Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lord, grant me the patience and the strength

Yesterday was a day of great patience testing. My often mischievous daughter has had behavior which has caused me to consider things like reform school and contacting the Super Nanny at of late. He-Man was a toddler when Donut came along and we had NONE of these same problems. Never once did I struggle with him doing things that could harm his sister. But then again, never once did my husband announce when He-Man was a mere infant that the child had sneaky eyes and would be a challenge in the discipline department. But when Donut was only three months old, the Captain informed me that Donut was going to be a little mean and sneaky and we were going to have our hands full. Of course I thought he was crazy. He's been proven right ever since though. First of all, she is highly intelligent. She also isn't affected by punishment (or reward... don't worry, we always try that first!). She occasionally seems upset when we are disappointed in her but it rarely carries over to the next time. The "bad" behaviors are simply repeated as if we'd not been over it before. Usually this isn't that big of a deal. But when it comes to her harming her baby brother... I can't be so patient any longer.

When I am nursing him, she gets on top of us and no amount of begging her to, "Please move" works. She pushes into his head,tries to pick him up, pulls his legs, his arms, and it always ends in him screaming. She is not affected whatsoever by my telling her to stop. I have to physically push her off. This is what happens when I'm holding him. Imagine what it's like when he's in his swing or car seat or... well, you get the picture. Yesterday was especially hard. I had left the two olders on the floor playing with a toy and the baby in the swing. I went outside to the garage to get a bag of frozen veggies and then came back in to find her near the swing and the baby coughing and gagging. Then he threw up, big time. I asked her what she'd done. Just a few days ago, he'd coughed and sneezed out tiny bits of green stuff... she'd been feeding him sugar snap peas. When he was merely a couple of days old, I found popcorn all around him and in his mouth. This is no new thing. So when she ran off, dove into the sofa face first and told me she couldn't say what she'd been doing, I panicked. He-Man then told me that she'd fed the baby a googly eye. One of the googly eyes from the craft toy with which they had been playing was missing. I checked. Sure enough. She insisted that this wasn't the case. She'd not fed him a googly eye. But she lies all of the time. I can't trust her. Shortly after that, He-Man found the missing googly eye on the floor... it had blended in with the rug. But the fact remained that she had done something to the baby to make him throw up and gag.

I fixed the play yard so that he would lay on the bottom of it instead of being more towards the middle. He's happily laying in the bottom of the playyard, cooing and waving his arms. I had forced her to sit next to me in the kitchen while I unloaded the dishwasher. But she, with no respect for authority got up, went into the living room, picked up a long metal rod from the pieces of the playyard that I'd taken apart and proceeds to hit him about the head with it. Wow.

While I was fixing dinner, I had brought him in his swing into the kitchen. He was so happy watching me bustle about making food. I had to open the refrigerator to get something out, which blocked him from view for a moment. Suddenly he's screaming. Blood curdling screams. She's next to him. I went over to pick him up, she darted off. His whole hand was covered in blood. His leg had blood on it. I have no idea what to do. I go outside and show her dad what she'd done and he said he'd come in and deal with it. After some detective work it seems that she was clipping his nail and cut more flesh than nail.

It scares me that she is this sneaky. It scares me that I have to keep my eyes on her every waking moment of the day. She climbs counters. She leaves the house. She eats entire bottles of homeopathic tablets. She sneaks into my bathroom and gets my toothpaste all over the place. She destroys things. She shows no remorse. I'm at the end of my rope.

12 comments:

  1. Wow. I have a book for you to borrow. It is called how to make your children mind with losing yours and it is by Dr. Kevin Lehman - a Christian author. If you are ever out and about, give me a call and you are welcome to come and pick it up. It has excellent discipline ideas. Love & Blessings....-Amy

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  2. I am speechless, wow. I love ya and will pray. Wish I had advice. I have had several people from day one say that Lillybeth has that look in her eyes and that we will have to watch her. I see signs everyday and it does concern me.

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  3. WOW! I probably would have already called Nanny 911. I will be praying for you and her.

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  4. praying, praying, praying...

    She definitely has boundary issues--sounds like she may need tougher consequences. I wish I could offer some advice, but I'm clueless. :(

    praying, praying, praying...

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  5. Mandy, she sounds EXACTLY, EXACTLY, EXACTLY like my middle child. Out of curiousity does she also have exzema or have purple smudges under her eyes a lot of the time. Does she have food allergies that you know about? Our middle child, Esthr, was EXACTLY like that, constantly doing thigns that would drive you completely insane and showing absolutely no remorse. We knew she had a severe allergy to corn and rice (instant projectile vomiting when she got it on her lips or in her mouth) and a lot of bouts with eczema. When she was about 3 we did the candida diet and realized she had more food allergies, then we started taking food enzymes. Suddenly she started vocalizing instead of screaming or acting out when frustrated, she suddenly stopped doing so many crazy things (like decorating my ENTIRE bedroom with deoderant or marker, drinking a whole bottle of Benedryl, eating balloons, climbing everything under the sun including sitting on the kitchen table to eat ALL of whatever cake or pie is left there, etc, etc, etc.). She was suddenly calm and her intelligence came out in many other ways. We then realized that she wasn't really doing things to cause trouble or hurt people (she was a biter and hitter and constantly broke toys trying to use them for things they were not intended) but rather because she wanted to know what would happen and had a hard time vocalizing her questions. Now she is a compassionate and sweet 9 yerar old who prefers reading to crowds, loves serving others, and wouldn't hurt another person for anything (except when she forgets to take enzymes before eating and OH MY GOODNESS!) It really sounds to me that your little girl is not being evil, just a VERY curious 3 year old who is trying to figure out how to get your attention with this new baby in the house and is also trying to figure out how this baby thing works. (I should note here that my mother saw Esther exactly as your husband saw your daughter--sneaky and slightly evil, and to this day she has a hard time seeing her as any different, this beautiful thoughtful child who isn't deliberately not paying attention but is instead so caught up in her own thoughts that she doesn't notice that somene is talking to her.)

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  6. Heather's comment sounds hopeful. Gerrick's behavior was sometimes not so good (okay, let me just say BAD--and very out of character) before we got his seasonal allergies under control--no tougher consequences would have helped, i don't think. good luck & hang in there.

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  7. I would be completely lost too...and scared!

    I have no good advice for you. But Heather seems to have some hopeful wise words. I hope what she says will guide you in some way.

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  8. Wow - she is my middle child too! If I hadn't just found you, I would think you were writing about my son. He has always been a challenge for us. The worst, however, was when our daughter was born - they are 19 months apart.

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  9. Thank you all for your feedback and your prayers and words of encouragement. Things have greatly improved and we have decided to try and sign her up for preschool. I pray that it's the right decision for us and for her.

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  10. Wow! Wishing you peace. This sounds very challenging, and transitional. Hopefully it's something she will mature out of. I was very interested in Heathers comment. I've known kids to really act nutty with food allergies. It's worth considering.
    There are so many new changes. Hopefully preschool will give her a space where she feels grown up and special and she'll ease out of this.
    Not easy for you to say the least!

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  11. Wowsers! You guys have had a crazy few months! When we had our first child, we were given a bouncy seat and playpen with zipper screen covers. At the time, I thought it was a little overkill to protect little ones from animals. And then we had more kids - and then the zippers made so much more sense. They protected the infant from the toddlers and preschoolers (to some degree) but only for the few seconds it took them to unzip it! But those few moments were enough for momma to be on high alert. In general, I couldn't leave my wee ones alone with the baby - not even to go to the bathroom. Even if they weren't trying to intentionally hurt the baby, they would smother it with hugs or blankets.

    It's super hard to be the middle child. As much one-on-one mommy time as you can give her would be great. I noticed how quickly she hopped in momma's lap at the library when I held the baby. Hopefully she never asks you to give up baby for adoption as my eldest did when her baby brother turned 2! May God bless dear Donut with self-control and may He bless Mommy with wisdom in guiding her sheep!

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