The Mommy Test

Annabelle has definitely been giving me the Mommy Test the past couple of days, and I feel like I'm failing in the Patience section! She's over her sickness and even went back to school yesterday, but she's either hardcorin' the terrible twos or just testing the heck out of me (or both)! She's been driving me crazy with her whining and broken record syndrome (or both)! No matter what or how I respond to something that she says, she just continues to say it over and over and over and over and over and over and over (do you get the picture?!)! She'll say "Mommy, I want milk" (which now sound more like "malt" than milk because for some reason Annabelle has started changing all "k" ending words to end in a "t" sound, so milk is now "malt" and book is "boot" which doesn't sound like boot, but like butt. It's confusing the crap out of me because I have to keep remembering to translate if she says a word that ends in a t sound... but I digress...), and I can either say "No" or I can say "Okay" and be up actually pouring the milk into the cup right in front of her and she continues saying "Mommy, I want milk" over and over and over and over and over again! It's really driving me crazy!!!

On top of that I'm already tired because Corgan didn't sleep well last night and Keith has been out of town for the last 2 days so I have no one to relieve me of the kids long enough to regroup and regain my sanity (if there's any left)! I don't know if Annabelle senses that or what, but she's also done things like throwing her pasta up in the air like it's raining on her (and the carpet!) and splashing in the bathtub so hard that it gets the entire bathroom all wet. She's also doing that self-contradicting thing where she tells me she wants something then once she gets it she complains because she doesn't want it. Ugh!

I probably picked the wrong day to quit amphetamines (just kidding... Airplane reference), but seriously... I probably picked the wrong day to start this, but I started potty training Annabelle today too. She has been asking to wear her panties randomly over the past few weeks (since she's seen Halle wearing them), but she always either ends up asking for a diaper and going in there or peeing in her panties. She will hold it for like 2 hours, but then forgets to tell me that she needs to pee. And when she does sit on the potty, it's like she doesn't know how to pee on the potty. She strains like she's trying to poop (and succeeds in that sometimes), but can't figure out the peeing thing. The last night there was a big breakthrough because Belle, Corgan, and I were all in the bathtub and Annabelle announced that she had to pee. So I got her out of the tub and made her sit on the potty. She sat there for about 5 minutes then got frustrated and said that she wanted to get back into the tub, but I wouldn't let her get back in (knowing that she'd just pee in our bath water) and made her sit on the potty a little longer. She sat there and read some books, then all of the sudden jumped up and announced "Annabelle do pee pee in potty!" And she did! We did some celebrating with some "Hot dog, hot dog, pee pee in the potty" dancing (my own version of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song) and she was so excited to put on panties. Unfortunately, it was bedtime so I told her that she could wear panties this morning. When she woke up this morning, she wanted to put on her panties right away. After about 2 hours in her panties, she ended up peeing in them a little. Then the next pair got pooped in. Then she had her diaper on for her nap and peed in there a bunch. Then the next pair eventually got peed in. Then it was bathtime, then another peed in pair of panties. I just can't get her to pee in the potty again. I've sat her on the potty many times throughout the day, but she just gets frustrated because she can't figure out how to pee again. I even tried putting her diaper on her and letting her sit on the potty with her diaper on to pee in it (I read that doing that might help her to get used to controlling when she pees without the fear of not having a diaper on), but that didn't work either. She doesn't like to sit on the potty unless I'm in there with her, so that's hard too because I also have Corgan to watch and he gets restless just sitting in the bathroom with us. Also, whenever she announces that she has to go to the potty, I have to not only jump up and run with her to the bathroom, but I have to grab Corgan too. I'm trying to be very positive about the whole thing and have been very "that's okay, we'll just try again" to her about her accidents, but I think she's sensing my frustration. I'm going to continue to try again tomorrow, but hopefully I don't have a breakdown in the process.

Oh... and one more thing. I'm a mom who believes in spanking, and usually just the threat of it does the job, but I'm trying to do the time out thing too. I feel like there are times when either one might be appropriate, and yesterday was a time out appropriate time. Annabelle was whining like crazy and she knew it. I was tired of it and told her if she whined again she was going to her room all by herself. She did so she did. I picked her up and took her to her room and sat her on the floor and told her to stay there until she could stop whining and I'd be back. About 30 seconds after I shut the door I heard her banging on the door, so I went back there and told her to move away from the door and to stop doing that. She moved back and I closed the door again. When I went back about 2 minutes later, I opened the door and she was quietly reading a book in the middle of the floor. She said "Sorry Mommy" and agreed that she would stop whining, and she did for a little while. So time out seemed to work. Until time out situation #2...

I mentioned the raining pasta situation above... well since time out seemed to work so well earlier that day, I thought I'd try it again. I took Annabelle to her room and this time I put her in her crib. She did good and once again apologized, then came out and helped me clean it up. I remember Angelle mentioning a while ago that Leah was asking her to put her in time out because she enjoyed it. Well... apparently Annabelle has been talking to Leah because she asked me multiple times today to send her to her room. Sigh.

Now, I've been picking on Annabelle, but she isn't the only one who's been trying my patience these past few days. Corgan is a really good boy and a happy baby most of the time, but when he's not happy, he DEFINITELY lets you know and he lets you know louder than any baby I've ever heard! This kid has a serious set of lungs on him! Not just loud but he can scream. He seriously could be used for horror movies! Corgan hates to take medicine and with all of his ailments, he's had lots of it lately. He screams bloody murder when he has to take the antibiotics or fever medicine, REALLY hates the eye drops, is not a fan of the rectal thermometer (can't blame him there), and sometimes freaks out when using the nebulizer. And this kid is freakin' strong too! Trying to hold him down or just hold his arms out of the way for any of the above is a major struggle for me and I outweigh him by like 8-9 times! He's a monster! A sweet, adorable, smiling (usually) little monster!

On top of my little patience testers, there have been external things affecting my patience too. Of course there's the obvious thing of still trying to kick this cold and catch up on some rest. Then I've also been trying to do something about the construction that's about to start next door which has involved visiting city hall twice (once with just Corgan, once with both kids), writing a "professional" letter, and numerous phone calls (BTW, there's good news there... maybe... I'll hopefully know more tomorrow). And in my "free time" (ha!), I have been working on finishing our taxes. They have been mostly done for a while, but there were a few major snags that were holding me back so I have been dealing with those, and got it mostly resolved.

If you've hung in there with me and read this whole blog entry, you have more patience than I. If it wasn't already taken, I feel like I should change the name of my blog to crabbymama, but not because I love to eat crab (although now that I mention it, I could really go for a good bowl of crab bisque right now). Que Sera, Sera.


megAstar said...

Wow. Your life sounds mighty exhausting right now! I guess during those crazy times you just have to think of all the cute and fun things your kids do? : )
Hang in there!!!

memento said...

It can be soooo hard when they start testing you like that! (we know all about that here ;-) )
On the potty thing, I think if she doesn't know how to pee, you better return to stage 1, which is putting her diaper on all of the time, but put her on the potty on moments she's likely to pee. That did work out for H here... I'd been through the same frustration with her, but she just didn't know how to do it. Then we just put her on her potty every night for a week, with a book, about half an hour after she had been drinking, and finally she went! When she did that for a couple of nights in a row, we announced we would try panties the next day, and she did absolutely perfect, no accidents at all...

Anonymous said...

Wow! You sound overwhelmed! Hang in there! I'm no potty training expert, but it kind of sounds like Annabelle is not ready to start yet. I only say this because we went through that same frustration with Brody and it turned into a power struggle thing...which you don't want. Hang int here!


Angelle said...

I agree that Annabell might not be ready for potty training yet. I do like the idea of putting her on the potty at times she might have to go, like when she wakes up in the AM, before nap, before bath, and at bedtime. But otherwise, it might be setting her up for failure if she is having a tough time figuring out how to "go" in the potty.

As far as time out, Leah did enjoy the novelty of it some. Now it is not so much a punishment as a "think about it" time. It usually works now. Try finding someplace for time out that does not involve things she can play with or a comfy place to lay. Maybe on one of your dining chairs where you can keep an eye on her.

I feel for you my dear, I really do. When I come, you can have a break becauae I will babysit for you!

Nikki said...

You know, Halle really never got the peeing in the potty thing before I started with her. Like Annabelle, she had peed on a few random occasions in the potty but didn't really understand the concept, and certainly wasn't peeing on the potty with any kind of regularity. What worked for us though was that she was telling us she had to go EVERY TIME before she peed. She was just announcing that she was about to pee in her diaper.. not asking to sit on the potty. But having that pre-pee announcement down is what made it work. If Annabelle isn't making any progress on day 2, you might want to consider waiting a little longer.

Having said that... if you bring her in diapers, you can drop your kids off with me this afternoon. :) Or if you want to stick with the panties, I can come over there and watch the kids while you rest or shop or do whatever calming, stress-relieving thing you want to do for a few hours. Halle's back to school today. She did get the eye goop, runny nose, and cough.. and still has a touch of it, but since we're 90% sure she got it from you guys, I'm sure your kids are safe to hang out with her. Let me know!