No More Yelling – Another Honest Attempt

butterfly-1582545_1280It’s quiet. Rather peaceful, actually. It is about 11:15 a.m. and I am at my laptop writing this while my baby is asleep upstairs. TJ is at school. I feel accomplished and it is not even noon yet.

I woke up at 5:30 today with Baby E acting as my alarm clock. She is slowly learning to sleep through the night and I feel my sanity returning as a result. Her night feeds are almost non-existent now.

This quiet morning, I made myself some coffee and while that was brewing, picked a Kettle Ball workout on YouTube, Chromecasted it on the TV, and broke a reasonable sweat with the 20 minutes session.

Then, I sat down to get organized. Coffee in hand. Organizing is a process and I am still just trying to be good at it. I need a really good planner/calendar or maybe I am using that as an excuse. I have things to do, and thoughts to write.

***

Yesterday, I made a resolution that starting today, I will not yell at TJ with the only exception being any action that threatens harm to Baby E and if gentle reprimands have failed to produce results.

The day has been good so far. I haven’t had to yell at him. It helps that he is away at school.

After dropping TJ, I returned a library book that was long overdue, spoke to my parents who had Skyped in as I was driving, returned home, fed Baby E, and put her down for a nap.

Then I made lunch for TJ (Millet and Brown Rice Ramen Noodles with Peas, Mushrooms, Green Onions, and a Chinese star vegetable), boiled some eggs, swept and mopped our entryway foyer which has long, long needed some attention, cleaned our porch furniture, dusted and organized our entryway bookshelf which was also in dire need of some love, took out the trash for tomorrow’s trash day, ate an egg, reheated and actually finished drinking my morning coffee which waited patiently in the cup since the early hours of the day, spoke to my sister who called, and finally sat down to write this at a little past 11 a.m. It’s 11:26 a.m. and time to wake Baby E, feed her, change her, and leave to pick TJ up. Where does time fly?

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Sometimes I do okay. Today’s lunch for TJ.

Continued at: 2:57 p.m.

I haven’t yelled at him so far. I came really close a couple of times but I didn’t. I am really proud of myself. I noticed myself pausing when angry. I noticed that I spoke softly, gently, and patiently but in a non-nonsense voice instead of yelling. He seems to respond well to that. I noticed that he has a sense of humor that is perfect for a two-year-old but annoying to an adult. Thankfully, I also noticed that if I give in and simply laugh at his silliness with him, by continuing to be patiently purposeful, I can still make him do what needs done.

For some odd reason, I feel very calm and serene on the inside right now. I have felt like this all day today. Not sure why. I am beginning to feel the tiredness of having woken up at 5:30 a.m. though so I might get short with TJ as the evening progresses. Need to be aware of this and manage it before I start losing it.

Continued at: 9:16 p.m.

What a glorious no-yelling day! We fell asleep together at nap time. Later in the evening, we hung out at our park, rode bikes, watered our plants, and had a great time together.

Dinner time is  usually my Kryptonite. He can be really trying at that time. Perhaps it is because of the additional attention that he also gets then from Aaron. He pushes food out of his plate, spits his food, squeezes it in his mouth and drops the liquid out of his mouth, dips his fingers into his milk cup, puts food into his milk, puts his feet on the table, pulls his sister’s arm, tries to poke her cheek, tries to grab her bowl of food because he wants to feed her, waves his spoon around thereby throwing food on the floor, refuses to eat, or keeps chewing what is already in his mouth for what seems like eternity.

Individually, these acts are manageable but when combined with two or more, I get really, really angry. Like ready to throw the F-word around angry-crazy. Repeated instructions to stop those behaviors yield little or no change and I lose it. Not today.

He did a bunch of these acts tonight but I held strong. Empowered by Aaron, together, after having decided last night that I was no longer going to crazy-yell him, we managed every aberrant act efficiently. Baby E, mouthing cute little bird sounds, made for some much needed distraction too.

Putting him to bed went great too. We usually wind down with a list of people he loves and it is always fun to do that. Exhausted, I just lay next to him quietly for some time after that. Last night, I promised him that I would try really, really hard to not yell at him anymore. I told him that I may sometimes fail at keeping that promise because I make mistakes too but that I would continue to work hard at my promise. He nodded. He understood. I hope.

Tonight I told him how my arms and shoulders hurt from the kettle-ball workout this morning and that I needed a massage. He started rubbing his hand gently over my arm, up and down, in loving motions trying to massage me.

My sweet boy. How can I ever yell at you? And yet, we both let our emotions get the better of us. You are 2. I am…well, not two but guess who has even more growing up to do?

Sigh.

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4 thoughts on “No More Yelling – Another Honest Attempt

  1. Pause!!!! That’s the key i guess. I have been through the same with just a bit of advantage of having an elder daughter. You know daughters, they just understand you so well. But yes, the struggle to control your emotions rather than crying alone with guilt of yelling. Yelling on such innocent beings that look at you with a blank face when you yell. I guess they figure out something’s wrong with mamma but cannot really help as that’s what in my case 3yr old would do.

    1. I know, right!? It is so hard to manage one’s emotions. It is almost as if you have to mentally remove yourself out of your body and look at yourself in that angry state as your kids are seeing you. When I do that, I hate the ugliness I am presenting to them.
      How does your older daughter react to your emotions? How is she with her younger sibling? My bigger challenge these days is with how he is around E and having to monitor his behaviors ALL THE TIME.

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