My little princess can change from a sweet loving angel to the meanest, sassiest brat in a mere millisecond. It's quite unbelievable. I'm trying to figure out when and why it started but I think I've pinned it down to when I was on bedrest when she was 3 1/2. For a good two months Seena spent many days just laying around watching TV and trying to entertain herself while I sat on the couch with laptop and phone attached to my body at all times. This was also the beginning of our family’s "dark time" and so with the mix of prego hormones and the stress of the restaurant, I was a terrible mess. It was dreadful and I can understand her acting out as a result of it. But the problem is, she never grew out of it. Even after AJ was born and she turned 4, I thought for sure it would be different but no, the attitude and sassiness just got worse...and probably, now that I think of it, because of me. My stress level with dealing with the restaurant, raising an infant, working full time and dealing with a teen, literally put me over the edge. I was constantly in a sour mood, angry all of the time and barking orders at everyone. It was a very ugly side of me and unfortunately Seena saw it and may have acquired it. I have since seen the wrong of my ways and have been doing my best to keep improving. I even tried taking "chill pills" but that lasted for 2-3 days. I just couldn't do it. I think I've come out of my funk slowly but successfully on my own. At the end of 2008 I looked back and realized how fast the year had gone by and I couldn't recall anything significant about it - other than AJ being born. We didn't go anywhere, we didn't visit with friends....nothing. So, I made a vow to not let that happen again. Maybe the boringness of our lives was getting to her....I know it would be for me. So, I changed it up. We're busy now with stuff. Nothing significant but just that we’re constantly moving. And it's helping on some levels but goodness sake, her attitude is beyond anything I would have imagined. Just the other day, I went in to wake her up. I very cheerily said, "Good morning sweetie, time to get up, we have to go to school early today." What I got in return was: "No, I'm tired. Go away. I want to be alone." Now, perhaps I should know better because my girls have acquired daddy genes as oppose to mommy genes, and daddy is a monster in the morning. Plus, this was not the normal routine; normally Seena wakes up on her own. But either way, it was not very nice and quite frankly, that's how she talks to me a lot. Something is always my fault, she yells at me, screams at me, deliberately does the opposite of what I've asked her to do and talks back to me as if she was a teenager. It can be very frustrating.
I've tried to see if it's a jealous thing but she loves her brother. She loves helping him and taking care of him. And I think I do a pretty good job of dividing up my time and attention. She has told me on or two occasions that I do "everything" for AJ and that I'm always with AJ. But both times have been during one of her meltdowns over something that was not possible for the time being so I took it with a grain of salt.
I'm trying to see if it's something I'm doing to trigger it and, yes, I can say that I've probably on a few small occasions been at fault. It's usually over something that I want to go my way but my stubborn sassypants wants her way. Naturally a fight starts. And at that point, I can't back down because I struggle with the "pick your battles" mentality or "if I let her get away with whining and yelling at me this time over this thing she'll keep doing it" mentality. Which is right? G gets on my case about arguing with her and he's right but that's easier said than done. Oh, and if I'm going to be accepting blame on some level, I should confess that I do cut her off quite a bit. I know for a fact that gets her super angry. But she repeats herself and tries to continue the whining request or the explanation over and over again. It's gotten to the point she yells at me to let her finish or to let her talk. I, again, seeing the wrong of my ways by this particular behavior, am making efforts to improve and I explain to her that I will let her talk IF she talks about something else. That never happens and immediately the falling to the ground squirming tantrum begins. Is this still normal for a 5 year old? And apparently family, grandparents and all, are the only ones privileged to witness the sassiness. Seena’s not like this at school.
I don't know. Everyday is a struggle with the attitude but when it's not there, Seena is wonderful. Beyond wonderful. She's thoughtful, caring, imaginative and loving. She gets raving reports from her teachers. So, why me, why just us? Is this just another growing pain parents have to go through?
A dear blogger friend posted about the ugly side of being a mom and it’s so true. I hate the thoughts that go racing through my mind when we’re in the middle of a fight and I hate the words that come out of my mouth when we’re fighting. It’s ugly and I hate it.
But most of all, I hate that I may be the one that caused it all.
I want to fix this, I have to fix this….I just wish I knew how.
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