Thursday, November 05, 2009

He sure is a stubborn one, isn't he?

I remember when Austin was about 8 or 9 months old, and in order to get him to take a nap when he didn't want to but I knew he was tired, I'd have to let him scream in his bed. Some days, he would scream for upwards of 45 minutes, just to sleep for 30 minutes.

In fact, one day I was using this practice when my mother-in-law was over and her only comment on this practice was 'he sure is a stubborn one, isn't he?'.

Well, it's three years later and nothing's changed.

As I write this (as a theraputic way to reduce my anger), Austin is in his room screaming his head off. And it's been going on for 90 minutes now.

For the record, the complete and total meltdown didn't start over the need to take a nap (even though he's tired today) it started over me telling him no. As in, stop throwing that blanket over your sister's head because she doesn't like it. Somehow, that reprimand resulted in the creation of a monster.

He's screamed, he yelled, he threw things at me. So, I picked him up and told him enough was enough (because he's been in meltdown city for two days now), he was going to bed. And I put him to bed.

Then I put Alex down for her nap at 1:15 -- where she promptly fell asleep amid the noise coming from her brother's room.

Eventually, I went back into his room to 'talk' to him about his behaviour and then to even offer an olive branch and tell him he could play for five more minutes before rest time. Well that wasn't good enough and he told me so. And so the fight began again.

I don't need to bore you with the details of power struggling with a three-year-old. Because anyone who has a toddler or preschooler knows how fruitless these power-struggles are. But now, 90 minutes later, he's screaming in his room (in the dark, by the way) and I'm sitting downstairs at the computer with the music turned up loud enough so that I don't have to hear him anymore Yes, I know, real mature of me. But I can't stand to listen to him anymore. And for fear of doing something I'll later regret, I'm instead choosing to calm down by listening to music and drinking a cup of tea. Which was hot an hour ago, but hey, you can't have everything.

He's stubborn enough to sit there and keep screaming for hours if I let him. Without ever falling asleep or ending this behaviour. So sooner or later, one of us will have to give -- and it'll likely be me, because I can't let him scream there for hours on end, can I? I mean, he's just that stubborn.

And I hate to admit it, but he got that trait from me.


Vone said...

Thanks for sharing - it made me smile. I'm sure it wasn't suppose to but it's nice to hear other peoples struggles. And makes me realize that I should put more music on.

Nancy Downard & Graham Hawksby said...

He is stubborn, no question. "Like father, like son".

The only way I could get Ryan off that middle of the night feeding was to refuse to respond when he cried - for up to an hour at a time!

Some things just never change.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for writing. It's nice to know that I'm not the only parent of a stubborn child that screams for hours at nap time. Do you have any advice for a child that yells "I hate you and I only want daddy"?
Take care