Sunday, December 5, 2010

I May Not Survive

Really, I am not being over dramatic, I don't know if I will survive raising my middle child.  My last post was about this boy and I hate to write two in a row, oh my goodness, this boy is something else.

I read a book once that said to list all of your child's traits and then turn them into positive words.  For example, stubborn would be determined, hyperactive would be athletic, cry baby would be emotionally sensitive. Today I was trying to think of what would be the positive to 'sneaky'.  Honestly, I couldn't come up with one.

Since Micah learned to climb out of his crib he has been a challenge to keep in his room. I know that I should have bought a crib-tent and been done with it, but I read a story of a toddler who strangled themselves in the tent trying to climb out. Figured that would happen to Micah.  So, instead, we put Micah in a toddler bed, even though he was 2 years old and we had a newborn baby in the house.  For the next 4 months I fought with Micah every nap and bedtime.  He would sneak out of his room, creep downstairs and secretly watch TV, he found my lotion in the bedroom and gave himself a facial, he found the toilet to be quite entertaining.  We would 'joke' that with such a creaky, squeaky floor, Micah was like a stealth ninja. You never heard him leave his room or come down the stairs. All of a sudden you would turn around and there would be a blond head at your elbow.

Now, you may be thinking, where were your parenting skills? Natural consequences? Time-outs? Spanking?  Did you not realize you were the adult and he is a 2 year old child? Um, yes I did, and I will totally admit he kicked my butt. It didn't matter what the consequence was or what parenting strategy we tried, Micah still escaped his room.

Finally, a wise woman suggested a gate outside his door, a way to contain him but not going so far as to put a lock on his door. Considering I was paying her $125/hr. I felt this was advice worth taking.  The gate was a lifesaver. Kept Micah in his room and I could breath easy during naptime when I was juggling all 3 kids, and also know that once I put him in his room at bedtime I was off the clock.

Recently we took the gate off the door. He is 3 1/2 now, potty trained and so much more responsible. I should have seen the warning signs, but I still believed in the good of my child.  Earlier this week Micah snuck out and took a whole box of Qtips into his room. When I went to get him at 3:00, it was like a Qtip explosion happened in his room. Qtips were everywhere, in his bed, on the floor, on the dresser, in Jack's bed. Some were whole, some were broken, and some were wet from being chewed on.  Serious consequences ensued, plus lots of crying. I felt like we were finally getting somewhere with this one.

Until today.  I was busy making dinner, cleaning up, talking to Jack. I had to get the boys up early and into the car at 2:00, so no sleeping for me!  It was so quite upstairs that I assumed Micah was asleep. Imagine my surprise when I went to get Micah up and found him hiding under his blanket. Micah, I said, what are you doing? No answer. That normally means trouble. I take off the blanket and find him in the fetal position hiding something under him. What now? I thought.


Seriously. Micah snuck of the room, went into the bathroom, on top of the dresser, to the little bowl in the back and found a box of matches I had mistakenly left there.  Matches were all over the bed. It was all I could do to not start yelling.  SAFETY ISSUE! I told him. He did not seem to care.  I called his dad, who said, "I think he needs to be spanked". I looked at Micah just grinning, not caring that he had just been playing in his bed amongst flammable blankets with a box of matches.  I did not feel spanking was going to be a good option right then because I was pretty upset.

Fast forward an hour.  We have established the consequences removed certain items from Micah's bedroom, and informed him he was going to bed right after dinner.

I swear to god this is what he said to me:
"Am I going to have playtime?" "NO"
"I don't like playtime"
"Am I going to have snack?" "NO"
"I don't like snack"
"Am I going to have a show?" "NO, no show, no snack, no playtime with daddy, no stories, no snuggles. You are in TROUBLE"
"Good, I don't like stories or playtime or snack or snuggles"

"Fine", I say. Then in a moment of awesome parenting I say: "Jack do you want to watch a movie tonight and eat popcorn?"  Of course he does! Can Micah?  NO

Micah: "I don't like movies and I'm not hungry for popcorn I ate enough at lunch. I just want to go to my room and go to bed. I like being in my room alone."

This one is going to be the death of me. I swear.


Michelle said...

Ah, that last bit reminds me of David! If his bedtime was moved up by 30 minutes he kept screaming that he liked to go to bed early....He grew out of it. Not his stubbornness, that's still stronger than ever, but him loudly proclaiming it has died down!

Alisha said...


Can I just say: "Ahhhhh" I'm so sorry! It's awful when you don't know what to do about a behavior.