Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I need to vent. Thats what a blog is for right?

I have a really hard 4 year old. Like, seriously, he goes through stages and phases of being difficult. Some of the things he does I can handle, give the appropriate punishment and move forward. Bu days like yesterday, I was at a total loss for how I could handle this kid without actually strangling him! I was so frustrated!

It actually started Sunday. I honestly can't remember what happened, but it was my day to sleep in and I just laid in bed listening to Kyler and Brayden fight. Kyler and Brayden fighting is: Kyler does something to Brayden, Brayden YELLS really LOUD. You must understand, Brayden has two volumes at home. Loud and Louder. Seriously. The kid does not know how to whisper, I had actually sat down with him and tried to teach him. PLeading and begging with him to do it so he can keep things calm. He just can't do it. So back to Sunday, so I was frustrated and ended up getting up early and letting Cort go back to bed since I couldn't sleep anyway. Then the kids just fought all morning and I was mad about it. This isn't such a hard thing really because unfortunetly my two older boys are very close which means they fight all the time and play some of the time together!

So Sunday I just was a little off because it wasn't the nice pleasant relaxing morning it usually is and I had trouble feeling the spirit of the day. Monday. We are taking a nice walk on what we thought was a nice day, (it was colder than we thought, although the boys didn't care). I took this walk with several other moms in the neighborhood, we were pushing strollers while our older kids were riding bikes. We have discussed the rules about this A MILLION TIMES. They can ride slightly ahead of us, but have to stay where we can see them at ALL times and when I call them, they have to stop. This used to be an issue maybe like 9 months ago, but they have been really good lately. Not on Monday. At one point, they were getting too far ahead of me. Not out of my sight, but I wanted them to stop. I called for them and told them to stop. They kept riding. I called their names more seriously (and you must understand, they COULD hear me. They weren't that far away). They kept on going. I yell "Kyler and Brayden, you stop now or your both grounded for the rest of the day." THEY KEPT GOING. I take off running. I stop them. I tell them both they are grounded. THEY ARE SMILING AT ME. I ask why they are smiling, they say they think its funny. OH BOY. I AM FUMING. I then make them ride behind me but within the distance where I can actually touch them, so it is hard to walk without them hitting me, but this is what must be done. I told me friends I had to take my kids home and take care of business. The kids continued to try and go around me and get in front of me the rest of the way home, a few blocks. We kept going back and forth about why they can't, why they are in trouble, etc. When we get home, I explain to them the rules of their groundation. No playing outside, no playing with friends, having to do extra chores around the house. It was actually GREAT that there were kids playing outside that day later so my kids could see what they were missing (they would live outside if they could). It was a hard day, but I really thought my kids had learned from it and realized the consequences of being disobedient...For Family Home Evening that night, you guessed it, we talked about Obedience. And I threw in a reminder about "it's not that mom is being a mean mom by not letting you ride too far ahead of me, it's that STRANGERS will come and kidnapp you!" which we have also FHE lessons on, and I also went off about talking respectful to me as their mother. My kids have been talking back to me so much lately, FHE was not so much in a spiritual nature...

Tuesday: We are running to the store in the morning. The kids are fighting in their car seats. I give them too many warnings, pull over and move Kyler's booster to the middle row so he is not next to Brayden and therefore cannot be physically touching him. He is mad, but this is better. They still fight. On the way back from the store, I give them more warnings about talking nicely to each other, AND to be respectful of me as their mother and the way they talk to me. It continued. When they got home, they both stayed in time out for the appropraite amount of time and then one thing after another kept happening. And this is where the hard 4 year old comes in. You see, the things that happen with Kyler I think are more normal things that kids do for their age. And Brayden and him together plot mostly normal naughtiness that deserves and normal punishment (time out, etc). But when Brayden has his moments like yesterday, it is an ALL BRAYDEN thing. Before Kyler even left for the bus stop, Brayden was getting into trouble. He pushed Keaton OFF the COUCH!! Then he takes a basket of toys and throws in on the ground. What kind of statement was he trying to make? I get on his level and ask him why he was making these choices. He laughs and says its fun. Off to time out. He then seems to actually be playing nicely in the playroom. I am cleaning the kitchen, Keaton is taking a nap. He comes down stairs holding with toilet paper in hand, no pants saying he needs help wiping his bum. No problem, except the toilet paper in hand was from the roll in the upstairs bathroom and he had actually dragged it all the way downstairs, something he clearly knows not to do. He is smiling. "Brayden, why did you pull this whole roll downstairs?" "I don't know," he says and LAUGHS. I get into the bathroom, rolling the toilet paper back on the roll and see POOP everywhere! Seriously! I ask him why there is poop everywhere. "Cause I need you to wipe my bum." UM, thats not why. I clean it up. Now mind you, our dryer went caput on Monday. We have ordered a new one that should be here in the next few days. But I am visioning the rug that needs to be washed because it has a smear of poop on it. GROSS. I can wash and hang dry. Okay, this can be solved. Brayden goes to his room for time out and when he gets out, he brings me poopy underwear. What? You just pooped all over the bathroom, whats this?? He laughs and runs away. There is now also a huge wad of poop in his bum as well. Nice. I clean it up. He is grounded. I throw the underwear away, its old anyway, I just can't stand it. Later Brayden helps me with chores and seems to be more obedient. After Kyler gets home from school, Kyler comes up to me later and tells me Brayden pulled down his underwear and pooped on his shirt. WHAT? What is going on? Why is this happening? What am I doing as a parent that is making him make these choices??? What am I doing wrong???

When Cort got home later, after dinner, I went to my room and locked the door and laid in bed reading. After a half hour of peace I open the door but still laid in bed reading. As the kids were getting their pajamas on, Brayden comes in the room. He comes up to me reading, sticks his bum in my face and pretends to toot. I lost it. I slammed the book on the bed dramatically and told him that was rude and unacceptable. (Side note: Boys are BOYS. I will never go without hearing noises of all kinds from them where they think its funny, but in our house, we explain that is is crude and rude to ever do that to anyone. If you toot, you say excuse me., etc. The boys make noises to each other sometimes and we let it slide, as they are boys, but they are never allowed to do anything like this to anyone else ever at any time!) Back to the story, I am walking towards Brayden telling him he now has to go to bed early without Kyler when he says to me, "your stupid mom." He repeats this three times while I am literally chasing him down the hallway. I put him in his room, lock the door (the lock is on the outside so we control it) and say goodnight. He screams, cries, pounds on the door and I tell Cort to take care of it and went back to my room. Later Cortney came in and told me that there was poop on the mirror in the boys bathroom. Kyler, who is laying in bed yells, "Brayden did that a minute ago." WHAT????

I cried. How could a 4 year old make me feel like I have lost all control as a parent? When did he take over the world? When did I lose power? I felt so helpless. I cannot believe that something so little and so cute could behave this way.

This morning, I called Brayden to come into bed with me (he was awake playing in the playroom). I took him into my arms and told him that he hurt my feelings so badly and that I knew deep down he wanted to make good choices. I told him that I loved him and wanted him to be nice to me so I can be nice to him and we can all have a good day. I was awake half the night last night thinking about it all. All these things are so Brayden, but instead of him randomly being naughty off and on throughout the days, he crammed it all into one day. I feel overwhelmed.

So now that I have vented, I do feel better. I am ready for a new day...I think. And I am PRAYING that I can get a handle on things. I am going to focus hard today to notice all the positives in Braydens behavior and compliment the heck out of it. Maybe if I am paying more attention to the good, he wont want to do the bad...I am hoping. And praying. I cannot have more days like yesterday!!

And did I mention that I blew my diet last night and had THREE (3) donuts! Thats right, 3! Then I had another 2 this morning! 2!!! I NEVER eat like that (we were given a dozen free fattening glazed donuts). But I surprisingly do feel better, even though I have to work out twice as hard now to burn it off.

Here's to a better day. Pray for me. Pray for Brayden.


beckaboots said...

Oh my gosh Liz! I am so sorry that he is being so bad! You are a great mother! I wish I was there and could give you a day off :/ I'm sorry!

Debra said...

I've heard that a lot of kids go through poop-smearing phases. It sounds like he was feeling quite rebellious, and I'm sorry you had to deal with all of that!

I have a friend who has a 7-year-old who started pooping herself and stopped wiping. She is quite the manipulative little girl when she wants to be, but she likes to think she's a grown up. So they threatened with (I'm not sure they ever had to follow through) putting her back in pull-ups to get her to behave.

I don't have any advice to give from a perspective of a mom who has been through that before. So all I can do is give you hugs and tell you to hang in there! ***HUGS***

lucasclan said...

I am so sorry you have had a bad couple of days. I have totally been there before where you just don't know what to do or what is going on with your child. Just know that it will get better and that you are a wonderful mom:)

Tracey said...

I wish I had some great advice to give you but like everyone else I don't. Before you know it he will be gone and he will remember the great mom he has and you will be rewarded for all this terribleness. That I know of for sure!!! You are awesome!!!

Sarah said...

I am so sorry. I recognize so much of Olivia in Brayden, and while she hasn't gone through the smearing poop phase yet, she does go on rampages. I know exactly what you're talking about when you say that. Lately, when she's on a rampage, I ask her to come help me with something (stirring the pot on the stove, laundry something or another), and it seems to help. It kinda gets her out of that frenzy. I don't know if that helps or not, but hang in there! Remember, as Nephi said, it came to pass, it didn't come to stay.

annieareyouok said...

We all have good days and bad days and it seems like the bad days are extra bad and somehow all the bad gets lumped into one REALLY bad day. Just know that every mother has been through it and we are here to support you. I hope my kids some how skip the whole poop-smearing-phase, but I am sorry you have to go through that. SO nasty! Put that kid in a onesie! Do they make onesies that big ;)

the tim gailey home said...

aw liz! this story reminds me so much of another liz's story, that was in my oregon ward. her daughter jane took off her poopy diaper during naptime and smeared poop onto every individual rail on the crib. and of course it hardened before that mom even discovered it, plus all over the other parts of crib and wall and 3 year old.
the mom cried about it and all the other episodes to everyone and told us how "evil" her daughter was. of course, none of us really believed that she was evil or that she did it to be that mean.
and of course we don't think your sweet baby is horrible, either. i think he is definitely seeking attention. not that you aren't giving him enough already, but that he wants you to react to him. you are such a fun and involved mom, he might think these are all games and that you are enjoying it as well. don't question his logic. instead, don't react in front of him, tell him you don't like his sad (or bad) decision he has made, and make him clean it up. and don't let him see you frustrated whenever he makes a bigger mess at first or when he doesn't do it right. tell him thank you, and then send him to think about it. you can clean it better when he isn't watching. remember, it will get worse at first as he will test you to see your limits.
also, try going crazy over positive reinforcment. have a box available (we use an old plasitc wipe box) where every time he does something even slightly good, you write it down and put it in the box. as often as you want, say every night at first, you sit down with the family and take out each paper, reading to the whole family what every person was caught doing good. make a big deal of it. give him some crazy reactions.
some days are just horrible days that you should vent about so the rest of us mothers can feel like we aren't alone. and somedays you should have a perfect, i-want-this-family-forever day. he is a great kid and he will be just wonderful with you raising him.
of course, this is just advice from afar and i won't be offended in the least if it isn't right for your situation. only you know what is best for your family.
sending lots of prayers that both of you last through his childhood! i'm sure you wouldn't want to miss out on those wonderful teenage years!;)