Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An Ugly Period

I think I’ve subconsciously been avoiding writing about Wolfie’s defiant period because it’s not exactly pretty. But, since this is all about the real Wolf, his defiance is a part of him, one that I have a lot of trouble understanding. It started Feb. 1st over taking a bath. He refused to get in the tub and I wound up forcibly standing him in it and hurriedly dumping water over his crying screaming form – an ugly scene. Since then he’s picked various times and places to assert himself with loud crying and pulling or pushing against you (OMG! A tantrum!?!) – most of the time it’s not in public, except for Walmart by Becky’s house where he decided he didn’t want to go in once we got just past the cash registers.

I thought I was getting a handle on it with time-outs (which really means making him sit alone in his room until he stops crying.) He can’t stand to be alone, so this really registers with him. He’s gone from several outbursts a day to just one or sometimes none. Whew? Still, he freaked last night when he had to come upstairs and put his PJ’s on (not enough warning maybe?) And then, hopefully the last battleground of this period is actual sleep itself. Wolf refuses to fall asleep ‘on purpose’ – he won’t allow himself to be still long enough. He demands that I sit at his bedside, “Mama can I have you for just a little bit?” It sounds so utterly sweet when I write it, but when you’re actually sitting there nodding off yourself and all you want to do is go to bed, you feel a bit differently. Once I said no and left the room and he literally screamed bloody murder for half an hour, while I yelled ‘Go to sleep!’ from the living room – I have no idea how Mattie slept through it – a really ugly scene. AND the remedy was I STILL went in and knelt by his bed!!

I tell him, “Close your eyes or I’m leaving,” and he complies but dances his little hands around in the air ever so slightly – just enough to keep him from drifting off. I plead with him in clear desperation, “What can I do to help you go to sleep?” to no avail. If he does ‘allow’ me to leave (only on the promise I’ll be back to check on him) he just comes out. Sometimes I let him sit with us on the couch for a few minutes thinking that will help. Last night it did not. I finally left his room at 11:25 and he was still awake. I told him that we’re not doing this anymore and tomorrow there would be a spanking if he didn’t cooperate with going to sleep…

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