Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Third Wheel

Ellie is an awesome baby. She has been sleeping pretty well at night, most nights she is in bed by 9:00 and usually doesn't wake up until 5:00. She has even been able to go to sleep on her own. At night I set her in her bassinet with her pacifier and she will usually fall asleep on her own. She will also doze off in this chair , which Bud and I call the magic chair.

So Ellie is pretty easy at this point. Not easy is Maddie. I have am kind at my wits end with her. When Owen was this age and Maddie was born it didn't seem to affect him at all. However Ellie seems to have ruined the Maddie I have known and loved. She has constant tantrums, nothing makes her happy and she is very mad at us, particularly me.

On the one hand I can really sympathize with her. She sees Owen doing all these big kid things like reading and going to school. She sees Ellie getting all sorts of attention and cuddles. And she seems to be somewhere in between. I use to laugh at the whole middle child thing, I figured everyone has it hard in some way. I am starting to see that it may be a bit tough to be the middle kid.

However, this doesn't excuse her behavior. She sometimes hugs Ellie, reaaallly hard, or gahh has pinched her cheeks, and once slapped her on the head. She has gone after Owen with the plastic golf clubs, which occasionally he has deserved. Any little thing will set her off, she starts screaming, thrashing and kicking. We have done lots of time outs, we have sent her to her room, I am thinking an exorcism is in order.

Last week was really bad. My mom has been very silently disaproving the way we talk about Maddie being a beyotch. She thinks Maddie is a total angel and can do virtually no wrong. Then last week Maddie pitched a total fit when mom was here. Mom made a comment about there being no consequences for her acting up. Which isn't true, however Maddie had spent the night at moms house and got to sleep late and she had also been given a lot of candy. Sometimes it isn't worth having a knock down drag out with a three year old.

I just don't know how to walk the line of helping her through the transition and maintaining discipline. Dude, parenting is hard sometimes. Plus, I spend a lot of time with teenagers, some of whom are very messed up and I wonder where did things go wrong? Will Ellie's birth mark the down hill slide for Maddie? Will she end up pregnant, on drugs and drop out of school because I wanted another baby? Or because I didn't handle everything properly? Which lead to much weeping on my part last week. Then I started thinking maybe I should just run away with Ellie, so Owen and Maddie can have their old lives back. Which made me start to think I may be having some post partum issues. I was talking to Bud and my mom about it, and they both think I should mention it to my doctor. I will, but just realizing that maybe my parenting decisions today won't condemn Maddie to a life of deliquency is pretty helpful.

Woo, this has rambled on alot. Any advice on dealing with a three year old would be great. By the way three year olds are way worse than the two's aren't they?


Aunt Becky said...

My only advice is for you: lots of vodka. And don't buy into her trying to goad you. Three was the new two for us.

The Women's Colony said...

If you can make time at all, I would do something alone with her every day. Take a walk just the two of you-something where the baby is not an issue. Or go to the library and read books.

I don't know what your feeding situation is, but this is a big reason that even though I nursed all my kids I also made sure they could take a bottle. It was worth it to make sure I could give the other kids some special time.

I had 3 kids in 4+1/2 years, the middle one is 16 now and he's doing just fine.

Good luck!

melissa said...

I was just thinking tonight how the 3s are SO MUCH worse than the least with our Owen. I know it's all developmental and that he is just trying to gain some control--I think the frequency of outbursts is LESS but the intensity is MORE. My only words of wisdom: this too shall pass!

Swistle said...

Dude. I know. And I don't know either. I am just sort of assuming I'll get blamed NO MATTER WHAT: it's either "My mother never had time for me" or it's "My mother suffocated me."