Saturday, September 25, 2010

Terrible Fours??

I have started this post so many times, but I am determined to push through it today.  I have no idea what to do about Maddie.  Last year was tough with her, but she was three so we figured things would get better.   We thought starting preschool this year would help.  But the last few weeks have been a nightmare.

At school she is an angel, everyone there loves her.  They tell me how kind, and sweet and wonderful she is for them.  I don't know that girl, the girl I know is angry and stubborn and always on edge.  I see brief glimpses of the girl they know, but she is a fleeting image.  The girl I live with dominates the house with her frustration and anger. 

We are trying new behavior systems, Owen and Maddie each start the day with three magnets.  Fighting, or freak outs or tantrums result in the loss of a magnet.  Once they lose all three, they go to bed.  We keep track of how many they had at the end of the day and have a reward at the end of the week if they earned it.

On Monday, the first day, Maddie lost one in the car on the way home.  She was losing her shit because her artwork did not fit her homework folder.  When we got home she started her homework.  The assignment was to circle pictures that started with the letter M.  There was a bottle of medicine with a spoon next to it.  She knew medicine started with an M, but spoon started with an S so it shouldn't be circled.  BUT, there was no way to circle only the medicine without also touching the spoon.  We tried explaining that the spoon was part of the medicine.  No dice.  She started screaming and scribbling on the paper.  We finally had to take her to her room and leave her there until dinner.

When she traces her letters, she cries because she "can't write the letters perfectly".  Her grammar is very precise for her age.  She loses her mind when she can't do something "right".  We keep trying to explain, practice....blah, blah.

She is so mean to Ellie, she pushes her down, takes things away, has said she wants Ellie to be eaten by a monster.  I get the resentment, I do.  But lately she has been going into Ellie's room and waking her up from her naps.  Which just kills us, Ellie is super unpleasant without a nap.  She lashes out at Owen, hitting him, and scratching him until he bleeds.  He does torment her, and I think she waits until he doesn't expect it.  Which, I get.

What really gets to me, are her meltdowns.  She will lose her mind completely, even if she is getting her way.  Today she spent 20 minutes crying because she wanted to wear legging, and I said OK.  But she felt she was going to be to hot.  So I said, don't wear them.  Then she said but she wants to wear them.  Ok.  But what if she was to hot.  She argued with herself for 20 minutes.  I have no idea how to handle that.

Once she starts a meltdown there is no way to stop her.  I know this all sound like typical 4 year old stuff.  I can't put into words how it feels around here.  I wake up every morning wondering how bad things will get.  When we get to the end of the day at work, we dread coming home.  We just don't know how to help her, I am afraid we are doing it wrong and we will ruin her.

Should we get a child psychologist for her?  Should I drink more?  Maybe I could stay with my mom until Maddie is six? 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What have I been doing?

There has been a little of this:

And some of this:

Oh, so much of this:

And Hello!  Lots  of this:

She never stops moving.  She's like a shark, and she has also taken to biting.  I don't remember the other two being so climby.  She is kickin our asses on a daily hourly basis.