View Full Version : I need to vent/cry about my son's behaviour...hugs ONLY please oh please

07-28-2007, 09:53 PM
I think I feel safe here, safer than I would elsewhere. And I need to vent about something that just happened with my 3 year old. :(

This is really really REALLY long. Only the intrepid should read further, b/c I don't get to my point for many paragraphs, LOL.

Let me first say that I really just want hugs here...maybe some helpful hints if you have them, but please nothing that feels like criticism b/c it'll make me cry...at this point the only thing I can think is to invent a time machine and do things differently from the beginning, and THAT can't really happen. I just beg that no one makes me feel WORSE about what happened.

Dh works weekends, so it's me and Boy-o. We recently moved from suburbia/ruralia (is that a term?) so we could get out and DO things without having to have a car, and it's been great. Today and tomorrow there is a smallish festival, a yearly thing, up the street from us at a big park. I was SO excited to have moved back to this area, so we can walk there.

Even though it's uphill to get there, I decided to go without the stroller (a beast of a jogger) b/c the festival has crowded aisles and I didn't want to struggle with it. He was raring to go, so I figured the walk wasn't going to be too hard, but I guess this paragraph is only to explain why we didn't have a stroller to get home easily with.

We had a great time. Had fun "hiking" there, got some snacks from the store (thing I've learned here and on the dis...buy cheaper snacks elsewhere and save money for the GOOD food instead of mundane things like overpriced water, ha ha), snagged a coffee from the corner coffee place. He played with the coffee place's toys and I had my coffee (hadn't had any yet and it was noon), I read a Diego book to him that they had.

Got to the festival, got a little food, watched some Native American dancers, listed to some African drums...he played some drums and other musical instruments at a booth with a nice man running it, he met some nice dogs, we stopped by various booths where he was given scads of positive attention. There's something about a sweaty boy carrying a stick, a rock, and a pinecone in a backpack that brings out the smiles. We went to the local art museum's kid's art booth, and he painted two pictures and a mask (we rent, and I'm always afraid of the permanent mess such things can make, so he really only gets to do that at kid's museums and such), he used their scissors to make a 3-D painting/collage thing...

The only point of contention was their big bounce-house. He has not yet had a good experience with a play-place separate from "his" adults (except for one place at a store...we know we need to work more on getting him used to playing without us), he tends to just go inside and stand there until he comes out. There was a HUGE line, and it cost money, and I was a bit miffed b/c he refused to eat the 3-dollar corn I bought him at his "I want corn!" insistence (he loves corn) because he had snagged a rare treat, a lollipop, from the Salvation Army booth. So I wouldn't let him go in the bounce house.

In order to steer him away from the bounce house, I showed him a "bubble pit", a plastic kid's pool filled with bubble solution, with huge bubble wands. Oh man did he have a good time! good time, good time, good time...until it wasn't a good time.

The wind subsided, so he started swinging the wand to get the bubbles, and he was hitting other kids around him with the wand, and they were expressing their displeasure with being hit. I was right there, apologizing to the kids and wiping the bubble solution off of them, and letting Eamon know that he needed to calm down, and telling him the better way to do it. This talk normally works with him.

Except for when he's tired (he's slowly dropping his naps, and it's hard to determine if it's going to be a nap day or a no-nap day ahead of time...turns out I figured WRONG today), and except for when he's had corn syrup (lollipop). We've only figured out the corn syrup connection recently, and I'm very ashamed to say I'm having a very hard time dealing with it. I was VERY restrictive with his diet when he was younger in order to keep reactions to a minimum for the future, and I really really REALLY hoped that he would be able to eat anything with no problems...but the HFCS has "gotten" him. I shouldn't have let him have the lollipop, but like I said, I'm having a hard time with the HFCS ban, and I let him eat it.

So there was a HUGE crowd of kids with no bubble wands by now, he had been there the longest, and he was getting out of control. It was time to go. I *try* to help him make good decisions, and today I tried to show him the way to be nice, to pick a non-playing child to "gift" the wand to (I wasn't really using these words, honestly, I'm not THAT "woowoo"....and this USUALLY works really well with him...to him the world is full of his friends, and he wants others to be happy...it just didn't turn out to work today). But he wasn't having any of it. So I became sterner, and he refused. And finally, while talking to him the whole time, I simply picked him up and took the wand out of his hands, and handed it to a staff person, and walked away.

And here's the venting/crying part.

He absolutely attacked me. I'm not a little person, but I'm not big, either...I'm 5'3", and he's been more than half my height for forever. Heck, he was 22 inches long at birth...it didn't take him long to get to 32"...he's approx 39" now, and he's long known how to use leverage (when he was 11 months old he pushed me over to grab an apple from my hands while I was sitting on the floor), and he is VERY strong.

So he attacked me. Hands around my throat, fingernails in my skin. He cut my lip on the inside, with his fingernail. Scratched my face. Tried to bite me. All I did was try to hang on and get him in a tight enough hold that he couldn't do that anymore, but it didn't work. He just held on to what he grabbed, and squeezed harder.

So....I ended up in SO much pain that I burst into tears. In the middle of the kid's area, at a festival. There was just nothing I could do, short of totally changing my parenting beliefs and start punishing him physically....and that might have shocked him SO much that it could have stopped him TODAY, but I know him, and he would have figured out from that moment on that I feel physical punishment is OK, and allowed....and from HIM, too. Would have stopped him today, but wouldn't have WORKED in the long-run.

So I put him down and tried to regroup, all the while he had been battling me and kicking his feet and my underwear were, I'm sure, showing, tears were streaming down my face, I had fingernail marks all over neck and face...

And to make the whole thing even worse, I was carrying three not-quite-dry paintings he had made....all of which had copious amounts of RED paint on them, and the red paint got all over us. OMG that must have looked so horrible.

I was smack-dab in the middle of the park, and had to walk all the way out of the park through crowds of people (and I still had tears streaming down my face...he finally had the sense to stop it, and was very very quiet), then all the way back home which *should* have been downhill the whole way, but i forgot about construction, so I had to go partially uphill to get over to the downhill street again...holding him, his little backpack, my backpack, and those 3 paintings.

He did end up saying sorry to me, or "with" me, as he says. He was specific- sorry that he squeezed and scratched me (and he made the motion of having his hands around my neck), that he tried to bite me, and that he was just SO bad. He went to sleep quickly.

I can't imagine what the scene looked like to others. It must not have looked abusive, b/c no one yelled at me. It must not have looked too horrible of what I was going through, because no one helped me. But MAN oh man, what I wouldn't have given for someone to have come over with a sympathetic smile and some sort of distraction for him...or even a hug for me.

We thought we were doing really well in bringing him up. He's polite to most strangers (or just shy), he says please and thank you (and sorry when he's ready), he's helpful around the house to the extent that a 3 year old can be, and he's utterly hilarious.

But he also attacked me physically, in public, today. :(

07-28-2007, 10:05 PM
Oh, Molly. I'm so sorry. :( Unfortunately, I think this is just one of those mom things that we all go through in one way or another. Not the specifics but still the basics--children don't respond as we think they will in a situation, we start to lose control of the situation, and we then feel responsible for the situation.

The good news is that you both learned something from it. Just stepping back and thinking about it this hard has given you some perspective already into how you would treat another similar situation. You were actually a lot better about it than I would have been. LOL! I had to lock myself in my bedroom a couple of months ago and call my best friend because I thought I might throw one of my kids out a window for breaking her bedroom door.

You're a good mom. You did the best you could do. Kids are tough. It takes more instruction to get a driver's license than it does to get a kid. :)

07-28-2007, 10:06 PM
I am so sorry to hear that you had this kind of day. I completely understand where you are coming from. My kids are 5, 4 and almost 3. Sometimes they overwhelm me especially when they get physical with me or each other. I think you handled it the absolute best that you could under the circumstances and I can't think of anything that I would or could have done differently. Good luck. Kids are so rough, so wonderful and so challenging all at the same time.

ETA: Sorry! I reread what you typed and realized that you didnt actually spank him. I have to seriously admire you for that because it is SO hard not to do that when it feels like a helpless situation.

07-28-2007, 10:15 PM
First of all, a very big :hugs:

I don't know anything about your little boy, if he has any physical/emotional/development problems, etc. that may be making things more complex. But, from my experience 3 yrs old can get out of control pretty easily but it isn't always easy for them to get themselves back into control. And, that can be a scarey thing for them. And, for their parents, also.

My youngest, who is as sweet as you can ask for, also has a hot little temper. At age nine, we deal with her pretty well. But, when she was 2-4, wow, she could turn into a wild little tiger. Once, when she was about 2 1/2, I turned my back on her and she tried to bite my butt. I didn't turn my back on her, after that, for a looonnngg time. She was just so different from her sister. I used time out with her a lot, and lots of times I ended up just having to sit with her and hold her until she calmed down.

She finally has gotten old enough that she can put into words the frustration she feels. Now we are trying to teach her to say it a little softer.

I am so sorry about your day. Mostly, mine never tried to attack me, but I think you were right in how you handled him. And, I would have cried, too. :hugs:

07-28-2007, 10:20 PM
Thank you both.

Oh Janet, I must have gotten lost in my words...all I did was try to stop him from hurting me, but I didn't do anything back to him. Well, OK, I wasn't all that NICE to him while walking home...but insta-karma got me and there was someone behind me who HEARD me snark "I *tried* to make a nice day, and *this* is what you do to me?"...embarrassed.

5, 4, and almost 3...wow. I *wanted* that, I soooo wanted that. But this secondary low-fertility I'm going through has kept that from happening. And honestly, I think that some day, even once I have more (just losing two sizes worth of pounds has my cycles working better, yay!) kids, I'll realize that it was for the best for me, because he overwhelms me, even on days when he doesn't do that. My MIL has even stated that she doesn't want me to have more yet, because she's afraid that he'll be so physical with me (even just playing) that he'll hurt me and/or any baby I'd be carrying...you don't want to hear that from a MIL you almost despise, but I think she has a bit of a point. :(

Before reading your posts, I realized he could have done one more thing that would have made it even worse.

Backstory...in early June, he and DH were in the kitchen. DH was making dinner while I was making pennies on SR. :) Eamon wanted to be a part of it, and DH was holding him while dealing with pasta on the stove. Eamon grabbed the stirring spoon, and DH saw little wrong with him stirring the boiling water...until Eamon splashed the spoon down on the water, causing it to splash out, onto his body.

I didn't realize his chest was burned until minutes later, while I was just trying to get his arm burns cooled down. By the time we figured it out, it was because a big blister had formed and he had pulled it off as we were taking off his shirt. :( It was bad, but it wasn't BAAAAAD...we did call 911 b/c that's what our flipchart said to do for blistering burns...5 firemen/EMS types came into our small apartment, they suggested we drive up to the hospital (they didn't want to have to charge for the transport for a relatively OK burn), we spent a few hours at the hospital.

Since then, he knows what burns feel like. The other week, he overheard me describing to DH something he had done to my arm, accidentally, while hanging on it...in elementary school we would have called it an "indian burn", but of course now we don't, though I didn't know WHAT to call it, and just called it a "skin burn" while describing it to DH.

Ever since those two things, if we pick him up when he doesn't want to be picked up, he yells just about anything to get us to put him down. "Ow, you're hurting me! You're burning me! You're squishing me, ow, that burns, owie owie owie!!!!!"

So if he had done THAT today, that could have made it worse.

Oddly, on our way out of the park, a firetruck was turning into the service road...and it was some of the same guys who came to help with his burn that night... We waved at them.

07-28-2007, 10:20 PM
I agree with Tricia, I believe it's something that every parent will go through at some point in time. Not exactly, but something similar that could have you questioning everything and anything. All I can do is offer you a H-U-G-E :hugs: and promise that you will always have us girls here at sR to let you vent to.

07-28-2007, 10:23 PM
Big hugs to you!:hugs:

Kids are not perfect, and neither are parents. We all try our best and yet sometimes don't feel that it is good enough. When I have days like that with my kids, I do analyze what I could try differently next time that may work better but I also try really hard not to beat myself up over it. Then, I get a good night sleep and discuss the situation with my child the next day. We usually both feel better afterwards. Fortunately, the good days usually outweigh the bad. When the bad outweigh the good, that's when there is an issue.

Those cute little buggers have a way of pushing all of our buttons at times.

Tomorrow will be a better day! More hugs for you!:hugs:

07-28-2007, 10:25 PM
Janet I saw your edit. :) My words get jumbled, even when I try to not jumble them!

Honestly, the ONLY thing stopping me from spanking him is what I learned when, augh, I BIT him back when he was in a biting phase. I pretty much WATCHED the knowledge go into his brain, that suddenly I felt that biting was OK, because I had just done it.

I also have temper-control ingrained in me, because I've had to take anger management classes before. Had a little problem emulating my dad, when I'd lose my temper, and when you're on the shorter side, that just looks sad...the incident that got me into anger therapy was when I ended up with bruises on my wrists, from my foot-taller THEN-boyfriend holding my arms away from him as I tried to hit him... I realized it wasn't really serving me, to have such a temper, and learned some ways to control it.

So it would be really hard to actually get me to a place where the instinct took over before the anger management training and the knowledge that it would give him "permission" to hit back showed up...

07-28-2007, 10:27 PM
arob414..."Once, when she was about 2 1/2, I turned my back on her and she tried to bite my butt"

E did that to me, too. I think I walked backwards for 6 months after that!

07-28-2007, 10:30 PM
:hugs: :hugs:

I am so sorry. It is sooooo hard sometimes. You're a good mom. People talk about the terrible twos but I think three is worse. This is my third time there and believe me, the third time is NOT a charm in this case.

I have had to physically pick up my children and carry them out of a store - I had to do this one time with each of them - it's like some right of passage thing with my kids. :confused: They didn't get physical with me but they screamed bloody murder at the top of their lungs.

I can guarantee you that the majority of the people there were thinking - "Been there, done that" to some degree. The rest of them haven't had kids yet!! :rotfl:

I would have done the same thing and I would have cried at some point too. I am 5'2" - it can be a struggle to carry them when they are behaving!

07-28-2007, 10:31 PM
Thank you guys so much.

I've stopped shaking, so that's better.

07-28-2007, 10:38 PM
I am 5'2" - it can be a struggle to carry them when they are behaving!


DH is 5'10"...tall for his family, but not TALL.

We just did NOT think we'd have a tall kiddo on our hands. Then again, we thought he'd have black hair and dark brown eyes, and look like the dominant Korean genes "should" have made him look! (we've since met MANY red-haired quarter Asian people) But instead my Irish and DH's quarter-Welsh teamed up in his genetics.

Did I mention that he fits the stereotype of the fiery redhead very very well? :rotfl: Red hair, amber eyes (several people commented on his matching eyes and hair today)...and I would have named him Aidan if everyone and their uncle weren't already doing so...and Aidan means little fiery one according to my celtic names book...:p

07-28-2007, 10:39 PM
Oh, Molly :hugs: , I completely understand how you felt. We fought those exact same battles with our ds who is now 81/2. Let's start by saying he was kicked out of 3 different daycares, before I quite work to stay home with him. It takes the patience of JOB to handle a strong willed child. And when you are alone and out in public you feel all eyes are upon you. Just remember you love this little boy to the depth of your soul and it will take time. I remember that age between 3-5 being the absolute hardest thing I had ever done. Now though with a lot of hard work on his part, his docters, and us he is not the same child he was then. One thing I have to say here is that my little man has OCD and Tourrettes and has taken medication for it since he was 5. He still has his moments but they are not as severe. I have to say there were many days I would just lock the door and cry. Wondering what had I done wrong. All parents face obsticles and just know that you are not alone!!

Big hugs to you and your little man:hugs:


07-28-2007, 10:57 PM
So sorry you had a rough time today Molly! It always amazes me how a fun time can turn so bad, so fast with kids.

Add me to the list of moms who have been in your shoes. My DS7 has developmental delays including speech and frustrates easily. When he gets physical with me I usually know he's trying to tell me something but just can't. And it's the worst when he's tired. That period of adjustment from nap to no nap is so hard too. I bet your guy was having so much fun and then just hit the "I need a nap" wall.

It's just always hard to take that kind of behavior from my DS because I love him so much and I know he loves me.

It sounds like you are doing a great job with him though. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day! :hugs:

07-29-2007, 12:34 AM
:hugs: I think you handled it well and you sound like a great mom.

07-29-2007, 01:40 AM
Thank you so much everyone.

DH finally got home (he stopped at the store on his way home), and Eamon immediately started telling the story of today, and the MOST interesting part of it was when he said, without being prompted, that he got so angry "because I had a lollipop"*. WOW.

Then he got to the part about how I "cried and cried", and then I took him home and he slept, and woke up, and etc etc etc.

Since he had a LATE nap, he's having a LATE night (it's 10:30 pacific time), and he and DH are having their bedtime-time together, and Eamon is laughing and laughing at silly stuff Robert is doing... It's SO nice to hear him laugh like that after today's difficulty.

I worked so hard to help him have every possibility to not be allergic to eggs or dairy like I am/was, to keep his diet so good so that he could have the occasional naughty food without his body freaking out...and the high fructose corn syrup escaped my attention (thought that stuff is so unnatural I'm not sure how I could have helped to prevent a bad reaction). criminy.

* we really don't talk about it in front of him, b/c the mention of a treat will make him ask for it, LOL. we try to focus on what he CAN have, rather than the cannots. AND today I was so angry with him that I wasn't talking about the lollipop in any context, I was just trying to get us home ASAP, and the walk was making me out of breath anyway! so it seems that he's picked it up from us somehow when I wasn't paying attention, or he could feel his body rev itself up after eating the dumdum.

makes me feel bad for my mom...my dad would give us fruit loops and soda and ice cream sundaes every day he had us, if we wanted them (IF we wanted them, LOL), because the first two weren't offered at our house, and the third was a special treat...after three days of being sugared-up, he'd drop us off at home, for her to deal with. poor lady!

07-29-2007, 08:48 AM

Hope today is a better day!

07-29-2007, 09:02 AM
Oh Molly!!! I sniffled for you as I read your story. :hugs:

I have a DD3 who did a little "wing spreading" of her own a couple of months ago and it was very challenging for our family. I TOTALLY agree with "Sahmy" - age 3 is FAR worse than age 2!! I'm not embarrassed to admit that there have been a number of times when I've wanted to pack her a suitcase and set her out on the front lawn with an "adopt me" sign on her - LOL!! :rotfl: I know first hand how hard it is to restrain yourself from reprimanding them physically - my DH and I share your philosophy - and I just wanted to say that you handled the situation perfectly well. If you haven't already, I would have a conversation with him about the outburst. Tell him how his behavior made you feel and be totally honest. Ask him how he felt when he was attacking you - did it make him sad, powerful, etc? Helping him connect your feelings with his feelings will be a good lesson in empathy for him.

Please please please don't feel down on yourself about this situation. What more could you have done?! The reason people didn't get involved, or "help' you was because you were handling it as best as anyone could. :hugs:

This is SUCH a hard age. My oldest DD7 is a very mild mannered child and as gentle as a manatee...and even she had her evil spells. Eamon is so young and still learning how to express himself. The fact that you're posting here and concerned about making sure you're doing right by him PROVES you're a fantastic Mom!!!!!!! Please believe that!!!!! Now go give him an extra hug...

07-29-2007, 11:32 AM
Hi Molly,

You might be surprised that even at 3 kids will understand if there is something they cannot have. Especially with food. If your son becomes aware that certain things will make him 'sick' he will help himself to avoid them. And reactions like the one he had to the lollipop are a sickness.

Being a parent is a learning process and every child, even in the same family is different. There is plenty of advice out there but there isn't an instruction manual that comes with each child. Trial and error. We all have to do what works for us in the situation and with the child at hand.

Now.....that all being said......when my daughter (2nd child) acted up, I often made the comment, that if she was born first......she wouldn't have had a brother!! Her brother (child #1)wasn't an angel by any means, but he was sure less of a challenge than she was. I love her to death but at 26 and living on her own, she still presents a few challenges for us.

I think you handled the incident wonderfully, better than I think I would have. You are a good Mom and hugs to you. :hugs:

07-29-2007, 01:04 PM
I have been there. My youngest is 16 and when he was in daycare what woes I had. I am not a small woman, I'm 5' 10'', and there were times when I would leave someplace with my little boy under my arm like a sack of potatoes. A very loud sack of potatoes. Not the impression I wanted to leave with everyone but we had to get out of the situation and fast. He is a sweetheart now but he caused me a few tears in his time. Hang on you are not alone.

07-29-2007, 01:17 PM
A very loud sack of potatoes, what an image. :)

Thanks everyone.

I like the idea of talking to him about his feelings while he was doing that, I think I'll do that later. Right now we got up late, mainly b/c I feel like an elephant sat on me, but, and we're having food food glorious food so that no one is cranky simply because they didn't have nice food.

08-11-2007, 11:36 AM
I've been thinking about you lately and have been wondering how things have been going with your son. I have been in the same boat as you and things are better now for us. Hoping things are for you too! :sunshine:

08-11-2007, 12:18 PM
Hi, thanks for thinking of me!

We've been really vigilant about what he eats, and he hasn't had a blow-out quite that bad. The other day DH took him to the store and he had a bakery cookie, and when he got home, he had a mini-attack, but I could feel him controlling himself, even when I could tell he was super-frustrated and WANTED to have a total meltdown again.

Today we're going to the zoo, to a Mayor's Summer Celebration day (along with the library's "summer reader's" program), so this will be the first outing since that festival. I hope it goes well, and I'm not reduced to tears in public!

08-11-2007, 12:23 PM
:hugs: mollyeilis, I hope you have a very wonderful, and enjoyable day at the zoo, and the only tear you will shead today would be tears of joy!:hugs:

08-12-2007, 09:56 PM
Molly, I just found your thread...I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.
:hugs: :hugs:
Add me to the list of Moms who have been there, done that. My son has autism so while he 'looks' normal, his behavior can be anything but. He has had some really bad meltdowns in public and we have no other choice but to physically restrain him.. :( We always get lots of looks..But I couldn't care less what other people think. You are a wonderful mom doing the very best you can for your little guy. Parenting ...hmmm. what is it that they say...
As hard as you imagine parenting will be, you end up wishing it was that easy.

We are always here to listen and support you. That's what Mom's do.