Wednesday, March 12, 2008

mean mommy

Have I said recently that parenting is tough? I did? Ok, well let's just say it again, shall we?

I truly feel like a first-time parent again when it comes to dealing with Ethan. He's my first NT child (neuro-typical, not on the autism spectrum), and therefore many many things ARE new to me in parenting him. Andrew rarely, if ever, challenges my authority or what I ask/tell him to do. Same to DH. But Ethan, on the other hand, does this 24/7. And I feel like very little that I do is helping to get him onto the right track, either.

So last night, I was "mean mommy" and I hated it. I took the boys to a concert that DH was conducting for his band. There have been instances recently that Ethan showed he could behave acceptably in a concert---sit in your chair, listen, don't talk/sing/kick chairs, etc. On the way there in the van, we talked about the kind of behavior I expected, and offered that any kids who did behave well would be taken to Sonic for a treat afterwards.

Well, let's just say that I had to drag Ethan out of the auditorium before DH's band was done with their second piece of music. I tried a million times to ask him to turn around, sit right, be quiet, stay still, etc, and I got nowhere. I put him in my lap and held him there, as he fought me and even reached out to bite me! I put my hand over his mouth in frustration, and said into his ear "DO NOT TRY TO BITE ME". His response? Laughing. So I just took him out into the lobby until DH's band finished. We went back in, got Andrew, said goodbye to DH and went to the car. Oh yeah, and it was raining by this point.

So I told Ethan we were now going to Sonic to get something for me and Andrew, but not him. I had to, right? Otherwise, what's my word worth? And I wanted to drown my sorrows in a Reese's Cup Blast anyway. Andrew got one of those too, and I ordered nothing else. Whoa, was that hard to do. He cried and cried, kept saying "I'm being good now, I'll be good in the van", etc. When parents say "this is harder on me than it is on you".......they aren't kidding.

He kept asking to get an M&M blast, but when the roller-skates girl came and left....nothing for Ethan. It hit him, and he cried harder. "But Mom, I want a blast" over and over. I tried to calmly remind him why, and then I had to basically just start ignoring him...yeah, right. But I needed to NOT keep repeating myself and trying to explain and justify what I did. Andrew tried to chime in and say "it's because you were bad" but I had to ask him to please stay out of it.

He cried all the way home, but thankfully I got him distracted at the house with a new toy he got at last weekend's party. And some rainbow sherbet ice cream out of the freezer. Still didn't stop me from feeling like mean mommy, though. Hoping I did the right thing and that we won't be back in this exact same spot anytime soon.


Amy said...

I don't think you are mean at all. You need to do whatever it takes to get him to realize that you are true to your word (especially when it comes to his behavior, etc). I think what you did is just fine, maybe now he will listen a little better (or at least know that you won't back down on your word). (((hugs)))

tafkalorelei said...

You definetly did the right thing. You were clear in what you expected and you said that if he did those things that he would get a treat. Plain and simple he didn't do what you asked. It's sad when we have to stick to our guns and being a parent really sucks in times like this. Just keep telling yourself it won't last forever. Hang in there! ((((hugs))))

Jen said...

Ethan is testing the limits, and that is normal for his age. Kids thrive in boundaries even though they protest it on occasion. You are not a mean mommy. You are a mommy who loves her son and cares how he'll turn out. Keep repeating that to yourself Jen. HUGS