whining, screaming, and gnashing of teeth

Jan 27, 2011

Ahhh, you know those mothering days when no matter what you do or say things seem to go awry? I am in the midst of one of them and all my experience as a mother for the last fourteen-plus years, all my knowledge of Piaget, Erikson, Moore, Granju, and Sears, all the books I have read and all the classes I have taught are not doing me a bit of good. The whining and screaming are coming from my four lovely offspring, but I am the one gnashing my teeth in an effort to keep the crazy words I am thinking from coming out.

Have you ever had one of those days? A day when children are whining again. When they are screaming for the umpteenth time and no amount of patience or nurturing or logic or consequence or ANYTHING seems to make a difference. My ears hurt, my head is splitting, and I want to crawl in a hole and sleep for weeks. The decibel levels in this home have hit an all-time high today and the sad thing is the girl who has made the most noise is only three, still growing, and sure to have more diaphragm possibilities in the future.

My little boy is in a “everything is terrible, nobody likes me, life is too hard” state of mind and I have no more words to reassure him, no more patience to keep trying, and no more determination to make everything in his life all better. His inconsolability has rendered me inept.

Now, I know I have more tools up my sleeve. I know there is something else I can do to help these precious little ones, but I don’t have enough left in me to search my heart for it.

Have you had a day like that?

Instead of hiding in a hole, I called Richard, told him the state of things and begged for a rescue. He asked me to start some potatoes boiling (which Eve and Keziah promptly washed) and said he would make mashed potatoes when he got home. We will eat, we will try to have some stimulating dinner discussion, and then we will curl up in our blankets and read Matthew 6 and The Phantom Tollbooth. Surely our evening routine will be an improvement over this afternoon and will give me enough of an ummmppphhh to try again tomorrow.

Do you think it will work?

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  1. Jenny

    Yes it will work because you are not a quiter and tomorrow will be better!!! If not there is always a brisk walk outside or duct tape. LOL

  2. mikelle pitts

    I can’t even imagine that sweet little thing causing a ruckus at your house!

    • tracy

      I think Annes is suffering from too many “mothers” and not enough mothering. Also, she has learned her voice is loud and is powerful and makes people do things.

  3. Tasha

    I think it is because it is January. This is the bottom of the winter, we’re all suffering from sun deprivation, winter blahs, and cabin fever. Yesterday I was about to go crazy too. Soon the sun will come out, and spring will be on the way. I can’t wait…I hope we all make it.

    • tracy

      January and February are my hardest months…there is not enough daylight, not enough sunlight, and I never seem to have as much energy those months. I probably need to take it as a sign and schedule those months with nothing to do, but for some reason they are often super busy months for me as well.

      May we survive till spring!

  4. LaPriel

    Ear plugs can be helpful at times like this! I’ve had many of these days over the years. But, as you know, somehow we made it and there has been times of great joy.

    My son went through a nobody likes me, life is hard, maybe I’d better off dead (that one really disturbed me!) phase at about 9. Don’t know what to tell you. I finally took him to a counselor because of a family history of depression. She talked with him about anger, how to recognize it, how to deal with it. He was SO mad at me for doing this, but if really helped him. He went about 3 times.

    You are wonderful and normal. :)