Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tantrums. I think I'd like to have one of my own.

There are times that as a parent, I don't know what to do in situations and I want to throw up my hands and run away in defeat. I feel like this almost daily as I try to get through days with O without losing my mind. She's been throwing the worst temper tantrums and not only are Mike and I sick of them, but her siblings are to the point where they just start crying or retreating somewhere quiet when she begins one of her unpleasant spells.

I don't know why this is happening other than the fact she is 100% stubborn 99% of her life. When that 1% of compliance makes an appearance, we all just stop and look at each other amazed because we know that it is a miracle. What is most frustrating is that we have the same disciplinary boundaries for her as we do for the other three. Sure, they do defy us sometimes, but the respect for authority is there. The desire to please outweighs the desire to push the limits. But not with O.

I've read books about strong willed children and most of them say that this strong will that is inherent in a child is present from birth and what the parents to do channel this will makes all the difference. Right now, I don't even know how to begin to channel this horrendous strong will in the correct direction because the battles are so close together with her that I don't have the energy to direct anything. All I do is discipline. There is very little "molding" time.

Then again, maybe the discipline is the molding? I don't know. To me, I feel that if molding were actually taking place then there would be less tantrums.

Part of me feels like the girl has lived to voice her independence since her conception. Before I even was pregnant. I knew there were two potential follicles there, but the fertility specialist told me that, "The one on the right won't fertilize because it isn't big enough." And then six weeks later we found out that "the one on the right" did indeed fertilize. At that point, we were told that there was a 70% chance one would miscarry and since the right sided follicle was the lesser developed, it would probably be that one. She proved them wrong and went on develop quite a personality!

Take for example, when I was pregnant with her. I was in the hospital on bedrest and was on a monitor 30 minutes at a time, four times a day. L would stay put--right underneath the monitor pad, but O would roll around, do jumping jacks, swing from my ribs, and terrorize her brother while I chased her little rolling body through my skin in hopes to actually trick her into thinking I wasn't trying to actually monitor her.

When the doctor tried to do an ultrasound, she would roll around constantly. Part of the reason we didn't know about her cleft was that she wouldn't ever show her face. It was much more fun for her to hide.

After she was born this stubbornness was probably what helped her be such a little fighter in the NICU, but she drove the nurses crazy. She would manage to take off her little booties, remove the protectors they had on her eyes to shield them from the bili-light, take off her heart monitor, and scoot to the end of her bed and get into a big ball of wires and mess. It became a joke amongst the nurses that whoever had O on their shift was in for constant action because she kept them on their toes. She didn't like the first cleft palate bottle (the Haberman) they tried to give her and refused to eat if it was used. It wasn't until out of desperation a nurse used a Mead-Johnson that she actually would eat from a bottle. We were prepared to go home feeding her with an NG tube. Again--everything was on her terms.

I don't know what do to anymore. I've prayed, read books, implemented enough Supernanny techniques that I swear I could start speaking with an English accent, and I'm still at a loss for what to do. I'm frustrated and most of all, I'm afraid this will never get better.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Ah yesssss, independent children. All we can do as parents is hope. Hope that someday these particular free spirits go on to produce their own child JUST like them!!! :) Sorry, I know it's not advice as I sure have my own issues w/ temper tantrums here. Hey... are you trying to move in on my mother of the year award????? :)