A long and strange trip

Having two kids, one four months shy of five years old and one two years and four months old is an interesting proposition for an introverted old curmudgeon like me. There’s very little regenerating down time any more and I feel I get more mental rest in my office some weeks than at home.

My 4yo is being special. 95% good and 5% WTH. That’s not 5% normal 4yo, that’s 5% we’ve gone for help over it after exhausting our and the school’s ideas. Today’ll be the third meeting with a behaviorist just to try and figure out why once the fuse it lit for any reason whatsoever there’s almost no way to blow it out.

Sometimes if you catch it early enough you can stomp it out, but dang.

The baby, not really a baby anymore, is starting to mimic the 4yo’s behavior because it gets attention and, well, that’s what she’s thinking is normal. I’m afraid she’s going to decide kicking and screaming for an hour and a half every third night or so is an admirable copyable behavior. She’s already decided to start fighting every single thing just for giggles.

Overall though it’s good. Just that 5% feels like it’s sapping 25% out of us.

We’ve both tried thinking back to our childhood, whether this came from either of us. I don’t recall being an angel, and I do remember a few blowups, but most of what I remember was 1) triggered by something specific, 2) not crying until I was shaking, 3) stoppable with an action eg: fix my toy, let me go and hang out by myself a while, etc.

Of course memory is probably faulty but man I remember the blowups I had as a kid and there are a total of two that come close to what we’ve been getting every three or so days.

People who meet the 4yo don’t understand that when I say there’s an issue I mean there’s a screaming until she’s horse, kicking a door until the wall has cracked, psychotic meltdown that lasts for 40 minutes to an hour and twenty. Not only that but if she can’t be within 10 feet of you screaming your eardrums out then it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame of breakdown.

No amount of punishment did anything. No amount of praise did anything. Just Katie Kaboom.

Changed parenting styles, read a couple of bestselling books that are really, really badly written. Seriously, take out the anecdotal stories, pictures, and over-setting the world and you’ve got a 15 page book with maybe 10 bullet points per step.

Seriously, I’m wondering if I can write extremely short condensations of these books legally. I read 200 something pages of one and 85% was complete filler. Also that a best seller on Amazon involves descriptions of how to hurt your kids to get them to cooperate seems a little paleolithic era.

So life is interesting. I didn’t know there was a point at which hearing screaming for hours translated into randomly hearing it in your head. That psychotic phrase “when does the screaming stop?” has occured to me at times.

But mostly things are great. Have started trying to work in some game and reading time after pretty much dropping it for a while. It means I’m losing some sleep but meh, what’s rest going to accomplish?