Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cole Freaks Out

I am exhausted. I am crying.  I just finished a 2 hour stand off with Cole over about 150 small pieces of white paper he thought would be fun to cut out of our printer paper.  (This is probably the most offensive thing we are part of in treatment of the environment.  I swear we recycle though.) The pieces are in a variety of triangles, squares and shapes that I don't recall from 10th grade geometry, spread all over the playroom floor.  Very annoying.

Cole created this mess yesterday.  Ahh....yesterday, let me first tell you about yesterday with Cole to really set the scene for my frustration with this tantrum.

My parents agreed to stay in Texas one extra night so that Alex and I could go with some friends to dinner and a basketball game last night.  Since Stella and Cole were sick I was feeling a little badly about leaving them with my parents, but not badly enough to actually choose to stay home when I had two free babysitters.

I knew Cole had the potential to be the biggest problem.  As is often the case, I was right.

Immediately after we left he began screaming while lying on the kitchen floor, refusing to eat or be touched by anyone other than his Mommy. (I felt so honored to have been chosen.) Apparently after 45 minutes Tractor picked him up, carried him to the couch and Cole promptly fell asleep. 

He then woke up an hour later to scream for another hour on my bed.  Eventually he ended up in his own bed and slept there until about 2:30 when he made his way back to my bed.  I'm sure my parents will be canceling any future plans to extend trips to help babysit.

I loathe this type of situation while I am out. As I read my Mom's texts about the progress of Cole's screaming tantrum I felt embarrassed.  I felt guilty, like I was clearly failing to have a child acting like that for his grandparents.  I felt annoyed that he was going to make me listen to my mother explain how she doesn't remember my brother and I EVER acting like that and she just doesn't understand. Damn it Cole!

I wanted to drive home (though I wasn't about to leave my child-less, adult only outing to hang with my 3 year old that wouldn't stop freaking out,) and lock him in my closet or strap him to his bed until he calmed down and could explain to me in clear, well thought out sentences, why he was acting like such a freak.  Why!??!

This morning, Cole started off pretty normal, but quickly went south as we drove Grandma and Tractor to the airport.  There were many, many tears over a window shade that he couldn't put down and then many, many, many more over the fact that it was down.  Of course.

Once back at our empty, grandparentless house (sigh,) Cole asked me to get down a box of cars for him. I told him I'd be happy to....after he picked up all the scraps of paper he cut yesterday. 

And then it began.

At first he simply told me he didn't like to pick up paper and so he couldn't do it. Nice try. 

Then he told me I had to do it because I wanted the paper picked up and he just wanted to play cars.  Slightly more intelligent way to try to get out of it, though disrespectful and still not what I was looking for from him.

Finally, he suggested we wait for Aiden to get home from school because Aiden likes to help pick up(which is true, God bless him,) and Aiden would probably just do it while Cole played cars.  I sort of felt proud of this response because that's really well thought out.  But again, not what I needed.

I gave choices.  There was a time out.  Things escalated.  I tried to explain my feelings per that ridiculous behavior book I read (and really liked, but I am only half ass implementing because I feel so lazy and overwhelmed so I feel like I have to trash talk about it,) and he still wasn't interested in helping me.  It really shocks me that Cole isn't more concerned about my feelings.

I informed him he was napping, he informed me he wasn't.  Long story short, or perhaps just not as long as I could make it, he started screaming and I ended up basically wrapping myself around him on my bed to get him to go to sleep.  He didn't really fall asleep but he finally shut his eyes and laid there for 20 minutes.

I had to go have a moment to myself.  So here I am. Crying and exasperated.  Embarrassed and frustrated.  Ashamed for my anger and still so full of it toward my son. I'm terrified that this is just who he is and I am not equipped with the patience or the words to help him. I want to just run out the door and have someone else come in and fix him.  What would I google to find that person?

So, what is going on with him?

Cole has had a double ear infection, but after two days of medicine (let's not even go into the drama of giving him medicine,) he should be feeling well enough to not scream for hours when something doesn't go his way.....right?  I truly think it is exhaustion, but I blame everything that happens on exhaustion so the excuse feels weak and all together inadequate for the amount of freak out Cole has done in the last 24 hours.

But, after all that a few minutes ago....he did come out and, pick up the paper.  He even did it with a smile. Check out the photo below.   Maybe we'll make it after all?  Maybe I am as awesome a Mom as I have always thought.  Maybe.

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