness for some sanity? And also...."this too shall pass" though it may never seem like it!

Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

You are for sure not alone.  It is so hard being in the house when the weather is bad with two little ones.  I swear we missed the terrible twos but the terrible three's have been VERY hard! It's even a bit worse now because he can carry on a full conversation and argue now.  It can be so frustrating.  I remember when Noah was a newborn Xander decided to give up his naps and that was the straw that broke mama's back.  Somehow we survived all that though and now we are surviving day to day the daily battles of having a preschooler and todder.  Both who are very stubborn! 

MNRumsey said...

I have no advice but I can tell you that my 2 1/2 yr old is in the SAME EXACT STAGE. I'm glad I'M not alone :) 

Skye said...

OK well. I can tell you it might not be the baby ... My daughter is the same age (just turned 2) and she was great up until she turned 2, then I don't know what happened, but she turned into the evil spawn as I like to call her. What you are describing is identical to what we are going through here.  Funny b/c I just finished writing a post for next week on this topic. 
I feel for you b/c I think how bad Julianna is right now with the tantrums, and acting out in public, screaming "NO NO NO " all the time and god forbid she doesn't get her way - LOOK OUT!  I can NOT even imagine doing this with a 2 month old in tow. No way. Bless your soul mama! I think what you are feeling is normal and what is happening is normal for Bennett's age too. It just is. There is no sugar coating it, or making excuses... but like all things, this too shall pass. And all it takes is one laugh or smile from him, and that makes it all better doesn't it? :)  I just had my own meltdown in the Kohls dressing room this morning b/c my daughter wouldnt' allow me 5 minutes to try on a dress, she was having a tantum and 2 bitchy 20 year olds were talking about how bad she is, which just set me off - and I went in the dressing room to cry in the corner. So.. I do feel your pain! 

Erin Dietrich said...

EXACTLY how i'm feeling right now with a 11 day old and an almost 3 year old!! glad i'm not alone!

Manda Dieter said...

I don't have any advice yet  - I'm not a mom. I just wanted tell you I hear this all from a friend of mine. She always quotes bill cosby "if you don't have more than 1 child - you are not a parent".  I think she just finds craziness in the matter. 
I can tell you - you look pretty even w/o makeup - messy hair - and whatever you wear.  Nice complexion in skin. I'm jealous! I'm fregin pasty. 

Alicia said...

Haha, thanks for the honest post. And you are definitly not alone. I truly think a lot of the tantrum, unruly-ness is normal for the age. (We've got a 1 1/2 yr old and an almost 3 month old.) We read a book called "Making the Terrible Two's Terrific" by John Rosemond. It was very helpful as he has some practical advice on "managing" your child's normal behavior for this phase of life. It's a pretty quick read and you could probably get it from your local librabry, although after we read it, we decided it was worth buying to have on hand when we need to revisit certain chapters. Hang in there, you're gonna get through it!