Not So Happy Heart: Parenting Trials

My initial motivation for writing this blog was to record the amusing moments of parenting. Since I write better when I have an audience, a blog is a good fit. Having started blogging it seemed natural to include other titbits and the occassional word of advice, just in case I do have a real live audience! (Fingers crossed! I love it when I hear people are reading, so please feel free to comment, here or on facebook, for those I know in person!)

One thing I hope is that if other parents are reading, they can identify with my parenting moments, have a smirk, and perhaps feel better about their own parenting. (Either because you have been there, done that, or because you haven’t been there, you never intend to do THAT, because your little darling is far more evolved than my offspring.) Being the happy heart that I am, my stories do tend to celebrate the happy moments of motherhood, the ones, even though awkward at the time, are a great story to laugh about.

But let’s be real, parenting is never laughs all the time. In the interest of keeping it real, let me share today’s episode with you. A moment when my heart has not been happy and one of those moments in motherhood where you wonder what you are doing wrong, how you should do things right and desperately pray that your child is going to eventuate into a decent human being should he advance in years to become an adult.

We were having lunch when J Boy…

(I think I’m going to have to call him J Boy, because to call him “J Bomb” right now is too close to the truth, describing his explosive temper. I called J Bomb since he was a baby because I said he was ” ‘da bomb”, as in all things good. I also call him J—- Boy, kind of like Danny Boy, so in the tone of positive speech I shall continue.) 

J Boy pipes up. “I don’t want to be a left hander anymore. I want to be a right hander.”

Mummy: “Why is that?”
J Boy: Launches into a lamment that he wants to use a pair of right hander scissors with a lion on them, that I once gave him, forgetting he couldn’t cut with them. When I realised, I got him another pair of scissors, alas with no lion on them, and swapped the right handed scissors for a toy Bunnings forklift. Now that the forklift is an old toy. He wants to scissors again.
Mummy: In a very annoying grown up way explains that you cannot change being a left hander, that God made him that way, left handers are rare and special, we will check with his new kindy teacher that he really is a left hander and no he can’t have the scissors, and howling at the top of his voice is not going to make me give them to him.
J Boy: Starts reluctantly eating vegemite sandwich, while loudly stoping to whimper and protest every few bites.
The Baby: Is in a remarkably good mood, and is oblivious to all tantrums. (Is familiar with sounds, since he has been hearing them since he was in utero) Wanders over to check out J Boy’s lunch, to make sure he isn’t missing out on anything. Receives a wallop in the head with a monster truck by glowering big brother.
J Boy: Howls even more loudly when his mother applies some force back to him to make him consider that it is not nice to be hurt by somebody else. Runs into playroom, starts looking around for something to destroy.
Mummy: Recognises her sons volatile ways, follows closely, takes all things out of his hands so he can’t throw. Speaks soothing words, encourages J Boy to continue eating lunch.
J Boy: Returns to table. Starts eating calmly, gets up runs into the direction of toilet.
Mummy: Is relieved that crisis has been averted and is grateful that potty training days are over.
J Boy: Returns to table, staring down Mummy.
Mummy: Did you flush the toilet? (Knowing he did not.)
J Boy: No I didn’t.
Mummy: Go and flush it.
J Boy: I didn’t go to the toilet.
Mummy: (Faint feeling of apprehension appears.) What did you do?
J Boy: I damaged The Baby’s cot.
Mummy: Rushes into the nursery to witness our beautiful white sleigh cot has several deep gashes down the sleigh caused by a matchbox car. She starts yelling.
J Boy: Starts smiling.
Mummy: Is horrified that he could do such an act and be so proud that he has received this reaction. Calms down, (well tried to appear that way), Talks about how upset she is. Talks that she wanted her grandchildren to use this cot also. Laments that the gouge is too deep to be sanded back. Says that Daddy will give a smack when he gets home. Something that Mummy tries to reserve only for momentous occassions since she doesn’t want her child to dread Daddy’s arrival on a normal day. Also says no swim in the afternoon, no dessert, no TV today. Feels some level of guilt for heaping so many punishments on it, then remembers the weeks that she spent searching for the perfect sleigh cot when she was pregnant with him and all the money that she spent on it and then also throws no Nintendo DS into the list of punishments, feels guilty again, then remembers that he has continually tried to damage things when he is feeling angry, and decides to stay strong in the desperate hope that maybe her son will understand the gravity of being destructive.
J Boy: Pleads in vain for leniency. Eats lunch solemnly
The Baby: Continues to be incredibly cute. Mummy talks to him in general Baby chit chat.
J Boy: Tries to say something, I can’t remember what.
Mummy: J, Mummy is too upset to talk with you at the moment. Keep eating lunch.
At this point, I can’t remember how things disintegrated. The J Boy was ANGRY.
Mummy: Sent The J Boy to his bed, put on a CD player and said he needed to have some time to calm down and he could come out when the music stopped. Also gave stern warning he was not to get off his bed or throw things.
J Boy: Throws Books at wall. Increasing dent count in the wall of his bedroom. Receives a smack for his efforts.
J Boy: Throws picture from off his wall. Receives a smack for his effort. Presses pause on the CD Player.
Mummy: Presses Play. Is punched in the back for her efforts.
The Baby: Show signs of extreme tiredness. Cries if put down. Still smiling if Mummy holds him.
Mummy: Decides to ignore the upheaval in the bedroom. Puts Baby to bed. Amazingly, he goes straight to sleep, although there is clunking in the next room as more books are hurled at the wall. Decides that Baby is tired enough to sleep while vacuum hums. She vacuums in an effort to drown out the commotion The Boy is causing.
J Boy: Is extremely agitated that he is being ignored. Throws the CD player.
Mummy: Breaks down into big sobs. Cannot believe that the boy is still intent on damaging others property. Is desperately hoping that he will not be the type of man who throws and breaks things when he is mad, cries more because it appears that this scenario is entirely likely.
J Boy: Cries, because Mummy is crying. Then pulls the curtains down off the wall.
Mummy: Rings the Accountant. Hears his voice. Breaks down cries hysterically. Forgets to speak.
The Accountant: Arrives home 5 minutes later. Commences battle with J Boy.
Mummy: Cries some more because it’s not nice to listen to.
The Baby: Continues to sleep. It has been an excellent time for him to revise former habits of being a light sleeper.
J Boy: Begrudgingly apologizes while father stands at his shoulder, then promises that he still isn’t really sorry at all. Goes into battle with The Accountant for round two.

All of a sudden it all stopped. J Boy started talking normally and being cute. Trots off to the toilet to do a poo. Something that often needs to be done after such fights. It is an underlying cause, but we are unable to convince him that a movement is necessary in the days preceeding.

I’ve gone into a lot more detail here then I intended, but it’s been strangely theraputic. Plus, I’m going to keep this and show to J Boy when he is J Man, some of the grief he caused me.

I know that you can probably spot a whole heap of parenting errors. So can I.

There’s also that feeling of helplessness, and confusion as to what the right thing to do is. There’s so much parenting advice out there. I know I’m not using politically correct methods. There’s always the doubt that I should be. I have every confidence if I used such methods, there would still be conflict, and then I would be thinking I should go back to the methods of the past.

Put simply, there is no perfect parenting, there is no perfect child. The most we can do is love them with all our heart and do everything with their best interest in mind, pushing aside our own agenda. That and a HUGE dose of prayer and reliance on Holy Spirit guidance.

Later in the afternoon, J Boy shows that he is truly sorry by arriving in the house with a handful of sand.

Mummy: What are you doing in the house with all that sand?
J Boy: It’s to fix the cot up.

Remember I had told him that the cot was so damaged it would not be able to be sanded?

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  1. I have no words of advice (I’m the person who has completely lost it to the point of actual hysteria with my cats, for goodness sake) but how about a hug? (((hug)))

  2. You are absolutely right Caitlin, there are no perfect Parents nor perfect children.
    But do you know what J Boy is Gods perfect gift for you and your family!
    Good thing the good/sweet things about him out weigh these moments!
    Love You!

  3. You are doing a good job and that’s all you can do. The rest is up to God & also J Boy. I love the way he thinks though (referring to the sand!).

  4. Oh wow, those days do happen! That must have been overwhelming. I don’t see anything that you could have done differently. What a crummy day.

    Hooray for having backup 5 minutes away! J Boy will grow up to be an awesome Godly man, you’ll see.

  5. ohh sweetie I have lived this … it is good to blog the reality of motherhood and parenting – there is so much sweetness out there some of us can become fixated on our own bumps in the road.

    I remember the feeling when my eldest Jake was four and he cut up the bed sheets, his dads best shirt and his brothers sheets. I was aghast and felt numb that his rage had morfed into such an act.

    I think tomorrow is another day and we will go on …. you are the mum he needs – love le xox

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