Extremes - appreciation vs. frustration

It started to thunder the other day just as we were getting home. LB was upset and scared and wanted me to carry her in the house (from the car). I asked PM if he could carry the drinks, bag and shoes in. I believe he said no. When I looked he had taken everything in the house. I was very impressed. I told LB what a special guy he is and how helpful he is and how he will stay by her and keep her safe and how lucky we are to have him around (he was in the house by this time).

I left LB in the chair in the porch while I went to get the rest of the stuff out of the trunk. It continued to thunder and she was still nervous (though better for being inside). I came inside and there was PM sitting beside her on the chair with his arm around her. What a sweetheart!! He really does look out for her in so many ways.

Today we were in our rubber boots playing in the puddles. LB is and always has been a puddle stomper. Gets so much enjoyment out of splashing in the puddles. PM has his boots and his bike. He wanted to do some serious puddle splashing. After a few rounds he was soaked and covered in mud. Their boots were wet on the inside. We had fun. I enjoyed watching the two of them and splashing along with them. I am curious however, if I, the person living with perpetually stained clothes, will be able to get his t-shirt clean again.

I can feel so much appreciation for the kids and then am faced with another classic bedtime temper tantrum and go crazy again. PM has always been good about knowing when he needs to go to sleep and going willingly. And yet temper tantrums on the way upstairs or while getting dressed for bed or whatever have been around for about 5 years now (yes he is not quite 5 1/2).

His story tonight was that he wanted to be first upstairs and he wanted me to carry him. I had a sleeping LB in my arms and wanted to get her in bed. He asked me to put her down (screaming and crying by this point) so I could carry him up first but I didn’t want to because then I risk her waking up and getting upset being on the floor. Though his screams end up waking her up anyway. So then I yell at him and charge upstairs with her while he sits on the stairs and howls and cries until Thomas comes to calm him down. I am upstairs getting LB settled again.

It just isn’t working. Bedtime and getting downstairs in the morning bring on constant tantrums. There’s always some excuse. I feel caught because it’s either one or the other.

I stop typing and look at his train tracks set up with the characters all neatly placed and the construction vehicles strategically set in their working positions around the tracks. In another location his other construction guys are lined up in a row with their trucks standing by for work some other day.

Again it’s the extremes – the deep appreciation for who he is and what he does and then the complete frustration with these fits that just take over where there is no easy solution. For these fits all I can think is that I must be the causing factor because they’ve been around so long. Arghhhh! Sometimes it just feels like there’s too much to work on at once and I can’t do it all…

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