Just Don’t Make Any Sudden Movements or Loud Noises

argh! it’s been forever! not making time to write lately has been eating away at the integrity of my soul. there, you see? my writing is rusty and so i go all wordy and over-the-top prose on you. let’s start again…

…without the creative outlet of writing in my daily life, it feels like a large prehistoric bird is pecking out the very heart of me, one ancient bloody mouthful at a time. i wake with a scream on my lips…

no. no better. move on. but, for reals, i am hoping blogging will help me work out some of my stress. i’ll tell you all about it. (lucky!)

we’ve been really busy. the anna is going through a fairly clingy stage right now where she doesn’t want to be put down and the henry is going through a defiant stage that’s going to get him drop-kicked into a snowbank.

robb’s busy working and working out and we’re both trying to keep the house standing…for now. we’re in the middle of designing a remodel that will gut most of our house and start all over again.

and i’m assistant directing a play with rehearsals three nights/week. and i go back to my full time job in just a few weeks.  whew!

oh! and all this without taking my usual shortcuts of restaurant food once in a while (come on! be honest with the people! ok, fine. 3 x/week) because we’re trying to dollar and calorie count.

our new year’s resolution/lenten fast/me not getting paid while on leave/preparations for being poor as dirt because of aforementioned home renovation- has us tightly budgeting and doing tragic things like cooking all of our own food. and i’m even cleaning my own house! (we usually have a cleaning lady once/month. i justify that because it costs less than a marriage counselor and is about as effective at keeping us together).

(on the topic of marital harmony, we went to a marriage conference this weekend through our church. we’ve been reflecting on it a lot and there will be posts to follow with our observations on it.)

so…in an effort to be totally honest about my experience as a mom of young monsters, i’m going to admit that it’s been tough recently. henry fights me over everything. he’s intermittently sassy, manipulative and violent….and then sweet, polite, and gentle. and i never really know what version i’m going to get in any given situation, dr. henry or mr. monster…so it’s left me jumpy and shaky, on guard all the time, like someone suffering with PTSD.

we had a difficult trip to the zoo in the morning and then he only made it through 10 minutes of gymnastics in the afternoon before he had to be removed for being a derelict. he hit me in the face three times throughout the day when i was dragging him to time-out or away from whatever he wasn’t supposed to be doing.

and i just don’t feel like i know how to make him stop. i haven’t wanted to spank or in anyway physically punish my kids. my goal has always been to teach him to resolve conflict through conversation. to control and contain himself verbally. especially when it’s using mean hands that i’m correcting for- it’s counterintuitive to correct violent hands with violent hands.

but, man, i feel like i need a larger consequence to reach for when he’s being especially beasty-when positive reinforcements and negative reinforcements like time-outs and yelling aren’t working anymore. and he’s too young to really care about taking away TV time or a toy or whatever else.

so i popped him back gently when he slapped me the 2nd time yesterday. and i still feel bad about it. it certainly got his attention, but it was traumatic for both of us. but then he hit me again later, so obviously it didn’t scare him into treating me decently, so won’t be a tactic i employ again.

i just feel raw and wounded. today he was supposed to be in daycare and it was going to be a quiet, blissful anna day getting stuff done around here- but henry’s daycare had a snow day. i cried a little when i got up to pee this morning. crying and peeing, peeing and crying.

i hate feeling that way about my beautiful boy. i don’t want to feel like i have to get away from him for my own sanity. i think that’s just a parenting reality, but i’m hating it. the other post i’m working on right now is all about how awesome he is. because, well, because most of the time he IS awesome, but also because i just feel bad thinking anything bad about him.

but that’s crazy, right? i can both recognize my blessings AND have them make me crazy now and then, right?

thoughts? suggestions? i could use some help getting through this stage with sanity.

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