Monday, April 25, 2011

What Do We Do Now?!?

I know I have a great life, but sometimes I want to SCREAM!

The last couple of weeks with Claire have been incredibly difficult. INCREDIBLY difficult. She has the personality of a bull- she wants what she wants NOW, she wants it done HER WAY, and if there is anybody who tries to get in her way, she will FIGHT and SCREAM to get what she wants. She has started hair pulling- which really hurts. She whines and tantrums and screams ALL DAY LONG. I have gone to bed in tears at a complete loss of what to do. She even was able to get Grandpa frustrated yesterday, and that takes A LOT.

I am at a loss. I realize Ben and I are not the world's greatest parents (that goes to Kathy- the one who made the finger puppets for her Sunbeams), but I also know that we do a pretty good job. Our kids get bathed at least twice a week, and we do a lot of amazingly fun things with them.

So why the grumpy pants?!?

Seriously, if you have or have had a stubborn and defiant child (yes, mom, I realize you had one or two of those), I will take any suggestions of PRACTICAL solutions that actually worked. A reward system? Time-outs? Manual labor? Honestly, what works with a 22 month old?????

Yet again today (and yesterday) I realized that I am truly at my wits end. I decided to take the girls to get their pictures taken in their cute Easter dresses. Audra was a perfect angel- I can't wait for her pictures. They turned out so incredibly beautiful.

And, Claire? Well, hers did not turn out so well. But that wasn't the real issue.

I will be forever grateful that we left Claire's dress at grandma and grandpa's house last night. Because of that, I had to stop at their house to pick up the dress. Grandma decided to come with us. THANK GOODNESS SHE DID!!! Why? Because Claire just wanted to run around, throw tantrums, and disobey mom and grandma at every opportunity. Grandma spent the bulk of her time chasing after Claire while I tried to purchase the pictures. If it were not for her, I would have had to strap Claire in her carseat and leave her there by herself while I tried to buy some photos (which of course I would never actually do, so I probably would have just ended up in a fetal position on the floor crying. Being taken to an insane asylum would be better than dealing with Claire in public by myself).

Praying has helped slightly. While in tears last night, I asked for guidance. Today, while dealing with my little 22 month old terror, I was reminded of this picture:

Right after Claire was born, we took 26 month old Audra and infant Claire to get their pictures taken. Audra was beyond horrible- at one point she actually spanked the photographer. Yes, you read that correctly. I was so mortified and beside myself. I had to buy this picture, because Audra's face perfectly shows her attitude for the entire photo shoot. She was a brat- plain and simple.

But, 2 years later, Audra truly is a perfect angel- she is such a great child. She listens well, sits quietly in primary, and behaves as every mother would dream her child would behave.

So, we must have done something right. It all seems like a blur, however, so I am not sure what we did that was right. I am clinging desparately to other moms and some articles I read that said when children are ornery as toddlers, they end up being excellent teenagers.

Help, please.


  1. Olivia and Claire seem as if they were meant to be twins. My girl is the same way, almost. She can be amazingly angelic, yet she can very much be a BRAT! I've learned to ignore her tantrums, and they can go on for hours. But it's what works for us. Well, it works a little. I usually give up a half hour into the tantrum and let her have what she wants. But remember, they aren't quite 2 yet. Logan is getting better every day, and it sounds like Audra is great. One day, these 2 munchkins will figure things out. The main thing to remember is not to stress over it. I know, easiier said than done. Just know I'm with you. Wish I had better advice. Hugs!

  2. I had to chuckle about spanking the photographer!!!! So, yo've met Penny, right??? She sounds just like Claire. Max is a little angel in comparison. Even at that age. Almost 2 years after her terrible twos started and i finally feel like we're getting closer to the angel stage, but it still isn't going to look like Maxs'! Penny was a biter, too. No advice, just commiseration. Be consistent and do what feels right.

  3. Jonas is still pretty mild and has more mini tantrums than mega ones so I can't really give a lot of advice. I pretty much just ignore him. What I can tell you though is do not give in to the tantrum, especially after it has been going for a while. Maybe you already know this but that is the very best way to guarantee that you'll have many many more and much much longer tantrums in the future. Good luck. Kids can be so hard. But also so great.

  4. Give Claire some things that she can have control over, or choice over. Then make it clear when other areas don't have choices. Remember, she is going to need a different type of parenting than Audra, and finding that different parent in you is hard to do. Be consistent and loving, and realize that this time will pass.

  5. I agree with Michelle, that sometimes we need to make sure our kids have control of something, so that when we need them to do something we can so no. All of my kids pushed hard at this stage, but remember they will outgrow it. Tabatha needed time outs to calm down before we could reason with her. Alicia needed it explained so she knew what was expected then she would listen, and Olivia wants more mom time, and then she acts so much better. I read a Ensign article a few years ago where a daughter was acting up, and the answer to the moms prayer was to give the daughter more positive attention. It can be hard when kids are naughty, but try to be positive when they are doing the right things, be consistent and loving like Michelle said, and this too shall pass :) Good luck.

  6. I know I already emailed you about this, but I thought of one more thing. With Nathan, most of his tantrums were related to transitioning from one activity to another. I have found that if I give him advanced warning and really lay out the day for him ahead of time, and then remind him a few minutes before a change, he does SOOOO much better. Maybe just watch what sets her off and see if you can adjust to ease those situations for her? Austin's button is not being understood or being ignored at a critical time when he needs/wants something. I'm still trying to figure that out with him since he's not talking...

  7. Thanks for posting this Christina. I'm struggling with some of the same issues and got a few ideas by reading these comments. I wish I had some advice. Everything is a battle at our house these days. I'm going to find more things that Spencer can control himself. Good luck!

  8. Alright here's the plan... You tell grandma and grandpa that you're going on a date weekend, then you go and enjoy yourselves sans kiddos... When you get back, she's back to normal! Grandparents have that gift, just go with it... (this is a complete joke, it is not meant to upset grandparents whom I may or may not have done this to, please don't send hate mail)
    All kidding aside, just take it slow and do whats best for her whether its what she wants or not. In time she will grow out of it. I wasn't always there with Isaac due to work and other issues. But from the view of not being there 24/7, it passes very quickly and it's on to funner things. I know it seems like it will never end, but it will and then you will laugh about it, possibly tongue in cheek, and be better prepared for the next big thing (dating).
    I love you sis, good luck, you are doing an awesome job!