There are people out there that are okay with change, and others that feel their whole life thrown upside down because of change.
Monster is the second kind. He does not adapt well to change. It’s like walking into a hurricane of crying, screaming and tantrums.
So of course for almost three years, he was used to being the only child. Getting all the attention and his needs met on time.
Then we brought Gremlin home. And poor Monster’s world turned upside down..
¤ He went on a hunger strike for almost a week. At some point, I gave him anything to eat, just so that he would eat. even if it meant noodles some nights and french fries the next.
¤ Bath Time was like World War Three. From the moment I mentioned bathing to the moment he was dressed for bed, there was screaming and crying. Every night for about two weeks. Then he also went through a stage where he didn’t want to be naked, that made things a lot more difficult.
¤ He completely stopped interacting with us and kept to himself. These were the moments when you reached out to him for something. He wouldn’t look at you, he wouldn’t listen or respond. Nothing. However, when he did want something and didn’t receive it or have his needs met within a certain period of time – your hell had arrived. He would start tugging at you and crying and screaming. If he didn’t achieve anything there, he fell to the floor and just kicked the air and screamed.
It was a disaster. And it became too much. I spend most of the evenings alone with Byren at the Rugby so I was just thrown into the deep end. There were some evenings where both boys needed attention at the same time, both crying. I was stuck between getting Monster his second helping of dinner and halfway through changing Gremlin’s nappie.
Man, I cried the first week. I cried a lot. I just thought to myself, how on earth was I going to get through this on my own every evening?
I know I was supposed to be the one in charge, running the show, but it wasn’t that easy.
Add another change to the equation, two new teachers started at Monster’s school so there was changed from both places he knew stability from.
He was back to throwing tantrums at school and not listening. His teacher did assure me it could be because there was a new baby in our home and he just needed to adjust. It was normal.
I, on the other hand, didn’t see it that way. I was tired. I was hardly getting any sleep with Gremlin constantly waking up. I dreaded Monster coming home from school. I dreaded dealing with the tantrums and the screaming.. At some point, Monster was irritating me. So much that I couldn’t wait for him to leave to go to school. Then he wouldn’t be in my way the whole time. I know that sounds terrible and makes me a horrible mother. But don’t forget. I’m human. I have breaking points. Every time I felt irritated by Monster, I cried from the guilt of feeling like that. It was an emotional roller coaster. It wasn’t easy for Byren to understand so I couldn’t talk to him about it either.
I felt like I was alone. I felt angry at Monster for making my life so much more complicated. I mean, I thought why couldn’t he just accept the fact that things are different now and move on.
A month later, I understand how irrational I had been. How unfair. How could I ask and expect Monster to think like an adult would? He is almost three years old. Of course, he doesn’t have the emotional capacity to handle the situation like an adult.
I was angry at myself for not having the patience to deal with him accordingly. I was angry at myself for snapping at him countless times because his meltdowns had become too much. I was angry at myself for setting a high standard and not being realistic towards him.
At some point, I felt that I didn’t deserve to be a mother for how I had felt towards my own child.
Two weeks later and things have drastically improved. Monster is back to eating well, sleep if better and hardly any tantrums. If there are tantrums, it’s because I put off the Despicable Me DVD after watching it for the 200th time.
Monster acts very cutely around Gremlin. He’ll randomly give him hugs and kisses. He wants to hold him every now and then, which only happens under our supervision. He loves helping around when I ask him to bring me something or take another away. It’s like he feels more independent.
Funny, by asking him to do things, keeps him out of trouble.. Hmm, strategy..