Oh dear. It couldn’t last. The relatively blissful period we had where both children and I were largely happy had to end sooner or later. We are going through one of those ‘challenging’ stages.
Ciaran – previously a very independant little baby has become clingy, wanting to be held a lot and is a nightmare to settle at night. He goes down for his day time naps really well – maybe a few minutes of shouting but then he is asleep, bedtime is another matter. He can stay awake and cry indefinately. I’ve tried making his routine really soothing (although he is just given a bottle of milk and dumped in the cot in the daytime), I’ve tried making the routine more simple in case it was winding him up, I’ve tried putting him to bed later and nothing seems to make a different.
DH put him to bed tonight, while he cooked his spag bol I kept running upstairs to settle Ciaran (at 15 – 20 minute intervals), holding him, stroking his head and calming my raging tot down. As soon as I left the little whimpers would start and gradually build up. Eventually (after leaving Ben to drift off to sleep chatting to his doggy and bunny) I put Ciaran’s teddy in the cot. The angry screams turned to happy coo’s and giggles so I decided he could play himself to sleep (and eventually he did).
My boys don’t do nappy rash as a rule. A while ago when Ciaran was on antibiotics he had a little nappy rash but nothing serious. A couple of days ago some started up again on his bottom. I smoothed on the very expensive nice smelling lotion I had been sent to sample – no effect so I smoothed on more and more until yesterday when the skin all over his bottom was bright red and actually bleeding in places the penny dropped – posh nappy cream is not only not helping, it is making it worst.
A couple of extra baths, nappy free time to wee on the carpet (it’s fun explaining to Ben why Ciaran can do it but he (Ben) shouldn’t) and good old fashioned sudocream have sorted things out, only a couple of sore patches are left and he no longer screams in pain when I clean his poor little bottom.
Now onto my big boy. Ben. He is also my big headache. How one child can in the space of minutes make me so unbelievably happy (Mummy, me love you soooo much) and then make feel so exasperated, useless and low is beyond me. He is argumentative (Good boy, lets throw the wee away and wash your hands / No me play toys / No, you need to wash your hands / Go away Mummy / Ben come and wash your hands now, then you can play / No me play / Come on Ben, wash your hands etc..). He is tempermental, when he doesn’t get what he wants or is told off he will throw himself onto the floor and cry uncontrollably and he is incredibly demanding, wanting me to fix the slide to his pirate island while I feed Ciaran, demanding I go back upstairs to bring back the building bricks we put away before getting out the pirate. Prehaps most annoyingly of all, just before Christmas he has become a bad eater.
Recently family dinners at my parent’s have been a treat. He sits and eats everything in front of him, veggies first and everything is tackled with great relish. Now everything is yukky. He will still eat fruit and plain veg so I should be counting my lucky stars (it could be worst; crisps, white bread and tizer etc…) but my little brilliant eater has decided to have a difficult phase right before Christmas.
I know that eating, and behaviour in children tends to come and go in bursts and that I just need to weather the storm, not react too much (but at the same time prevent bad behaviour becoming ingrained) but as a new SAHM I am now feeling the full burden of his behaviour, nobody else has to spend a day with him trying to make him behave like a good boy and if he turns out to be horrid – it’s all my fault.
I love my children so very much but I am finding them incredibly hard going at the momment. I dread each day starting, wait with baited breath for DH to come home and then feel angry at him that I’ve spent a day being screamed at while he went out to work. He keeps saying that if I think I would be happier not being at home with the kids all day I can go back to work, but I doubt I’d find a job paying the same type of salary I used to get and that would make it hard to afford good quality childcare.
Fingers crossed that I can weather this storm and that it doesn’t last too much longer (please – I’ve already turned to chocolate gateux and I don’t think my waistline can take anymore of this).