Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A day in the life with small kids: Peaceful Parenting through the worst of fits

Crazy day ends with a crazy bath time of Barbie Mermaids swimming in the toilet (thanks Sebastian age 2), lots of noise and much more than necessary splashing. At least Sebastian has decided baths are fun again, as long as I don't wash his hair. Sebastian was then clinging to my leg like a monkey as I tried to wash two little girl heads and give them haircuts (ages 4 and 6). This is all after a long day that included a trip to the dentist as well.

Sebastian threw the biggest fit of anger at the dentist’s office that I have ever seen! Boy does that kid hate his teeth cleaned. I knew that already because I clean them every day and this wasn't his first screaming dentist visit. In the end good reports for teeth though. It’s nice that my hard work of brushing, scraping and flossing kids’ teeth pays off.

Sebastian doesn't get a full cleaning at the dentist yet because we are working up to that level of cooperation with him, statements like that make our pediatric dentist worth driving long distances for. Our pediatric dentist is amazing and we love him so much. He's amazing with parents and kids and he's very respectful. So my little Sebastian gets an inspection and light tooth brushing on my lap which took all of maybe 45 seconds and does include me holding him down. After Sebastian's mini-exam was over he screamed HIS BLOODY HEAD OFF calling me a mean mom and hitting me with his fists. I sternly told him as I held his arm that I don't hit him and he can't hit me. He hit another time but I kept telling him I don't hit him. On the third time of me holding his arm and fist down he accused me of pinching him. He wailed his head off more. He stopped hitting but the crying and screaming continued. His head turned bright red and veins were popping out of his forehead and neck. I don't know how this kid manages to breathe during fits like this but he does. I have seen him get very angry and throw fits, heck it happens just about every day, he's two you know! But, I have never, ever seen any of my kids go on like this especially in public. I kept repeating that I understood he was angry with me and that it was okay to be mad about it. He continued to repeat, "MEAN MOMMY!" over and over.

Mean __insert name here____ is what he says to anyone who has wronged him. It used to hurt my feelings. Then I realized it's only him expressing himself. I tried to reason with Sebastian and told him that we were going home. I tried to explain to him that it was all over and that we should leave this place that made him upset. I couldn't drag him out.

Our dentist fetched me a drink of water in a dixie cup for his throat that was getting hoarser by the second. Sebastian paused and almost went for it. At home when his fits are nearing an end he gladly gulps down water and takes deep breaths signifying the fit-storm is subsiding. Then usually he collapses into my arms. He *almost* was ready to do that but.... another outburst. "No water, no no, YUCKY, no..." So I said it was for me and I started to drink it. Then he grabbed the cup squeezing it with all his might trying to spill it so I couldn't drink it. In a quick swoop I gulped a bunch down as he wrestled me for it like a brat. I knew he wasn't a brat he was just really mad and really sad he was held down against his will. I can't imagine how much that sucks for a child to be completely powerless. It must be really frustrating to be your own person but also be forced to do things you do not want to do.

Regardless I felt like everyone in that room thought he was a brat. There were a few drops of water left at the bottom of the dixie cup and I poured it into his mouth. He drank it like a baby bird. Now I thought to myself; now he'll want more water and he'll collapse into me. Now my sweet boy will let me soothe him and now the whole dentist’s office will smile when mom and son embrace and the bad situation will turn to good. Nope. "Bleah! Yuck, WATER YUCKY. WAHHHHHhhh water yucky! Yucky water. BLEAH!"

Seriously? At that point I knew we needed to flee and flee NOW.

I had tried to explain to our dentist just how bad his reaction was going to be at this visit beforehand (I didn't say so in front of Sebastian) but I'm sure the dentist didn't see this kind of a fit coming! Heck I didn't see it coming! As I stated previously even this fit was a record breaker of all time and I have seven kids!

As I tried to drag Sebastian out of their office a Dental Hygienist told me not to worry and that they've seen it all. Our dentist gave me a reassuring, "This happens, he's just mad at us." I appreciated that. As embarrassing and horrible as it might be for your child to melt down in public I was okay with the fact that this happened and accept it as part of Sebastian's growth as a small person but to have support is always nice. I hate when people look at me as the poor lady with lots of kids though! ;) When I'm at a grocery store or other public place I try and offer support like that to fellow parents as well. An "I understand I've been there" comment can really help parents calm down and do what they need to do to take control of the situation and STAY IN CONTROL of the situation. I think I've seen parents hit their children because they wanted to prove they were the boss and felt others were judging them by not having control over their child.

I carried Sebastian outside with less resistance this time. Once in the car he arched his back so I couldn't buckle him in his car seat. He threw his favorite toy, he screamed. After a few seconds I quit trying to shove him into his car set and just shut the door. I waited a minute as he got quieter and then suddenly he said, "Want out. Want out." I opened the door slowly and asked him if he was ok now. He came to me with open arms and said he was. After a few hugs I asked his sparkling blue but puffy eyes if he'd like to go back inside and pick out his prize from the prize box. He nodded with a quiet and thoughtful small smile. We went in and picked out a toy and then happy but exhausted went home with the other six kids. On the way in to get his toy he had a nice BIG drink of water from our sports bottle and he hugged me again.

 The happy Sebastian I know playing in spring mud.


Emily said...

I am so encouraged by this post! My son is the same age and I've been putting off scheduling a dental appointment this week because I dread this type of situation! If you can handle it with such grace, then so can I! Here's another helpful resource I've found, a Mom's Guide to caring for little teeth.

eleanor said...

This sounds so much like Keiran right now it's scary! I know it's frustrating, but I can't tell you how much better I feel when I know other people's kids act this way. What I hate is when people (particularly my family) give me that look or even make comments about how I should spank him! Because you know nothing helps a kid get over a tantrum like hitting them! *rolls eyes*

Arkay said...

You are such an amazing mother. Your children are so lucky to be growing up with respect and love and honor being shown to them. Every child in the world should be so lucky to be raised so well.


Mom of a Half Dozen Kids said...

Arkay- You made me tear up just now! :) I really appreciate such kind words. It's not always easy but I really love being a mom.

Emily- I'm really glad you are encouraged. I find myself really enjoying sharing things online but it's hard to spend the time on writing when I have so many other responsibilities. Two things encourage me. One is that I love reading back and having a blog I can print of my life one day is really neat. The other is that I sometimes help people! :)

It's very, very hard to take your child somewhere when you know they will be so upset. I hate forcing a child, or anyone, to do something so vehemently against his or her will! I put off this appointment too. He was due back for a cleaning a year ago but I put it off until now as I kept remembering how bad the other visit was. (it was a visit in which he had dental work done). We made it through another one though! Try and find a compassionate dentist (I recommend pediatric dentists). Thanks for the helpful link! :)