Friday, March 28, 2008

Poopy, rude day.

I've been sick all week, and finally feeling on the upswing today. But my 2 boys made it a poopy (Charlie) and rude (Roman) day. We're still trying to settle on an agreeable formula with Charlie; we had switched to GoodStart, which everyone in Internet-world seems to think is the best thing ever for fussy or gassy babies. Charlie's farts smelled so bad, I'm not kidding - it was like rotten poop. Seriously. So we switched back to Enfamil, and now are trying Enfamil "Gentlease" formula. The gas is under control, but the poop... not so much. Charlie has pooped 4 times today. The fourth and best, in my opinion, was his first "blast out of the diaper." Up his back, onto his onesie. It was a minor blowout, based on what I know is coming from my experiences with Roman, but it was still unexpected. Luckily Charlie already needed a bath tonight.

Roman, we confirmed tonight, has exactly the same temper as his Mama. This isn't bad; I like fighting with someone just like me. I know what to expect. But the boy can match me in yelling tones (both decibel & hoarseness), and he's young enough to throw RUDE into the mixture. But just like me, after a good scream or a couple hurtful words, he's done and calmed right down. I was (and still am) this way if pushed too far. I don't argue with Roman that way, but I still *ahem* end up yelling at him sometimes.

We had a dandy fight tonight, after he punched me in the rear, and then later when he didn't get his way he threw his stuffed animal at me. Oh yes, people, sweet Roman is NOT very sweet. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Doug and I downright dislike him more this week than like him. After he threw his animal at me, I picked him up by the waist, marched him back to his room, threw him onto his bed, and began undressing him to put jammies on. He cried "I can do it! I am sorry!" and I came back yelling with "No you're not, or you'd not be so rude to me!" He then screamed at me, "YES I AM!" and then just screamed. I walked out of his room, giving his door a slam for good measure (I have always been a door slammer, too). He was quiet, I calmed down, and a few minutes later I asked if I could come back in. "Sure!" said a sweet voice. I came in and we started talking about jammies and the weekend like nothing had ever happened. Wow. He TOTALLY fights like me. He agreed, too - he said after he had yelled at me and I left, he felt fine. Yup. Exactly.

Roman also succeeded in getting a Lego piece (an arm from a droid) stuck up his nose this evening, which also led all 3 of us into a fight. Stupid to fight, right? Roman falls apart at the littlest things when he is tired. I told him I needed to get it out, and went for the tweezers. The same tweezers that, a few nights ago, pinched his skin when I had to get a splinter out. Roman screamed (notice a lot of screaming?) and ran into our room trying to hide; was carrying on and yelling at Doug when it fell out from his distress. Doug was yelling at him to calm down so we could get it out, I was yelling at him trying to get him to not attempt to get it out himself, and Roman was screaming at both of us to leave him alone.

I have often reflected upon my own temper tantrums as a child; how did my parents ever get through day after day with me? I thought it was a notable day when I did NOT have a temper tantrum. I'm beginning to feel that way about Roman. If we could have a day where he did not fall apart or scream at us for some reason (generally, not getting his way) it would be a noteworthy day. We are aware that these are the years where he tests and tests and tests, and we have to remain strong and consistent. But oh, man, if I knew it would work, what I wouldn't give for a wooden spoon to be smacked across his butt. We have tried spanking (gasp!), but he just laughs and says it didn't hurt. We have taken away electronics (tv, games, etc) but that also doesn't seem to bother him. The most horrible thing we've done so far (in his opinion) is make him take a shower when he didn't do as we asked in the bath. You'd have thought we had ordered his death.

That's the thing, too - the consequences that actually work involve more screaming and carrying on than it's worth. I know he's trying to get us to back down on a consequence, which is why he's doing it - "can I irritate them enough where they back off?" Partly, too, is Roman feeling that I don't spend enough time with him. The other day when he received 15 minutes in time-out because of being obnoxious at nap at school (he was removed to another room because he wouldn't stop talking, so he owed that "talking time" in quiet at home), he asked if he could sit in a chair in the kitchen instead of on his bed, because that's where I was.

I surely hope that his being home with me a couple days a week, and then 3 days after April, will help some of this. I also hear rumors that his not-nice buddy is starting at a different preschool next week, which would be wonderful. It's a catch-22, really; to solve this behavior I think he probably needs to be home every day for retraining purposes... on the other hand, I don't want him at home with me every day with this kind of behavior! We'll see how the next month goes. Because we both miss our fun-to-be-with boy.

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