Every day, every night I worry. Am I messing this up? Am I completely failing?
This parenting shit is hard.
We’ve moved beyond the parts with Kendall that are hard because he’s not sleeping or not potty trained. We’re well out of toddlerhood and can understand 99.9% of his requests. He can tell us exactly how he feels, exactly what’s wrong.
I’m here to tell you, the next round of challenges aren’t any easier than the exhaustion and the pain of trying to decipher a toddler’s screams. Now I have the added stress of knowing that he’ll likely have memories from this time in his life, that one of the earliest memories he may have of me is my inability to keep my cool when he’s pressing my buttons.
And that, honestly, makes me cry.
It’s a battle every. single. minute. of every day. He is negotiating and contesting every request around the clock. I hate that I’m not strong enough to be the bigger person, to NEVER engage in an argument with a four year old.
I’ve tried letting him win battles… he wants to win ALL of them.
I’ve tried letting him make decisions… he’s not happy with us making ANY.
I’ve tried only positively reinforcing him… he still does the bad stuff and seems to relish in getting away with it.
I’ve tried rewarding him… he wants more.
I’ve tried taking away and timeouts… he’s not fazed.
Man oh man, this little guy is wickedly smart. The wheels in his head are always turning. He can see how to turn any situation to his favor. He is going to be an amazingly successful business man/lawyer/hostage negotiator when he grows up.
If we can get him there. If we can channel all this willfulness to the right side of the path of life. If I don’t royally screw everything up and turn him into a rebel without a cause.
If he can forgive me for the memories of my frustration… or maybe just understand them someday.