You read my last post, yes? So you think our little boy is a saint? HA! You think I've got my mommy superpowers all lined up in a row? HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAHAAHAHAHAAAA!
Raising one child was cake. I could focus entirely on his needs. Consistent discipling was a top priority. Now with Laurel in the mix, it's a whole different story. Let's fast forward to a current example of disciplining meltdown:
Ian's playing with his trucks, while Laurel and I decide it's nursing time. I get situated with Laurel on one end of the couch, using the soft, pillowy arm for support. She latches on. It is peaceful, with the occasional beeping and rumbling truck sounds from Ian.
A couple minutes pass, Ian knows something's up. He springs into action and heads our direction. He sees Laurel and I on the couch and knows...absolutely, positively knows that he is in the presence of MILK! I can see the gears turning in his head and try to distract him, "Hi, Ian! Are you playing with your trucks?"
"Mommy, I need milk and Teletubbies."
Not wanting to disturb Laurel, I simply state, "You can have milk in a few minutes."
"Mommy, I NEED milk and Teletubbies."
"Yes, you can have milk once Laurel is finished."
He looks at Laurel. "Laurel's all done. I NEED MILK AND TELETUBBIES!"
Trying to be sympathetic to his needs, I stroke his arm with my one free hand while cradling Laurel with the other so she won't roll off my lap. "Hey, bud, you can have milk in a few minutes. Why don't you play with your trucks or trains." I'm really hoping he can be distracted by his toys.
"NO! I NEED MILK AND TELETUBBIES!" With that exclamation, he decides to get up on the couch. He tries to squeeze between my body and the couch's arm. His efforts cause my body to jostle about, unlatching Laurel who consequently rips my nipple off in the process. I'm in pain and I can feel my body getting tense.
"Ian, you can sit on the couch, just go to the other side." He continues to push and squirm his way up.
"Ian, go to the other side!" My voice is starting to rise. Still he tries to push himself up onto the couch.
I decide to move to the other side. Laurel grabs my shirt and hair as I slide over. Once situated, I try to relax and Laurel begins nursing again. Ian is now up on the couch watching us from the opposite end. It's not long and he slides over to us and tries to squeeze his body between my back and the couch. "Ian, stop that!" my voice getting louder.
He continues his shenanigans, and I desperately yell out, "Ian, get down or you'll go to time out!"
The pushing and shoving continues. I hoist Laurel and I up again to move to the rocking chair where there is absolutely no room for Ian to try anything. He follows and decides to climb up into my lap with Laurel. "Ian, STOP THAT NOW!" I've lost it and my voice is shrill. Laurel is startled and begins to cry, soon followed by Ian.
I feel like a total heel. I cuddle and try to comfort both of them, wailing screams ring in both my ears. Once they both calm down, I go to the fridge, get Ian a sippy cup of milk, and turn on Teletubbies. He settles in and I am able to nurse Laurel once again.
Reliving this horrifies me. It is absolutely unacceptable for me to lose my temper with a two year old. I made so many mistakes, and I often think of how I should have done things differently. For example, knowing how much Ian loves milk (and it's not like he's asking for soda), I should have thought ahead to get him a cup to drink while Laurel was nursing. Just the milk would have pacified him, no TV necessary. Another big boo-boo, was threatening time out. There was no follow through, and unfortunately I've let that happen too often. I need to be consistent in order for it to work.
The good news, I am continually learning from my mistakes. And, thanks to the blogosphere, I read about others' dilemmas and find out what did and didn't work. Those of you out there sharing discipling problems, successes and techniques, I send you a humongous hug and thank you.
I'm a firm believer: It takes a village to raise a child.