I had a really rough day with Jack.
Well. I've just been sitting here staring at that sentence, wondering where to go with it. OH THE PLACES WE COULD GO. But I just feel spent. And sort of like this topic has been driven into the dirt, and everyone has given me their two cents and while I appreciate it, there is no two cents specifically catered to the combination that is my cheerfully disobedient kid and my set of parenting flaws and I just end up feeling even MORE like everyone else knows better than me. That everyone else has it figured out. That anyone else would have this kid straightened out in a snap and when they look at me they're just biting their tongues and rolling their eyes.
Which is to say that I'm tremendously insecure (NEWSFLASH!) On the other hand, I really do think, I mean, I REALLY REALLY DO THINK that I am doing my best. I even think I've improved. I'm WAY more consistent, from which battles I pick to how I respond. And it's been a long time since Phillip and I argued over our drastically different 'styles', because we talked it to death and found solutions we could both live with. That's been huge.
But I am still routinely and cheerfully ignored by a preschooler, which I find infuriating, embarrassing, baffling and beyond frustrating. Cleaning up is one of our biggest power struggles. This morning we visited friends and when I asked him to help clean up the bedroom - we were in the living room and I was changing Molly's diaper on the floor - he flat out refused, danced around the room, whimpered, whined, ran away from me. And then, when I threatened him with his life or no computer at quiet time (I can't remember which) he walked verrrrrrry sloooooowly to the bedroom and then I'm 99.9% sure he didn't help once he arrived. He probably just stood there looking obstinate and superior, calculating the mortification he was causing his mother with every not-helping second.
Stuff like that - I don't know what to do.
Or what about when I tell him to do (or not to do) something, so he goes and asks my mom or my friend or my sister instead. Within earshot of me. When they've already heard me tell him yes or no. I just want to die.
I had a handful of depressing-ish topics for tonight - I can't believe I went with this one. Again. You are probably all tapping out a GROW A SPINE comment with your left hand and unsubscribing with your right.
You know what else annoyed me today? My in-laws came over in the afternoon so I decided to get my run in then instead of waiting till the kids were in bed. But I couldn't eject last night's Foyle's War DVD from my laptop. My computer just wouldn't spit it out. I got tired of that, so I decided to just watch Parenthood on Hulu. But then 1) my computer crashed, I think from all the DVD annoyance and then 2) on the second try the screen blacked out after the first commercial. But I was still determined to get my run in. So I tried again. And then I had to watch yet another episode of Parenthood where I hate all the characters except Amber WHY DO I KEEP WATCHING THAT SHOW. SHUT UP, KRISTINA!
We went to dinner at a Chain Restaurant where the burgers are as big as your face and Jack eats half a French fry and FIL frets over Jack's starvation diet and MIL micromanages every bite. Except tonight Jack ate the carrot sticks they give the little kids as an appetizer. HE ATE A CARROT. And then he shoveled in his macaroni at a speed heretofore unthinkable, and MIL was so amused by my astonishment she took a picture.
And when we got home we put on our pajamas, treated ourselves to some iced animal cookies and played a couple rounds of giant toddler dominoes. All three of us, on the floor in the living room, counting and matching and then driving Matchbox cars along our domino train. I asked Jack to clean up the dominoes, just once, and he said, "Okay Mommy."
Bedtime was a cinch.
Jack was out within seconds. Molly? She's still talking to herself in bed, and every so often hollering for me to come and, in no particular order: find Halloween book, want covers, want passo, want moozik, want Fassy Nassy books, not this covers want pink covers, fix blankie Mommy, want kiss and hug. Tomorrow night I'll have to lace her animal cookies with Benadryl.