Confession: I’m having one of those spells in my parenting tenure where I just suck.
I feel like I don’t know how to parent 4-year-olds:
Kid: “Can I have ketchup please?”
Me: “Sure! Where do you want it?” (I have learned to ask that question.)
Kid: “NOOOOOOOO!!! I DIDN’T WANT KETCHUP!!” and proceeds to go on a tirade about how life is intolerably ruined and mom has probably just screwed up any chance for peace in the Middle East.
Or how about the “NO! I will do it myself. I don’t want any help!” and then asks for help and dissolves into a puddle when I even suggest to the kid to try it for themselves.
I just don’t understand. I think I have parenting whiplash.
Let’s not forget when I cut up food that they wanted “big.” Or when someone else pushes the elevator button. I don’t even bother getting them silverware for dinner anymore. They have to pick it themselves because I never make the right choice. I always thought a fork was a fork, but it’s not.
The list goes on.
The worst part of this “phase” or “parenting suckiness” is that I can see it coming. The signs are all there: the growing frustration, tense body language, the strong urge to chug a glass of wine … and the kids are showing signs, too. I can see it. But no matter what I say or do, that train is heading to Meltdown Station.
So until I figure out this phase, I just have to remember to keep a sense of humor about this. That one day I’ll miss their littleness, that they won’t need me as much as they do now. I won’t be the center of their little universe.
See, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. **wink**
– Rebecca Calappi is a Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health and adoptive parent of multiples.