A Wave, A Cask, A Bubble of Insanity

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As I prepare to move in a few weeks and attempt to parent and be a wife on top of that, I’m going to be rerunning a few older posts and cutting back to three posts a week (likely one old, one new, one new recipe). Here’s one I wrote in September during an especially trying time.

Walmart's "Action Alley" Display Signs Feature Value and Convenience on Popular Shopping Items

I remember turning into the aisle at Wal-Mart just to recall that I had forgotten the diaper bag.

It was the first time I had ever left the house alone with my tiny baby girl. I quickly found that a carseat takes up most of the space in a shopping cart.

My heart pounded just trying to get the fragile girl into the carseat, outfitted properly, in and out of the car. Would her feet be cold? Would she catch germs at Wal-Mart? Each inch of her precious body, so newly out of mine. I trembled from fear and the new bite of November.

It’s a flash in my mind: that moment when I realized I had everything — my purse, the baby, a shopping list — except that vital brown-and-pink bag with her toilette.

I’ve never scurried through a store quite so quickly, praying that nothing would be expelled from a tiny bottom.

Nothing did, and I was safe. But it didn’t take long to ride the wave of insecurity about my capability as a parent.

_________

She screams and fights and stomps one foot outside the door when I say, “… if you come out of that room.” The child who is praised as polite and sweet as sugar is nothing like the one I face alone in our home.

I hate tantrums.

I look inside, trying to squeeze out the place in my heart that is to blame for all of this. Why oh why? What did I do to make her like this, so vehemently anti-sleep? What could we change?

And why doesn’t anyone else ever talk about their kids doing this?

I feel isolated, alone, in a bubble filled with fake cries, screaming, requests for more water more food more bunnies more blankets.

And heaven help us all if we forget to put on her socks.

I wonder if someday this will all make sense. If I’ll ever be able to stand on my own parenting feet without feeling the need to beg advice from anyone who will listen. Does it improve as they age, little casks of spirit ripening to the perfect vintage dose of confidence?

I hope so.

 

6 thoughts on “A Wave, A Cask, A Bubble of Insanity

  1. Oh Jess. I talk about this all the time and trust me, you are not alone. Blaze can throw the worst tantrums I have ever seen. Insane I tell you. I swear we parent and discipline and praise and nothing matters. He is so smart and strong-willed and just to let you know something else. I have always wanted to homeschool. Always. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would. BUT, Blaze will be attending kindergarten next year at public school. There is no way I can teach him. We are too much alike and we butt heads way to much. It would be too much stress and not enough learning. So, don't think everything is roses with all people because I can assure you it isn't.

  2. You are so not alone. I, like Shana, wanted to homeschool. My son is in the public pre-school. For his and my sanity. He is very strong willed and I keep telling myself that is a good thing. It will serve him well later in life when all his friends are doing stupid stuff but he will have the strong will to stand up to them.
    Bedtime, oh my. I remember a friend coming to visit with her little boy when he was 4. She got him ready for bed and said prayers and we went into the living room to talk. He exhausted every excuse in the book. I have to potty, I need a drink of water, I need a cracker, I didn't get a hug from Aunt Kara, I mean EVERY excuse. The last time we went in that night, when she asked him "What now?" He had to think a moment then came up with, "MY feet are dirty, I need to wash them." Thankfully, this was not my child and I could run out and fall onto the couch in a fit of laughter. My friend on the other hand, had to deal with her son.
    My mother-in-law calls this the first adolescence. Their little bodies are going through just as much hormonal and physical changes as a teenager does. JOY! They are learning that they are a separate entity from Mommy.
    Hang in there, this too, shall pass.

  3. "She screams and fights and stomps one foot outside the door when I say, "… if you come out of that room." The child who is praised as polite and sweet as sugar is nothing like the one I face alone in our home."

    Oh my word, I could have written that sentence! Just yesterday, my almost-5yo threw a full-fledged tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart. We ended up stalled in lingerie (the least-populated area of the store) with the 2yo waiting in the cart, her screaming, and me telling her, "No matter what you do – NO MATTER WHAT – I am NOT going to buy you that thing."

    I DO homeschool my little firecracker, but school usually goes pretty well. The only suggestion I can give you for dealing with the tantrums is to take a deep breath, say a prayer, and remember – foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. You could be a perfect parent – a PERFECT parent – and your children will still misbehave, because they are children. Training isn't easy, especially with spirited children (especially when they are dramatic little girls), but consistency, prayer, and patience will work eventually.

    That's what I'm counting on, anyway.

  4. Jessie, the other night I started crying because I was just So Sad that my child is such a brat. She's not, really – at least, not all the time. But in that moment, where she was acting contrary to anything she's ever seen or been taught? When she was being just plain ugly? It broke my heart. Other times it makes me so mad I understand the phrase "seeing red." I don't know if that's any consolation. But know this: you are NOT alone. Not at all.

  5. And I am a forthysomething mom whose 2 oldest children have moved to the total other side of the US to be on staff at a ministry. Am I grateful? OH YES. But I want to ask advice from all of the moms I see who have traversed this vast wilderness to ask "How do I survive this?" They have been gone 3 years, and 2 years, and I miss them EVERY SINGLE DAY. Some days I go all day and am so busy with work, the house, and the other 2 still at home that it barely crosses my mind. Other days I don't know how it's possible to miss doing life with them so much and continue to be filled with any joy. You will survive. I will too.

  6. Please don’t feel alone. My 3-year-old’s screaming fits drive me up the wall. A few months ago we were on our way to meet my hubby for dinner after I picked the little guy up at school, and he pitched a huge crying fit in the car. I was 6 months pregnant, and after he had screamed for a half hour solid, I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I started crying too. That was what finally stopped him. “Why are you crying, Mommy?” “Because you won’t stop crying, Jevan.” Poor kid couldn’t understand that sometimes mommies cry too, and that’s okay. He’s largely gotten over the worst of the fits, but he still pitches some doozies every now and then. This, too, shall pass, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

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