Monday, September 13, 2010

The One Where I Should Have Stayed Home...

I should have known that today was going to be hell when I left my house with the girls. I have a fun review that I had to go shopping for--while I love to shop, I should known when Isabella was screaming for the park that I would be best to just turn around and go home...

We got to our destination and it was hell. Isabella screaming, Madelyn pulling Isabella's hair, more screaming from both of them. I am sure my two girls cleared the store out with their unacceptable behavior. I grabbed a few things and practically ran up to the register. I paid, thanked the girl and asked the girls if they were ready for lunch--it was already 1 p.m. and I knew how hungry I was...it's only realistic that they, too, were starving.

We got to to Chick-Fil-A where everything was going great. The girls and I were enjoying our nuggets and munching on our waffle fries. I actually thought to myself that my day was turning around. I mean, look at us--three girls laughing and smiling, me giggling at their ketchup streaked faces and us all having a nice moment. So much better than earlier...

Isabella then asked to go in the play area. I cleaned her up and told her that I would be in after Madelyn was done eating her waffle fry. As I was gathering our trash and making sure I had everything a little girl comes running out of the play area. Right then I knew that Isabella had done something.

The girl's Mom (who was there with a friend...) asked her if she was crying. The little girl said yes, that little girl scratched my face.

I leaped up from the table and climbed up the stupid spiral stairs to Isabella. I asked her what happened and she told me...

I scratch her cheek, Mommy.

I felt awful for the little girl. No parent wants to see their child in either one of these girls' positions. I marched Isabella out to where the little was with her Mom, got down on Isabella's level and told her firmly Isabella, you HURT her. We do NOT scratch other children. Tell you are sorry and give her a hug. NOW.

The woman's friend then piped up YOUR little girl just SCRATCHED her all over her face!

Was she serious?! I just wanted to tell her no shit, really? Why the heck do you think I am out here--MORTIFIED at Isabella's behavior--and apologizing profusely while having Isabella do the EXACT. SAME. THING.


Isabella finally apologized and hugged the girl. I apologized once again to the Mom, I felt horrible. I have no idea why she hurt the little girl...and I'm mortified that my child is the one that hurts other children. She is constantly scratching Madelyn and it's hell. I have tried time out, placing her in her room, the corner. I am at my wit's end on how to deal with her behavior.

This woman's friend was a bitch. It wasn't as if I had sat out there all smiles while watching this all unfold. I ran up the entire play area stairs to pull Isabella down and marched her out there--while scolding her and telling her how wrong that was--to apologize.

I (with my eyes full of tears) tried to grab my stuff, throw away my trash, carry Madelyn and drag my screaming child out of Chick-Fil-A. It was awful. As we were pushing through the doors tears were streaming down my cheeks. As I write this I am crying again. I miss my husband. I have an out of control child that sees no wrong in harming other children.

What can I do to stop this behavior? I would really love advice from parents who have gone through this. She does go in early October to her pediatrician for her 3 year check up. I am already planning on talking to them about her hurting other children.  I feel like a failure of a Mom. Did I go wrong somewhere?

*sigh* Going to go and curl up and cry some more. I wish I had someone to just give me a hug. Today royally sucked.

23 comments:

nicole said...

I am so sorry you had such a bad day. My 2.5 yo daughter is rough, but she has managed to keep it to her siblings so far, which is only marginally better. I think being consistent and firm is really the only thing you can do with a child that age. I hope someone can give you better advice. As for the day itself, we have all had those (except for the deployed husband part).

Kmama said...

Oh Chelle! (HUGS)

I think you handled that exceptionally well. There's only so much you can do, and kids will be kids, including hurting one another. They are young, and learning.

Being consistent and explaining to Isabella why you were mad at her and she had to apologize (because she hurt the other little girl) is teaching her.

And that other lady? Yeah, total bitch.

Melissa said...

I, too, am so sorry. I have no sound advice - unfortunately. My assumption is that she is acting out to get attention or because she is unable to express her wants/desires appropriately so she then acts out aggressively.

I am sure it is awful - and that mother's friend was a bitch. Seriously. What your daughter did wasn't okay, but your response was definitely appropriate - what did that woman expect you to do?

I am sure it's moments like these that make you miss your husband even more.

I'm sending you virtual hugs. Good luck.

Llama said...

Oh my goodness...i am so sad that you are taking all of the blame for this. Please please please don't do that to yourself. It is NOT you. I truly believe it is a stage she is going through. I don't have any kids yet, but from a teacher's point of view any time I had to deal with children who were physical with other children, I realized that the majority of the time they were just having trouble expressing themselves through their words. Who knows, that little girl could have pushed her, cut her, stuck her tongue out...maybe Madelyn just didn't know what or how to respond. One thing I used to tell parents is to role play with their child, give her options. I know she is young but maybe it will work. I truly think everything is going to be fine. As for that "friend," she is totally out of line and just plain RUDE. Don't let people like that bring you down!
I hope tomorrow is a better day.
Hang in there.
Smile. :)

Tales of Mommydom said...

Argh! I had this big, long comment on your blog and it kicked me off. Drat! The gist was that Connor is the rough child normally. We've been distinguishing for the last 3 days the differences between gentle and rough touching. Today at school instead of assaulting the entire class he only got one poor, unfortunate child, the teacher reminded him of the proper way to touch and he was good the rest of the day. Hopefully, it will stick. Yeah right. LOL! Just know that I am here for you if you ever need someone to keep an eye on the girls so you can run errands. Please know that I want to be here for you whenever you need me. Don't hesitate to ask. I mean it!

→Daniele← said...

Aww hugs! You did handle that just as you should have...I've seen kids hurt other kids at parks and the parents hardly even say a word to their kid about apologizing! I don't have any advice but I can tell you that since my older daughter turned 3 she has developed more of a temper and all of my girlfriends have said that it's the "terrible 3's, not 2's". I wanted to ask her dr about her temper stuff at her 3 yr appt last month and I didn't even get to b/c get this- she was kicking and screaming at the dr the entire checkup. He went to check her ears first and it was all over, she was like on no you aren't going to and she literally just kept screaming and kicking her legs(she almost kicked him you know where!). I was kind mortified too but he was so not phased by it all, which told me that this must not be uncommon for a 3 year old. I always tell myself, everything is a phase! Hang in there!!

Amanda said...

My sweet Chelle {{{HUGS}}} First and foremost that lady is a complete and utter bitch for making you feel worse than you already felt. I will never understand some women.

I promise you that she will grow out of this. Ella used to be WRETCHED and somewhere between 2 1/2 & 3 something switched and we're both much happier. My advice is consistency. She might understand this so I'm going to share this with you....

We have a jewel jar {pirates treasure jar for Jayden} and when Ella has good behavior I give her jewels {craft section} to put in her mason jar. Bad behavior, I make her give me jewels back. The jewels can be exchanged to me for toys, an ice cream treat, a movie... things she wants.

This works MUCH better with my son, but trust me... when Ella has to give up some jewels it's heartbreaking for her.

When Ella used to hurt other children she would immediately be taken to time out, 3 jewels gone and complete consistency in this until she got it.

I'm sorry your day was so crappy. Sounds like an ice cream sundae might make it better. Or maybe I need one LOL.

purseblogger said...

Oh Chelle, I am so sorry. That lady was completely out of line. You were taking care of the situation and she should have kept her mouth shut. You handled it beautifully, you did everything right. You are a wonderful mommy. I love you girl. xoxo

Daffy said...

I'm with Kmama...and everyone else. You are a great momma! I would've had to add explaining to my child how shin kicking strangers wasn't really acceptable even though mommy did it to the mean lady.

Sounds like a rough day. So sorry you had to deal with it on your own.

Leiah said...

I wish we all could just take turns giving you one hug after another. Everything is just so damn overwhelming right now - for all of you. You're a great mom and deep down inside you know it. What you would tell another mom who had the day you did? There - that's what you need to hear. I like to live my life following the infinite wisdom of one of the smartest woman ever - Scarlett because she was right. Tomorrow is another day. {{hugs!}}

Crazy Brunette said...

I fucking HATE that you are going through this honey. Where are you? Are you NEAR Ks?

I don't think she sees no wrong in it... I think she's just being a kid chick... When she's 15 and hanging dogs from trees with panty hose... then worry.

I'd have slapped that bitch right in her damn face!

EasyLunchboxes (Kelly Lester) said...

Everyone's comments are right on. Brava to all. My girls are older now but my little one did some of that kind of behavior too. Now she is 10, and THE sweetest, most loving human on the planet and this summer LIVED for her unpaid CIT job at a summer camp where she took care of toddlers. I did see that positive rewards for good behavior ALWAYS were more effective in the long run than punishments for bad. I still try and catch her being good at every chance I can find. It does wonders for her self esteem, not to mention our relationship. I promise, it really does get easier. I think toddlers are the hardest age ever!

Shell said...

Her friend was a bitch. You were taking care of it.

And, not to excuse the scratching, but you never know what was going on before that.

I had a mom freak out on me b/c my son hit hers- but she didn't see three times her son had hit mine before my son finally didn't want to take it any more.

It is hard when it's our kids who are doing things to another child. I used to have BITERS: http://thingsicantsay-shell.blogspot.com/2009/03/mother-of-biter.html

Imaginative Me said...

Well, in my opinion, that woman's friend was entirely out of line!
One thing you can try with the "scratcher" is to tape mittens on her hands until she stops scratching. Or maybe clip her nails frequently so her scratching is pointless. IDK! My son is actually entering a phase where his first defense is to scratch his older sister's face! Drives me crazy! Right now we do corner time, that is the end of his world! LOL!
I hope you find a solution. Don't feel bad as a mother, toddlers really have their own minds! I have 2!

Lindsay said...

oohh honey! Wish I could give you a hug.. not to down play kids hurting other kids.. but I think it has a lot to do with the age. Sammy use to push kids ALL THE TIME. Like hard and make them fall down. I was consistent with my punishment and apologizing and he eventually grew out of it. I know that doesn't really help much.. but that is how it played out for us. His issue is he didn't want to talk to other kids. So if he didn't like what someone did he would push them or hit them instead of telling them he didn't like it. I kept emphasizing using his words and eventually he got it.. not that he is prefect w/ it now but it happens very very rarely.

Adriane said...

Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. My baby (15 months) has an affinity for biting others, and I know it is probably just a matter of time before we get "the talk" from his daycare. I think it's just a frustrating time (for them AND us), and because they lack the ability to effectively communicate anger/frustration/irritation, they act out physically.

Too bad it would have been in poor taste to reach out and scratch the bitchy friend, because she sure needed a swift scratch (or slap) for being so ridiculous.

Rebecca D said...

(((Chelle)))... I hate days like this...

Mellisa Rock said...

I hate days like this too - but we all have them. Miss Maddy has a terrible habit of pinching...I have started something that's working...I taught her to say I am mad at you - it's annoying but not as hurtful as the pinching that she was using to say it.

Chrissy MacCEO said...

Yikes, that's a pretty bad day....but just know that your daughter is not a "bad" child for doing this. She is a kid, and kids do stuff like this sometimes, for whatever reason we don't usually know. You did the RIGHT thing by EXPLAINING to her why she was in trouble. That mom and her friend should get off their high horse because it coudl have been their kids doing hte scratching and also you handled it so well that they should have respected that--one mom to another. I hate when other moms judge. Ugh. I hope your days have gotten better!!

amanda said...

oh wow friend. just oh wow. i am so very sorry. for all of it...

xoxox

Lisa said...

i think everyone has probably covered it all but 1, this is NOT about you being a bad mom. this is simply part of the deal. I think you did the very best you could in the situation. Wondering if you were able to get her to tell you why at all, maybe after the fact. When my son was in preschool (4 yrs old)he spit not once, not twice but 3 times in one day on another boy. I was humiliated and had to pick him up from school early. I had never seen him spit, let alone spit on a person the way they described but upon getting home and going to get him out of the car...he spit on me! After we were all able to calm down we were able to learn that he did this because this other boy had been repeatedly rud eto him, taking stuff, cutting in line etc and when he tried to get help from the teacher he left blown off. Not that this excuses the behavior, clearly spitting (or scratching) is never acceptable. But what we needed to do what figure out why he was reacting this way and retrain in appropriate ways to react when he felt he was being treated unfairly. If she's doing it to here sister, you likely have plenty of chances to work on this. Sometimes the cause isn't totally obvious but over time you can see the pattern. If you're able to start pulling them back before the behavior happens and teaching them a healthy response instead you should quickly see some change.

Grace {Formerly Gracie} said...

I just went through this with my son and it was HELL. Other parents conveniently seem to forget their kids' bullying behavior the moment the role reverse. (smirk)

There were times I swore we'd never go to the park again because I was so exasperated from spending the entire time correcting my son. Other parents would come tattling to me while I was doing something breastfeeding my infant or changing her diaper... then tell me, "you need to control your child"... You know, as if I have eight arms.

The best advice I can give to too keep on her no matter what. Who knows why she's doing it. For my son, it was angst over having a new sibling. It's a phase and she'll get past it. 4 is SO MUCH better than 3. Promise!

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

Oh my, I wish I could give you a hug! I'm so sorry. See, had you been just sitting there and not been involved, I could see annoyance. But sheesh, it seems like you cared more than she did!! You never know what kids are going to do!

Also, when my husband travels, both my kids act out of character or act up a little more in the beginning. He is usually gone only a month or so at a time, so not the same situation, but I thought I'd share. .Hugs mama, you're doing great!