Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy...

What do you do when you have a child who is a total pansy?? I'm just not sure. I'm actually not even sure that's the only issue. But as I watch other well-adjusted kids play, smile, be nice to others, get excited for fun activities - well, it makes me think my child doesn't really fit in that well-adjusted category. :)

Anyone who knows Cash will say he's the sweetest little boy. He is. Around others. Because he doesn't say a word, doesn't cause a lick of trouble, and won't terrorize your house or your children. He's too shy to do otherwise. But. When he's at home, he's the most stubborn little kid I have ever met, and he cries about everything. He cries taking his pajamas off. He cries when we have to put them on. He cries when it's lunchtime. He cries when we have to go anywhere. Even if I say we're going somewhere fun. "I. DON'T. WANT. TO. GO. TO. THE. PARK. MOM. MEEEEE." Exactly like that. Every word exaggerated into it's own sentence with a slightly growling yell. My favorite is actually anytime the babies come near him or look like they might take his toys: "YOU. DON'T. WANT. IT. BAY. BEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" And the growling is even more ferocious.

For one thing, I think he just really hates changing from any activity to another. I give him notice - 5 minutes until... 2 more minutes then we have to.... Doesn't seem to matter. "No. NO. NOOOOO!!!!" Wearing the wrong clothes is cause for complete meltdown. Singing the wrong song produces screaming. Leaving the house is a mess. He sobs and sobs when he's been put to bed and when I come in, he stops and very daintily says, "I need a tissue." And you should see bathtime. Oh bathtime. He refuses to sit down, so after we drag him in kicking and screaming, he just stands in the tub next to twins and shrieks the entire time. So since he won't cooperate, we just have to dump buckets of water over him, which of course enflames him even more. Which causes more chaos and gets the twins agitated too. And then we pull him out still kicking and screaming. Could it be any more unpleasant? I guess all three could be like that in the bath, huh? But the thing is, actually, we can't get the twins to sit in the tub either, so we have three standing kids in the tub most of the time, or we have Cash shrieking while we keep trying to get the twins to sit down. Last time we even got a huge chin bruise on Ashton from the refusing to sit down and slipping in the tub while Phoenix was slipping the other direction at the same time. All to the tune of the wailing older brother. What a disaster.

So now we started swimming lessons for two weeks while we're here at my mom's house. I knew exactly how it would be, so I sent my mom to take him down the first time thinking he would be less clingy with her. I knew it was a bad sign when I get there at the end and see my mom and nephew sitting in there by the swimmers - parents aren't allowed to watch. Then as he's getting out I hear them telling him, "No crying tomorrow Cash, ok? No crying." Apparently he screamed. And screamed. And screamed. Until they finally asked grandma to come back. And the teacher had to hold the crying kid forever.

Unfortunately, today - day two was just the same. One of the nice boys in his class even tried to talk to him before class. He and his mom were trying to be so friendly and talk to Cash who refused to talk back. (And most of you have seen the stare-down and the sideways glances he can give.) The nice little boy even said, "I'm Lucas." At which point Cash just sat back and closed his eyes. What? Playing dead? I'm asleep I can't hear you? Who does that? See what I mean about not fitting in to that well-adjusted category?!

Anyway, I really don't feel like we baby him. He does plenty of crying when we just try to ignore him and goes and spends time in time-out. It also worries me because he's going to have athletic, outgoing, normal brothers to overshadow him! I'm definitely up for suggestions. I just never really know what to do since he's my first. How do you raise a kid that's not a total wimp? I'm really hoping that being so strong willed is going to turn into a positive trait someday. "I. DON'T. WANT. DRUGS. STOO. PID!!" I can always hope, right?

19 comments:

Cafe Johnsonia said...

You, too? I hope it's just a phase. I can't imagine dealing with two babies and a 3 yr. old. You are my hero for making it through the day.

Sharon said...

Love it, he closed his eyes!!! Classic!

todd & nicole said...

Hailee went through a phase where she was really clingy and didn't like joining in with other kids. She also had a knack for melting down for the silliest things. Three was the magic age for her, she grew out of them and now for the most part is pleasant (as long as she gets her sleep).

Krista said...

oh Jenn...Hang in there. Don't worry its just a stage, he isn't wimpy just wanting some kind of attention. We went through it and I couldn't sleep at night, thinking how do we give the child positive attention when every thing is negative. We ignored, we did the time out, we bribed, we did it all. Just keep doing what you think is best. They grow out of the whiny and stubborn part. at least for a year...the fourth year has been great, three was horrible, maybe 5 will bring it all back...how are us moms suppose to know. Parenting is hard. You just keep blogging/venting, it helps all of us.

SuburbiaMom said...

Fun. Have you tried counting or having him sing the ABC song (or you) and then it's time for a change of activities? Most kids this young don't understand "2 more minutes."

Good luck, and know that you aren't alone!!!

lindsy said...

I like what your friend Krista said ... keep blogging/venting, it helps us all. I bet he grows out of it. Just keep at it, give him tons of hugs and try to compliment him and make a big deal whenever he ISN'T crying.

Anonymous said...

I for one thought I never again would be part of a 3-boy bath! Just let the child have his own bath and his own time after the twins are down. I was all for never washing him again, but know that will not work either.

You are amazing, Jen, simply to keep going at this. At least I know it is not forever. You have another 20 years of it, and during that time you also have to worry about them all three out on icy roads when they are dating.

Love, Grammy

Anonymous said...

Grammy's comments make the most sense! As for swimming, take him out of lessons.Let him play in a kiddie pool. He is not going to learn to swim in two weeks anyway. He will enjoy play at this point. He can be whom or whatever he wants! He will guide you! You are an amazing person and mom. I appreciate the honesty in your blog. Stay close to Grammy!!!

Melanie said...

Well I have always felt Cash is very bright. Sometimes bright children have different ways of handling childhood. Maybe a book on gifted kids or something in that vein might help shed some light on his inner thoughts.
Cash and H were good playmates! H doesn't love all kids either. Anyone acting "crazy" or like a normal kid gets a suspicious look and he stays far away. He prefers older kids who are more predictable. I know lots and lots of kids that meltdown at the least little thing. My nieces are prone to 20min fits of tears despite everyone ignoring them and not giving in so I too think it is a phase. A miserable phase. Stay strong!

Lima Bean said...

You have basically just described my 3-year old, Owen. He is so much the same way. I don't know what to do with him either. He is also afraid of everything--dogs, climbing on his own bunkbed ladder (therefore, he just waits every morning for us to come and get him down--how ridiculous is that), even sitting on the potty when he has to poo is an ordeal. He wants us to pull down his pants and lift him up there. Puh-lease!!

sarah hyde said...

the last line was great.. you're so clever. I've said it before, I'll say it again. cash is a genius. I would not worry about him one stitch. what's normal anyway.. you know ethan.. love him to pieces but man, that kid is moody.. he'll have the happiest day, then the next he wants to glare down everybody with his furrow eyebrows the whole day long. I think cash just like you said, doesn't love changing activities. he's happy with what's he's doing thank you very much. you'll see.. in 20 years that kid is going to be changing the world then cares about his fits he had when he was 3 years old. you're a great mom keep it up.

Angela said...

Great journal entry! These things have a way of working themselves out. You have enough to worry about right now. In 2 years you will be thinking, "why did I spend energy worrying about that?" Word on the street is that 5 is kind of a magic age, when that stuff evens out a little. We'll see....

Anonymous said...

I think Cash is gifted. Research.

Angie said...

Having several tricky boys of varying ages myself Jen, I'm going to disagree with the group and say DON'T wait it out. Read everything you can on gifted kids, difficult to transition kids, explosive kids, etc. Some books will be worthless and you will not see any of Cash in them. Other books will jump out at you and show you that other children have tricky spots like his and give you ideas and resources with which to deal, channel, help and enjoy his quirks. A good starting point is Mary Sheedy Kurchinka (or something like that)'s How to Raise Your Spirited Child (or something like that)

But above all, and throughout it all, pray, pray, pray. Heavenly Father knows Cash better than you and He can guide you to what will help (maybe a shower with a handheld showerhead that he controls), what items should be deal breakers and what you should just give up (like swim lessons) and He alone can give you the strength to survive it all.

I totally agree with your last comment. I read somewhere that children today are only as stubborn as they need to be. This idea strikes fear in my mommy heart because my children are STUBBORN. But so long as you can channel his iron will to where it's most important (mortal and eternal safety), he'll be golden. You're doing great. This mommy stuff ain't for wimps.

Gavin and Shawna said...

Certainly parts of his "Attitude" is age-related...some others perhaps just his personality/disposition. I am not the patient type nor does wait-and-see work for me. I need answers. I tend to agree about looking into find his niche and correcting/channelling his gifted nature.
ALl I can say is--- you rock! No matter how you look at it... you are amazing to do what you do with what you have.
PS--- I really need my hair done...can you please take a detour down here to San Diego?!!=))

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Angie. Don't wait it out. Follow your Mommy instinct, and if you feel it's more than a personality issue, etc. that's causing these, sometimes, roller coaster emotions, check it out.

Things just didn't seem right with our now 2 1/2 year old son, and my husband and I followed our instincts, and we had our fears confirmed that he is on the autism spectrum. But at least we know what we're dealing with, and are working to make things better for him.

I am not all saying your son is autistic, but you mentioned yourself, that he may have trouble transitioning, or sensory issues.

Absolutely do research. The hard part is not knowing what, or if anything significant is going on with our little ones.

God is in charge and will give you the strength you need to get through this challenging time.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

i agree with angie and the other anon poster. if your child doesn't seem typical to you, find answers to best channel his strengths. he seems extremely bright, but might need help with social situations, and communicating in them, even in his own family. we have a child on the autism spectrum who is extremely bright, but at age 2 and 3 he couldn't handle going *anywhere* or doing *anything* without serious meltdowns, tantrums, etc. Like the other poster, i'm not saying cash has autism, heavens, i don't even know you guys, i just love your blog because we're residents too! but, i'm just saying if as a mom something doesn't seem right to you, the earlier you find out how to help your little one manage in this crazy life, the WAY better things go down the road. i hate the "its just a phase" approach, if something seems 'different' you have to tackle it. i think you are such a great mom and as a fellow resident-wife with a bunch of kids, i totally empathize with many of your posts!

jgalke said...

I know you were not asking for a medical diagnosis. I cringed when I read some of the other posts but... My good friend just discovered that her 4 year old daughter had something called Selective Mutism or elective mutism. She wouldn't speak at preschool or in public but couldn't stop talking at home and had a few behavior issues & had a hard time separating. She went to play therapy and is functioning beautifully at school now. Just a thought. P.S. You totally helped me when I needed some help with my baby who didn't want to stand up. Thanks for the great PT advice. :)

Jennifer Isom said...

HI Jen,

Cash is perfectly normal. He just has a different personality than other kids. I've read a book called the "Highly Sensitive Child" and strongly recommend it. It explains why some kids are just more sensitive than others and how to help you understand it. As he matures he'll get better! He's only 3.