I think I have come to the conclusion lately that either my two-year-old son is actually an alien from outer space sent to earth to torment me for some unknown, heinous crime I committed in a previous life (no, I don't actually believe in reincarnation), that he is possessed, or that someone upstairs in fact thinks it would be a fun little joke to test the bounds of my patience in blessing me with such a needy, whiny, headstrong toddler...who also, by the way, has some serious anger issues.
I have never in my life known any other child to pinch the skin of your neck between his thumb and index finger excruciatingly hard, while staring you square in the eyes with a scrunched up, nasty-as-all-junk expression on his face - like he is in a scene from Indiana Jones Temple of Doom where the man reaches through the guy's chest and rips out his heart. Yeah...he executes this skin-pinching routine with such conviction and animosity that it kinda feels like that. His head even shakes a bit as his eyes get all narrow with intent and go kinda wild...it's really rather disturbing. lol. Then, he hops down, kisses me on the lips and goes about his business, as if nothing unusual has occurred. Like I said - possessed. Haha.
I don't actually think that my son is the spawn of Hades (Zach attributes it to "the Jackson temper"), but I do think that his life's ambition is to test what I am made of, and I feel that this temper of his is extremely frustrating, particularly at nap time when I have the baby (our 4-month-old daughter) asleep in her basinet and I'm lying in bed with Logan in the same room (as Zach works graveyard and is usually occupying the only other bed in the house at the time I go to put Logan down for a nap) when he decides to fight me tooth and nail for over an hour (yes, this happens on a daily basis) as he thrashes around violently, screaming and trying continuously to get down off the bed.
I am usually so exhausted after this charade (from trying to keep him in one spot long enough to get him to relax and fall asleep - all while shushing him profusely in an attempt to avoid waking up the baby) that when I do finally manage to get him to settle down, I end up crashing too...then all my hopes and dreams of actually getting something accomplished while the babies sleep quickly goes down the drain. ::sigh::
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the value of a nap during this stage of motherhood, but I also aspire to one day have a clean house (that actually stays clean for more than like 5 minutes), and I somehow always seem to fall short. Thankfully, I have an understanding, forgiving husband...or I'd probably be in deep do-do on a regular basis. ;)
And let's not forget what a pleasure it is to change his messy diaper - while he kicks and squirms - again, screaming like I am skinning him alive or something. Zach can attest to this one. If you somehow manage to avoid wearing the contents of his diaper by the time it's all said and done, you are counting your blessings. HE is just lucky to escape without getting a smack on his bottom, for if there is one thing that I can't stand, it's having to change a stinky, messy baby who won't sit still and cooperate.
I think things have been exacerbated these last couple of weeks, too, since Zach has started school again. The poor man is getting hardly any sleep between work, school and his lessons, so I can basically forget about having him available to offer any amount of relief during the week. Our oldest daughter, who is 11 years old, is a huge help - when she is not procrastinating her own responsibilities, requiring me to follow her around, riding her like a Nazi on crack from the time she gets home from middle school until it's time for her to get in the shower at 8pm.
Don't get me wrong. I love my children with all of my heart. Each of them is a blessing beyond explanation to me, so please don't take this as any indication that I am ungrateful for their presence in my life. I have just been feeling extremely overwhelmed these last few days and constantly find myself praying for the strength to handle it all with patience and tolerance.
Today was a real test of my patience; however. I took Logan and Bailey to the mall this morning to get a security tag removed from a pair of Old Navy jeans that I bought for Madison recently (and somehow managed to take home without setting off the alarm in the store). Since we don't have a double stroller, I had Bailey attached to my front-side in a baby carrier and was pushing Logan around in his stroller.
After getting the tag removed, I proceeded to walk around Old Navy for a bit to check out the new fall arrivals and explore some options for outfits for family pictures that are coming up in October. Logan started screaming and reaching for a basket of balls that was nearby, so I figured I'd try to appease him for a few minutes and handed him one of the balls that was on the top of the pile. Naturally, that one was unacceptable to him, and he wasn't satisfied until I reached all the way to the bottom to retrieve the football that he wanted.
After that, he was pretty well-mannered, except for the fact that he kept throwing the football over the side of the stroller and I kept having to lean over and pick it up off the floor (with the baby attached to my front, mind you). I finally told him that if he did it one more time, he was going to lose the ball. That must have done the trick, because he discontinued chucking the ball over the side (thank Heaven for small favors).
After finding a few items of clothing that I wanted to purchase, I proceeded to the check-out line and thought for a moment that I might actually be escaping for once unscathed. Uh, yeah...not so lucky. The sales clerk was taking an exorbitant amount of time with the woman in front of me, and to my dismay, Logan discovered the toy cars that were located directly outside of the store and managed to escape from his stroller with all kinds of ambitious desires as he headed in the direction of said cars THREE times before I was able to check out. I had to grab him by the arm and bring him back into the store as he threw himself back violently, kicking and screaming as everyone in sight just stared at me like I was crazy.
I couldn't pick him up with both hands; though, for I still had Bailey in the carrier on my front-side, and he absolutely refused to put his legs down and walk. I literally had to muster every ounce of self control that I possessed in that moment not to bend him over right there in the middle of the mall and bust his little behind.
I seriously wanted to cry by the time I left Old Navy - and decided very quickly that I was just going to go home and chuck the idea of walking around the mall to get out of the house and get some exercise. I started feeling hungry; though, so I stopped by the food court on my way back to the car. I thought maybe I'd feel better if I ate something.
As I was ordering food; however, Logan managed to escape from the stroller AGAIN, so this time when I retrieved him, I strapped his butt in so tightly that he couldn't get out, and he started screaming profusely upon arriving at this realization. I was seriously so frustrated by this point and had to fight the urge to sit on the floor in a fetal position with my thumb in my mouth. Haha.
My one saving grace was a super polite gentleman who was in line behind me that saw how overwhelmed I was and offered to carry my tray to my table. I don't think he truly understood how tremendously that one small act of kindness was appreciated.
One thing is for sure: I think I will hold off on making trips to the mall until I have a double stroller...or at least a second pair of hands. ;)
Oh, the joys of motherhood! :)