Escaping Through Election
After posting last night I was feeling in pretty good spirits, until bath time. Theo has a love/hate relationship with bath time. Last night he was really enjoying himself, so much so that when it was time to get out he hit me and slapped me and I put him to bed without storytime.
Then I watched Election, which is one of my favorite movies that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I let myself get sucked into the storyline in the way that I’d normally let being high suck me in. Where you can get to a point where you say, oh yeah, I was upset about this thing, but I actually forgot about it for awhile there.
Dan wasn’t home yet – was en route, flying, so I basically had the evening to myself. Read in bed. Cried over the toddler some more. Slept terribly, which is odd for me, got up.
No Crying! Except Once or Twice or Three Times
My goal for today was not to cry. Except I had to go to memorial services so I was going to allow myself to cry then, although I didn’t. But yeah. I did not make it to even 7:30am.
Screaming, crying, hitting as we got into the car. This is an especially fun battle, by the way, when it’s literally close to zero degrees out. I screamed back at him. I did not completely fly off the handle, but I absolutely did not stay calm like you’re Supposed to Do. My throat hurt I screamed so loudly at him.
Tried not to cry on the way to work. Failed. I’ve cried enough times now while driving to work, though, I’ve pretty much mastered doing so in such a way as to not ruin my makeup.
Shortly before leaving work early to go to the memorial service an hour away I offered to pick up dinner and asked Dan what he wanted. That resulted in a long, drawn out argument, believe it or not.
It was sort of a chicken or an egg thing. Every time I offer to pick up food for Dan it’s A Thing because he asks for special requests or substitutions or otherwise asks 800 questions. I indicated early on in the conversation it was going to be a thing again, and then it became a thing, but was it always going to be a thing or was it a thing because I vocalized it’s always a thing and THEN it became a thing?
Anyway, that was obviously worth crying over. I’ve mentioned I’m pregnant, right?
I got food for myself, Dan picked up Theo and got food for them. Or so I thought.
I went to the services. It was actually very nice. A celebration of life kind of feel (she was old), not overly depressing, flowers were gorgeous, everyone was in good spirits.
My parents normally would have been there but are on vacation (and mourned/celebrated with the family separately), so that was a potential stress removed. I love my parents, but my mother has a way of making me feel like I’m a field mouse and she’s watching me like a hawk about to dive in and swallow me.
When I came home Dan was sitting at the kitchen table by himself eating fast food. I briefly told him how the services were and then said, “Dare I ask?” assuming Theo was in timeout.
“He’s in bed. For the night. No dinner.”
When the Mighty Fall – Or the Calm Snap
This was unusual. It turned out Theo was such a nightmare when Dan picked him up from daycare he sat out front with him for half an hour waiting for him to calm down before finally forcing him into the car seat.
Side bar: This is a parenting aspect my husband and I disagree on. Dan doesn’t like “forcing him” to do things like get dressed and get in a car seat. He’d rather take the time necessary to get him to calm down enough so these things happen without a fight.
That’s cute, but Dan is salaried and I’m hourly and he has more flexibility (and patience) than I do, particularly in the morning. That’s nice that you want to wait for him to let you put his shoes on, but we like need to get out the fucking door.
That’s super sweet that you’d like to not have to force him in the car seat but there’s like this thing called safety and getting arrested and the kid needs to go into the car seat. Period. Yes, sometimes he’s thrashing around and you have to use some elbow grease to get him in there, but not getting him in there is not a choice.
Eventually, Dan gave up, forced him in, got food, and came home with Theo screaming the entire time. Dan said he shouted at him “louder than [he] had ever shouted before in [his] life.”
Hence, me crying for the third time today.
— After talking about it with Dan I just went up and gave him yogurt and read three stories. It is now the time he’d be going to bed anyway. He was all smiles. Absolutely no memory or remorse over what happened earlier. —
Let me tell you something about Dan. When there are bugs in the house Dan will carefully gather them up with a glass and paper towel and transport them outside. The man literally wouldn’t hurt a fly.
But he lost it today. Partially because he got four hours of sleep from coming home at two in the morning. He was so furious and fed up with Theo he had to physically remove him from his space so they could both calm down.
Making a Plan
I don’t know if I’m comforted or not that Theo is now acting up with Dan when it used to be just me. I don’t know if I’m comforted or not that he doesn’t act like this at daycare or when being watched by other people. Anyway.
My next pregnancy related doctors appointment is in a couple of weeks. We’re going to hang on until then. At that point, we will ask the doctor for help, or to point us in the right direction of help. Constant screaming at almost any interaction and getting violently whacked in the head and slapped across the face every single day cannot continue.
I do need to think about what to say so they’re not just like, “Um, okay, he’s two? Like what are you expecting?” and I have to be ready to list the things we’ve tried: timeout, making eye contact, saying gently but firmly “I can’t let you do that,” trying to make him apologize (hahahahahaha), etc.
And if I’m still crying on a near daily basis I will ask for the pregnancy safe anti anxiety meds that were mentioned to me at my last appointment after I was brutally honest on the depression screening handout thingy.