Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thinking Aloud

The last two weeks, Miss O. has been going through a phase that includes some new attitude I haven't seen in her before. I think it's a combination of her testing limits, trying out some independence, and being around the older kids at daycare. For the most part, I don't mind, it's pretty innocent and she snaps out of it pretty quick, except for one new phrase that just sets me over the edge.

"This is the worst day, ever!", usually accompanied by a foot stomp and whining.

I can NOT stand to hear that phrase out of her mouth. Why? I don't exactly know. I think it's a combination that it is uttered after I've told her that she can't do something, and it is always delivered dramatically. To the point that it just makes my blood boil.

Poor M. walked in the door from work one night last week, only to find Miss O. crying on the couch in time-out, and me, in a heap on the kitchen floor, crying. All because I didn't let her carry the jug of juice in from the car. That's why it was the WORST day ever.

I've been trying to figure out why this bothers me so much, almost every day since last week. Obviously, as an adult, I know that it's not the worst day ever, and that a five year old has a hard time seeing into the future. The rational side of my mind tells me that it's just a phase she's going through and this, too, will pass. The crazy mom side of my brain is pointing a finger at me saying, "You know she's selfish because she's an only child!"

As much as I try to quiet that voice in my head, I swear it gets louder. And throws many more things at me to feel bad about. Mommy guilt is an awful thing, because once it starts, I swear it picks up speed like a ball rolling down a hill, going faster and faster. I already wince on the inside, if at a play date, Miss O. grabs a toy from another child or doesn't share well.

The paranoia starts to set in.

In my darkest moments, I feel that other parents look at the fact that I only have Miss O. and think that M. and I are selfish for only having ONE child. That she's destined to be self-centered, spoiled, and a loner. Thank goodness these days are few and far between.

On better days, I look at my beautiful daughter, who will be entering kindergarten in the fall, and I think, "Maybe a family of three will be just fine."


  1. Being a mom is the toughest job out there. I wish I had words of wisdom but I don't. Just know we go through similar struggles with our oldest and it doesn't seem to matter if they're an only child or not. They all want to test those limits and try to hurt us when they're hurt or frustrated.


  2. There are times when I think that my life would have been infinitely better had I been an only child. H is an only child and while it does occasionally take some prompting for him to really get that he needs to think about other people, too (though this is likely due to being raised by a grandmother who spoiled him and a dad who wasn't perfect at the whole parenting thing, and a mom who still showers him with stuff because she feels so guilty for leaving him at a young age), overall he's a pretty awesome guy.

    I'm guessing that this hyper-dramatic stuff is largely due to the being-five thing. And you are right to feel blood boiled from it- it's irritating, and you aren't a saint, and at some point Miss O does have to figure out what is acceptable and what is not. Of course, I am not a parent to a five year old, so I don't really know exactly how to react to that, but if I was in your shoes, I would probably end up being really sarcastic, and terribly hurtful and much more damaging than just putting kiddo in time out (something like, "Really? The worst day in my life when I was your age was when my grandmother died."). So count yourself a winner on that one. You made a much better parenting decision than I would have!

  3. I can totally relate, I always contributed Avery's bad social behavior to being an only child, but in reality girls are dramatic and this too shall pass... HUGS

  4. I agree with the other commenters and also just wanted to say hugz don't worry about it, you have done your absolute best to give her a sibling and she is not going to be more or less selfish just for being an only child. I understand the mummy guilt too but you can't blame yourself for circumstances which are out of your control.

  5. Dear Photogrl,

    Before I begin to respond to your post, I just want to thank you for the virtual hugs you left me on my posts.

    Now, back to the post:

    It is almost funny that she learnt the expression. The expression is so strong. I think she will wince when she grows up and finds out that she called it the worst day when she could not get to carry the juice from the car.

    You touched a very raw nerve for me. I too do not want to be a single-kid mom. As I once commented on BabySmiling's blog, I have seen one kid trend running in my cousins.

    Be sure, I have seen kids going both the ways...I have seen these kids being very genuine and very warm. But I have also seen tantrum kids.

    More so, because the latter understand that they are the centre of their parent's universe and everything revolves around them. And they are possibly not wrong.

    But I know one girl who did grow out of that behaviour. She would not let her mother take any other kid on her arm or would shy away from everybody and sink deeper into her mother's arms if somebody came around. Food time was cranky time, because eating meant that ppl were not looking at her. BUT. She is so changed now. She is very sweet and totally loves small kids. She herself never got a sibling (her parent's deliberate choice). But she loves her nephew like nothing else.

    Miss O has very responsible and aware parents. I am sure she will NOT turn into the nightmarish loner selfish person.

    You are a good mother.


  6. *Blooper: My nephew, not her nephew.*

  7. Oh No, poor Miss O, Poor Momma. She has so many big emotions and has a hard time processing them. I am so sorry for you both. You will eventually figure out something that will work for you both!

    Selfish - Funny that you mention that. I have heard more times then I would like ot admit on how many times I have heard those words leave peoples mouths when they hear that I am pregnant again ... So soon, So selfish, Poor MT .... You know that people are hard to please and deal with