Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Ben,

Dear Ben,

At this moment, you are blissfully napping in your room. Safe and secure in your bed, covered by a beloved blanket, watched over by your favorite bear and surrounded (I'm sure) by a scatter of trucks. There is nothing more perfect that watching you sleep. I don't get to do it often (it seems if I'm in your room longer than a minute while you're sleeping, you sense me and wake up), but I love to watch your sweet face sleep.

We're having a rough week, kiddo. Today at Tumble Time... ugh. We started out so well. We really did. You participated well, you listened, you played, we had one tiny attitude adjustment where I reminded you that while we were there to have fun, we also had to listen. You sat on the rainbow mat (almost) the entire time (other kids got up to play and the temptation to join them was too great, but once I corrected you, you sat and watched with no other problems). I was SO proud of how well you were doing and really looking forward to telling daddy all about it (and I did, but then I also had to say the other that happened). Free play was going well until. Until. You chose not to listen. You chose to screech "no!" at me and refuse to listen. I was finally able to reach you and took you to the steps for what I thought was going to be another small attitude adjustment. Instead, you were angry and tore a chunk of hair out of my head. Then you kicked me. After that, we left.

Yesterday was horrific. Absolutely the worst day of my mommy life. I don't even want to talk about it and had a hard time telling daddy. Monday was yucky too.

You're just in a mood, kiddo and I wish I knew what to do. I'm trying oh so very hard to be fair, firm and consistent. I'm trying oh so very hard not to raise my voice, not to grab you up too roughly, not to get angry. You know all of mommy's buttons and you push them with glee.

Daddy thinks you might be so crabtastic because some of your teeth are having a hard time poking through. I think you're working on your second set of molars and there's a tooth in the front that simply won't come out. You have a dentist appointment on Wednesday and hopefully we can get some relief tips.

Starting tomorrow, we're going to try out a new sticker chart. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, we'll review your behavior for the day. If we had a good day with no hitting/kicking/pinching/biting/hair pulling - a sticker goes on the chart. If you have several days in a row filled with stickers, you get to choose a prize. I'm hoping that if I show you how we'll reward good behavior, the desire to stop bad behavior will kick in.

Mommy's getting worn out. This whole week (month, year), I've really been questioning my decision to stay home with you. I'm super nervous and scared about what we'll do when baby brother or sister comes home from the hospital. Some times you act out of anger - you're mad that I took something away or asked you to stop doing something, etc. I want you to understand that it's OKAY to be mad. We ALL get mad. I want you to understand that even though it's OKAY to be mad, it's NOT okay to hit/kick/bite/pinch/pull hair. Some times, though, I'm baffled by why you act out. Last night, for example, you asked me to come in your room and play cars - so I did. We played for several minutes before you came over to me and started hitting and pinching, for no reason that I can find.

I feel that there's something huge I'm missing or not doing that would make life easier for us both. I don't know what it is. I spend lots of time with you playing cars, doing craft projects, playing chase, reading, singing and cuddling. I give you lots of alone time, to play independently and grow your own imagination. We go outside to explore often. I give you an outlet once a week at Tumble Time to play with friends and get your energy out in fun ways we can't do at home.

I've been considering putting you in a day care for a few hours a week, a few days a week. Maybe the socialization with other kids and being forced to listen to some one other that mommy & daddy would help you. Maybe giving mommy some time on her own to run errands, do chores or simply be by myself would help me. Maybe the combo would be super beneficial to us both.

I love you to bits and pieces, baby boy. Even when I really don't like you, I really DO love you.

Hugs & kisses,

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