Friday, 21 September 2012

Days like this

Sometimes I wonder if I was ever made for this life as a parent. After a day like today, when in spite of doing fun stuff (and giving up trying to work with both around at 10 am knowing this was not one of those days where any work would happen) all day long, it appears that I often can't manage to create an environment where both of them are happy at the same time. This was a day that should have been easy: the sun was out, we were in the park totally going at their pace and doing what they wanted to do. Just that the two wills won't coincide.

So I take turns between the two of them trying to calm, soothe, find out what's wrong, feed, water, try to play, get interrupted by other one screaming, distract, and repeat. Is it me? How come that apparently at nursery, Snowflake is ever calm and happy but at home, she throws one tantrum after another, and half of the time I'm in the dark as to what it's actually about? How come that after 2 years of playing together like the best of friends, they are now like two vicious cats with sibling rivalry unleashed?

 (look, they really love each other!)

If Cubling comes too close to me, say for a cuddle, or even dares sit on my lap, up comes her sister and pushes her off. And she can push now. I mean, she manages to push Cubling off good and proper and sometimes hurts her in the process. There's biting and scratching, slapping and kicking and the ever just under the surface waiting to explode tantrum with full backwards fling onto the floor.

Meanwhile with all the attention going to younger sibling, older sibling gets frustrated and as much as I empathise and try to keep the peace, she starts her whinging and whining show. Interspersed with random, made up singing, recitation of phonemes and generally loud noises. Sometimes it gets to a noise and madness level that I wonder if my child is truly bonkers, as this noise level of random sounds without meaning can't be normal. I don't see other children act like this. Maybe they do, I just don't see it.

Often, it gets to a stage where she is totally in her world, and nothing I say reaches her. Or the opposite is true, a neverending litany of moaning and whinging, noise and sabotage of anything I'm trying to do, while refusing to engage in any meaningful play with me (which I'm told helps to reconnect and get out of such mayhem. It doesn't for us. She never wants to play when she's in this state).

At the end of a day like today, I get the nagging feeling that I really would rather have spent the day in the office, and that, if asked, the girls would most likely rather have spent it at the childminder's. It's most definitely not a nice feeling. More than anything I keep asking myself what on earth I'm doing wrong.

I took pretty pictures though. They may have kept my sanity today. And oh dear, another 3 days of this to get through all by myself. Help.


Kat said...

It is tough but remind yourself it won't last forever. Snowflake will begin to understand her emotions rather than be overwhelmed by them, Cubling will realise that whining gets no reaction and try something different. I'm thinking you have just transitioned to school which is a huge strain on everyone for the first few months! This too shall pass x

cartside said...

That's my mantra, that this is a phase and it will get better, but at the same time I don't want this time to pass, or them to grow up too quickly. The school stress is a good point, today was way easier and maybe part of what happened yesterday was letting go of built up tensions from the last few weeks. It's probably also to do with Cubling realising that Snowflake is a person with her own will (of having the very same thing that Cubling is playing with) rather than a baby that she can pamper and make squeal in delight.

The mum of all trades said...

It really isn't easy at time is it. But the bad times do pass before you know it. Stay strong x

Dot said...

I know just how you feel, including the meaningless noises (Hugh does this, possibly not in the same way as cubling - lots of meaningless grunts and moans of protest. We've had some pretty bad trantrums and plenty of lower-level protest and drama since he started Big School). I am also looking forward to when it passes; though we do have good patches in between the parts when I wish I could just hand them both in to the cats' refuge. I find them much easier separately; they both enjoy having my full attention, on the rare occasions when that's possible. Yesterday it was because Frank napped for a bit and I had time to look through Hugh's magazine with him. Today Hugh had a party to go to so I spent a couple of hours in the park just with Frank. Such times remind me that I love them really, and that they are both charming when in a good mood.

Wishing you strength x

sustainablemum said...

You have so much change going on in your and their lives at the moment it is little wonder that you all need a period of adjustment. Your eldest has just started school and your little one is reaching that time of her life when she is able to do so much but, at the same time there is a limit to her abilities which frustrates her. Be gentle on yourself, perhaps when they are arguing, disagreeing or not getting on just stand back and count to ten under your breath, give yourself and them time to take stock before you say or do something that you later regret. Sometimes these things resolve themselves before you need to intervene. Perhaps ask your eldest what she can do or what they can both do to make the situation calm again.



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