I saw something the other day that said "Boy: noun, a noise with dirt on it" Boys are hard. They just are. They seem louder, more rambunctious, more energetic than little girls. I continually feel like my patience is being stretched to it's limits. I worry that I am too quick to react. To snap. To say "NO!" when it doesn't necessarily have to be said.
Lately we have been having days that feel like a constant push-pull tug of war. A battle of wills between mother and son. Initially, I blamed the little sister. I assumed that the interloper was causing all sorts of disruption in the life of my precious child and that could be the only reason he'd suddenly become such a handful. So, I scheduled more one on one time with him. I arranged fun outings, just him and I. I tried to make sure that we would have a few minutes of "just us" time on any given day. And sometimes it seemed to help. Other days, it's like feeding a starving monster. No matter how much attention I try to give, he always wants more. I can never seem to fill him up and he still acts out whether or not he's given attention.
I've run out of ideas. I am wearing a groove in the time out chair. I am tired of constantly repeating myself. My son is probably tired of being yelled at all of the time. And worse, I know he knows when I am exasperated. I know that when I let out a huge sigh of frustration, whether I say anything or not, it's not lost on him. It's not the same as when he was younger and he probably didn't attribute my bad attitude to his misbehavior. These days when I am short and snappish with him because I am asking him not to do something for the 1,000th time, he says "say it nicer" or "don't use that voice" and I know that he's right. It hurts me to think that I might be making him feel bad or hurting his feelings. I want him to learn, but I don't want that lesson to cost him self-esteem. I'm worn out. Sometimes I want to just call a "time-out" on the back and forth and declare a truce for an afternoon. No misbehavior from him and no yelling from me. A peace treaty. I wonder if that's possible.