Bringing Out the Worst

The thing I struggle with the most about parenting is that my child can really bring out the worst in me, and I can’t stand the ugliness that she somehow finds a way to draw up from deep inside. I’ve never been much of an angry person, or had much of a temper, but when Skyler gets on one of her uncontrollable rampages, sometimes I lose control and become this hateful person, a person that scares her and myself.

Today has been one of those rough ones, where she has tested every limit of my sanity. She has been a downright brat, making me wonder what we’ve been doing wrong. Her old daycare that we left as recently as January, used to tell me she was one of the most well-mannered and well-adjusted children she’d ever watched. She wasn’t perfect and had her moments, but she said she was so much better and sweeter than so many children that had gone through her care. I was proud, and thankful that maybe some of the discipline and usually calm parenting that we’d done had maybe sunk in.

But I wonder where that little girl has gone? The older she gets the more volatile she gets, and the harder it is for me to maintain my own temper, because I know she should know better. For instance today we were driving home from the grocery store, and her unkempt hair was tickling her face to the point of irritation. She kept trying to brush it away and tuck behind her ears but it wouldn’t stay. She ended up thrashing about in the backseat, seizure-like in her tantrum. I had finally had enough of her unrest, so I yelled at the top of my lungs for her to shut up and sit quietly, and that we’d put her hair in a ponytail when we got home, and there was nothing Mommy could do about it right now while we were driving. She had been holding a plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin bucket in her lap, and after my rant, she responded by chucking it across the car and at my head. WHO IS THIS DEVIL CHILD?!?!

She picks the dumbest things to get upset over, things that should have zero bearings on anyone’s happiness, like if the books in her bookshelf won’t stand straight up but instead lean to the side, like books do. She throws a fit.If I don’t let her look at her chocolate milk before I put the lid on the sippy cup to shake it up, she throws a fit. It’s almost like she has these obsessive compulsive tendencies, and I really don’t have the patience for that kind of thing.

Tonight she battled with both Ronnie and me before bed, and the night ended with blood curdling screams, turning into her dramatically forced gagging coughs that she does for attention when she gets upset, because she thinks we’ll feel sorry for her if she vomits at the end of a tantrum. I hate seeing her like that, but I don’t know how else to respond. I go from matter-of-fact, to angry, and I lose all sympathy for her. If she did make herself so upset that she ended up vomiting, I’d think “good for you. You deserve it, drama queen.”

I can’t stand the person I become when I let her push me over the edge. Becoming a parent has definitely deepened all the emotions I’ve ever had, both good and bad, but I could really do without the bad emotions. It makes me really question if I am cut out for this. I guess I don’t really have a choice, but I sure wish this was just a phase and I never had to feel that anger toward my child again. I just want to see her smile.

2 responses to “Bringing Out the Worst”

  1. This tantrum thing is more than likely Skyler’s frustration over her lack of vocabulary, Lori. Help her learn more words and ways of expressing herself with words, then she won’t have to demonstrate her feelings so dramatically. My Daddy (your Grandpa Kelley) always said that people who cuss are foolishly demonstrating their lack of mastery of the English language. He worked at helping us learn how to express our feelings with words and would not accept any angry outbursts for any reason. I soon learned that I had no choice but to figure out a way to put my frustration/anger into words or keep it to myself. I would encourage you to watch for situations as they are brewing where you see Skyler getting frustrated and help her put it into words…then maybe the tantrum will never start.

  2. I completely sympathize with this!! There have been many instances (and regrettably I’m sure more to come) where I have lost my temper with Aubrey and of course I instantly regret it and wonder where that wrath bubbled up from. My theory is our children share so many fundamental traits with us that they inherently know how to hit those vital buttons that release the flood gates. I have had to leave the room on more than one occasion to let myself cool off but when you’re trapped in a car it’s definitely a test of will power. Keep breathing, you’re a wonderful mom. Just the fact that you recognize those moments shows that you aren’t failing and you’ll both make it through this phase alive. 🙂

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