Mommy 911

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WANTED

Mateo Sun Smith

Age:2

Height: 37 inches

Weight: 31 pounds

Wanted for the mass torture of the Estrella-Chin-Smith Household!!!

Don’t let the beautiful face above fool you!! HELP!!!! I have fallen victim to the Terrible Two’s!! I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know why, but I’m just letting you all know I might not survive it. One day Captain T.T. came and stole my sweet little innocent boy and replaced him with a tantrum throwing, screaming, hitting gremlin. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about babies morphing into these kind of little creatures, but had not ever experienced it. As the oldest grandchild in both sides of my family I have spent a lot of time around other children and not one of my relatives had ever suffered from a case of the Terrible Two’s, until my son…

Mateo is an incredibly loving, sweet little boy who loves to hug and give kisses, play with other kids in the park, loves animals, has a newfound love of babies, is Toy Story’s biggest fan, and his own biggest fan as well HAHA. He is smart, inquisitive, and always looking for a game to play. BUT in between all his precious moments is nothing but trouble.

I’m definitely not one of those parents to sit around and lie to you and talk about how perfect my son is; how he’s a genius, how he acts perfectly and only does perfect things, and my favorite of them all “My child would never….” (famous last words). I am alllll about the cold hard truth, so here it is…

Tommy and I, and my mother who is a saint and watches him during the day for us, are those people with the annoying kid. There is absolutely no getting around it, that’s us. Mateo throws tantrums on the floor of every place we are in when he doesn’t get his way, if we even think of saying the word no to him, or if he just feels like it, it seems. He doesn’t cooperate for a split second, says no to everything we tell him, and is just plain bratty. I think the word “No” holds no meaning to him anymore because we say it so much.

Does it suck? BIG TIME!!!! We are the King and Queen’s of Time-Out and the following phrases: “No Mateo”, “Take that out your mouth”, “Put that back”, “Do not even think about it!”, “Stop whining”, “Don’t you dare throw that”, “Pick that up!”, and “Do you want Time Out Mateo?”. There are moments that you’ll do anything, give him anything just so he can stop and behave for 5 seconds, but in that little minute you have to stop yourself. If we give in even once we’re setting a precedent; leading him to believe that if he acts bratty enough he will get his way. I do not believe in spanking even though a lot of people tell me it will be a cure-all, so thus far I have avoided the spank in favor of other methods.

If we were the kinds of parents who gave him whatever he wanted and let him do whatever he wanted I’d have to live with the fact that he acted so ridiculously, but we’re not. My mother is not the “spoil your grandchild” kind of person. She’s just as strict and organized with him as she was with my sister and I. This brings me to the whole nature vs. nurture theory. I was raised a certain way and acted a certain way because of it and because of my natural personality. My mom had us on a very strict schedule, we knew what we were going to do every day because it was the same as the day before. We got up, we ate, we played, we napped, we ate again, we played, we ate, we bathed, and we went to bed. We listened to our mother, she could take us anywhere because we always listened (besides little things like me throwing a tantrum for lip gloss in Rockbottom, my sister hiding in clothes racks in Sterns, and running away at the beach to chase a seagull HAHA), but we were essentially good kids. As we grew up my sister became very rebellious, but I didn’t and even though we were raised exactly the same our respective personalities emerged. When I hear stories about Tommy it’s very different. Everyone who knew them since they were born or young says the same thing…him and his brother were WILD! Now they were raised different than me and had a completely different home life/lifestyle so that was obviously a huge component, but I think personality counts too. So is Mateo just prone to naughtiness?!

We have tried what seems like everything with Mateo. I have even asked the pediatrician what we can do and they just tell me to keep doing what I’m doing and not to give up, that he has a “strong personality” and seems like he is going to give us a run for our money…how inspiring, right? The doctor did tell us that his delayed speech contributes a lot to his frustration and I understand that, but good Lord is it frustrating! There are days when we’ve been forced to go shopping with him that he will literally scream like he is being attacked the ENTIRE time. Even doing something simple can be difficult these days..going to the park he wants to be carried, not walk or go in the stroller, we take the bus and he wants to walk up and down the aisle so he screams when I say no, we go to the store and he wants everything he sees and cries when I say no, he won’t sit in the shopping cart, etc.

Sometimes I feel like we must be the worst parents in the world or our kid is just nuts, until I’m around other mom’s who tell me their stories of their “Terrible Two” that is either worse than mine or just the same and then I feel somewhat better. Are there mistakes we’ve made that contribute to some of his bratty behavior? Definitely. Are there days where I just might give him something he wants to prevent another tantrum even though I shouldn’t? Sadly, yes. Our next step is to begin the process of trying to be more disciplined with him, to get him on a extremely regimented schedule so as to not have too much time without something to do, to get him out of our bed and into his own, and to try and get him potty trained. I would love to wake up tomorrow and have all these things done, but that’s impossible especially as a working mom.

Everyone who has experienced similar situations with their children tell me it’s going to go as fast as it came, that there will be a moment where he just clicks into place, let me tell you I wake up every morning hoping that day is today! In the meantime we have to try our hardest. In the times where I want to pull out my hair, or just take a freakin nap and tell him to just sit down and behave for a second I always have to check myself and remember he is just a baby, there is no reasoning with him, because of his delayed speech he can’t communicate his frustrations, so we have to learn how to deal. Don’t get me wrong there are days when bedtime comes I’m glad to kiss him and put him to bed and just sit down or take a shower, but he’s my son and I love him and all we can do is work through this frustrating stage. Hopefully soon enough he will be less Gremlin and more nice boy, we’re working on it!

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