I'll admit it -- the two children are wearing me down. It's not often I'll readily admit all out defeat, but I'm pretty much there.
It seems lately the two-year-old can't stand anything the twelve-year-old (but often acts two-years-old) does and the twelve-year-old can't seem to stop doing things to aggravate the two-year-old.
Call it old fashioned sibling rivalry, love-hate relationship, whatever psycho-babble term you want to label it, but it is just about more than I can stand some days.
Ellie has this ear piercing scream that she lets out regularly. Many times I don't think Josh even does anything, she is just ready to get him in trouble. Other times, I see him pestering her just to get a reaction. What gives????
Add to the "terrible" twos (which really haven't been all that bad yet -- famous last words), a boy going through puberty who thinks he knows everything and has the mouth to back it up and WHEW!! by the time the day is over both mine and Kevin's nerves are just worn to a frazzle.
Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE my kids more than life itself, but these days I'm finding that I am not liking their behavior and choices very much. I'm exerting so much energy playing referee between them and getting "lip" from Josh that I'm exhausted.
Today, for example, we were leaving school and Josh had taken the headrest off the back of the seat in the car. I simply said, "Please put the head rest back." He went into this tirade about how he "only took it off for a second (insert LARGE HUFF here)" and he didn't know "why he had to use it anyway" to which I replied, "Josh, I don't want to have to tell you to put it back. My life would certainly be easier if I didn't have to tell you to put it back. Honestly, I don't care if it's on or off. However, if we had a wreck and your head snapped back and it wasn't there, you could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life or dead, and since you are my responsibility and that is why they put the headrest there, it's my job to tell you to put it back. Oh, and by the way, put your seat belt on too."
Every interaction goes like that. There is no simple, "just do it". It's like having the three-year-old who asks "Why???" all the time -- except in a twelve-year-old's body.
But then, he'll come home and I'll make a comment about how I wish someone would cut down those little tree saplings growing in the flower gardens and he's right on it and does it just like I ask him to. I can never predict or figure the "triggers" that will start the defense mechanisms to go up. Of course, I also can't figure out what will trigger the screaming fits in Ellie either. Tonight it was because we wanted to change her diaper. Then it was because we wouldn't let her have a stuffed dog she wanted. Then Josh comes in and drinks her drink -- knowing, of course, that will get her started crying, which it does -- and leaves the room. She then get it and spills it all over her and we have to change pajamas.
It's all small stuff, I know, and one day I'll "miss this" all but some days the drama unfolding in these kids' lives is just more than one mama can handle. *smile* I know, I can get a t-shirt that says, "Drama Mama".