My Two Year Old Is Driving Me Further Insane

My two year old is probably like most two year olds, but I am not like most fathers and it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to tolerate her. The screaming causes me to scream. The mimicry causes me to smile, but get aggravated when she repeats it over and over again which leads to more screaming.

The thing that gets me fired up the most is when she openly defies her mother or me. That gets her a whipping and/or time out. Sometimes I send her to bed over it. I cannot tolerate it. It makes my blood boil. I hate to be disrespected and that is what she is doing. I have tried explaining it to her, but even though she seems to get it she does exactly what she just got in trouble for ten seconds later.

I know she is testing her boundaries, but she reached the end of them a long time ago. She does not respect us and she does not fear us (which is good), but I need something to change and quick because my hair is falling out AND turning grey and I am having to double up on my Klonopin (at the suggestion of my doctor).

My therapist thinks I need a break and I have taken them and they help, but it is back to the same when I return. I can’t take a permanent break as I can’t stand being away from her for more than a night or three (six has been the max and it sucked). So I miss her, but I want to get away from her. I love her, but I hate what she is doing. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Help me, please.

The Loss Of Personal Freedoms

As a parent I find that my spelling has improved immensely as my two year old cannot yet spell and, at times, it is the only way my wife and I can communicate. The fun part is when we have an argument in front of the toddler where we have to control our anger, breathe and spell out hateful and spiteful words so the parrot (kid) does not repeat them. If we slip up you better believe that she will repeat that word over and over again, especially to those whom it will offend the most. So our freedom of speech goes out the window.

A gun safe can be safe, but it is not impregnable, especially for a nosy toddler. Freedom to bear arms – gone.

The freedom to do what you want, when you want to is also gone as you have to watch what is done and when it is done so that the toddler or older child does not think that just because mommy or daddy or other relative did it that it is alright for them to do it as well.

Staying up late is pretty much out of the question as well. We put the child to sleep and then wait for her to fall asleep, watch a show and go to bed. I am in bed no later than 11 pm every night because my alarm (the crying toddler) goes off at 6 am every morning and if I want any sleep as I use the restroom several times a night, I need to go to bed even earlier than 11 pm. I am usually in bed by 9:30 pm. Early considering I used to stay up until 2 or 3 am and then not get up until 11 am or noon. Freedom to sleep on my schedule is also gone.

Now everyone does not follow these rules, but I would have to say that good parents do. Good parents do not have their child out until midnight or later. Good parents do not argue or curse in front of their children. Good parents do not leave firearms, knives, or other instruments of harm where their children can get to them if they keep them in the house at all. Keeping you kid out on a rare occasion is not being a bad parent, but doing it every night or even more than one or two nights a week (this is even extreme) is too much.

I am not a perfect parent, no matter how hard I try. I do not keep a perfectly clean house so that my child can get into nothing, but I try. I have a firearm, but it is in a safe on a shelf in our bedroom where the child is not allowed and would have to stack two chairs on top of one another to get to it. She would also have to take the key off mine or my wife’s key ring. I do occasionally keep my toddler out late, but it is maybe twice a month and it is only a few hours past her bed time as when we break the routine we pay dearly for it. We would not keep her out later if that was not the case. If she would sleep somewhere other than her bed or at her mammaw’s house then we would also consider staying out later, but she won’t so we don’t.

No one is perfect, but some of us strive to be and I commend those people. Those who just don’t give a rat’s ass are the ones whose children I feel sorry for.

We lose certain freedoms, but we gain a precious child who we help shape and mold into a wonderful human being.

Family Camping Trip Failure Leads To Mommy Blacking Out

My two year old daughter’s first camping trip started after her soccer practice on Friday evening. The tent was up before full dark and we were in decent spirits … until she realized she was going to have to sleep in tent. Not in her bed. On her own air mattress. Not in mommy and daddy’s bed. Without her music. Not in the climate controlled luxury of a home.

She finally passed out around midnight on my wife’s arm as we flitted in and out of sleep. She was being pinned in place and I was fighting to not fall off the mattress. I should have gone to my daughter’s mattress, but I refuse to sleep with an animal in my bed and the dog was occupying my daughter mattress.

We tried to recover in the morning, but as the cloud of condensation poured out of my mouth I realized that I packed nothing for weather below 65 and sunny. A morning trip to Walmart for clothes and McDonalds for a quick breakfast as it was nearing 8:30 am after the leaving the store and would be too late to get breakfast cooked by the time we got back.

We got back and the demon came out. She demanded that we go hiking so it wasn’t all bad, but as we had to drive to the trail because the one off the campsite was not suitable for a two year old, she screamed the whole way that she wanted to “GO HIKINIG NOW”.

Hiking started out marvelously.

On her own to start the hike

Getting a little help from mommy up the first hill.

This was the las happy face until it was all over.

The remainder of the hiking consisted of standing still and being carried, along with crying, hitting, kicking the dog, and butt busting. We cut the hike in half and went back to the campsite.

While we were relaxing my perfect angel poured an entire can of soda in the tent, threw the dogs water and food, kicked the dog again, went on a general rampage to the point that I finally said enough and started packing things up as my wife cleaned and helped me tear down. The first camping trip was over. It did not look like there would be another one.

I called and begged my mother-in-law to take our daughter overnight so that we wouldn’t go further out of our minds and she (thankfully) agreed. When we dropped her off I realized that I forgot to give my daughter her nighttime blankets and buddies which could have been one of the reasons for no sleep and we also found out she is cutting her lower rear molars. All of that added up lead us to believe that we could probably try camping again under different circumstances and if we took her brother to keep her busy (and out of our hair).

We headed home and contemplated climbing in bed and not getting out until morning even though it was only 3:30 pm.

We should have.

Instead we decided that we were going to go home and drink a little while we watched a movie which, somehow, turned into, “Let’s buy a bottle of rum and play a movie drinking game”.

Watching The Hangover (a great comedy) and taking a shot every time someone says “Doug” is impossible. I remember making it 32 minutes into the movie and that is only because we were laughing and missed some Doug’s.

I woke up with a horrible headache at 9 am. I freaked out as we had to have our daughter picked up at 11 am. I rolled over to wake up my wife and when I touched her I smelled it. She had vomited in her sleep. She warned me not to come near her as she woke up in it at some point and apparently rolled it up in the sheets (which are being thrown out) and passed back out.

She was lucky that she wasn’t sleeping on her back or she would have choked to death as she was not sleeping, she was passed the ‘f’ out.

Sad part? Probably the best night I have had in years and even thought it took me until 3 or 4 pm to recover enough to not vomit every time I moved, I know I would do it over given the chance and I plan on doing it again. The next time we will wait until the guys get to Vegas to start drinking and instead of slamming shots we will drink mixed drinks and beer, adding a few rules of our own.

So now the house is a mess. Our daughter is asleep after being drugged with teething tablets and Tylenol. My wife is asleep on clean sheets, covered with a clean comforter. My week looks atrocious as I will be struggling to find a way to get back into a routine. And we all feel like we were in the back of a box truck rolling down the side of a mountain.

  • Camping with a cranky toddler – bad.
  • Drinking with your wife – good.
  • Drinking until you blackout – bad.
  • Smiling at the end of the day because you realize the love that exists in your familiy is strong, deep and real – wonderful.

How was your weekend?

I Assaulted My Wife And Have Been Abusing Her For Years

The assault was provoked, but not excusable – assault never is.

I had a terrible childhood. One male role model (my grandfather) who still cheated, drank, yelled screamed and hit my grandmother. The others were drug addicts and were even more physically abusive to me and my mother or their significant others or random woman.

I was determined to be a “good dad” I was determined to be nothing like any of them. When my son came along I was crushed because I knew I was going to end up a weekend dad as I was divorcing his mother because I had no love for her.

When my daughter was born I was in a healthy (or so I thought) relationship and was determined to be the dad I always wanted too be. As a note: when I got married the second time, to a woman I knew I was in love with and had spent two years determining that that was true, I was determined to be the husband that my mother never had (higher aspirations than reality).

I have been and hope to always be a better husband than those sacks of flesh that my mother called boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, but apparently part of being a better husband is not only to treat the woman like a queen and do whatever she wants, but to understand her needs, to truly appreciate what she thinks is important. It is to not continue to dote on her at every chance and more, but to show her you love her in subtle ways, less public ways, less “embarrassing” ways. And most important that every woman is different and no matter how much “experience” with women you have, you have none with that particular woman.

Just like women, every child is different so my outline for being The World’s Greatest Father did not take in to account the individual child or her mother.

I can give a million excuses as to why I am not everything my daughter and wife deserve, but it boils down to me. No one and nothing else can possibly be to blame for how my relationships with my family are.

To the issue at hand:

Sunday. Mother’s Day.

It was raining and my initial plan of taking my daughter and the dogs to the park was out of the question – not because of the rain, but the mud. I racked my brain for other ideas. I thought about indoor activities that would take a couple of hours as the dogs don’t really bother my wife and she could still have some Mommy Time.

The Natural History Museum would have been a good idea, but they were having a “Mother’s Day Brunch” and I am not big into crowds (the museum holds over 1000 people in a small area).

The Aquarium would have been an option, but even though we are not poor I am not paying $40 for my 2 year old and me to go see some fish for 45 minutes. Plus parking.

My extended family were all running in their own directions and they are all between 45 and 70 minutes away. My in-laws just got back from a very long drive where they dealt with the death of my mother-in-law’s father’s estate so I didn’t want to bother them and I would just end up sticking my foot in my mouth anyway.

Finally I checked the weather (65F – 68F) and saw that it was supposed to rain all day, but no storms (thunder and lightning) were expected. I really wanted to get out of the house so I decided to go to the zoo. I dressed my daughter in jeans that were tucked into boots over socks, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, and a jean jacket. I also brought towels and my hat.

When we got to the zoo my daughter went in the stroller and I put the hood up which ensured that her head was going to stay dry. I think that if her head would’ve been getting wet we would have come straight home.

We got to the elephants (first animal on our trek) at 10:15 am and had a blast. I got soaked as I will not carry an umbrella and I hate ponchos (I am a stubborn person). My daughter also got wet, especially her legs as they were sticking out of the stroller. At 11:42 am my wife sent me a message saying,

I miss you guys Sad smile I’m not used to being by myself

I called her and she was crying. I made myself believe for a minute that she missed me enough to make her cry, but before too long I knew better. I am sure she missed me, but she missed our two year old.

I had been getting ready to leave and go get a bot to eat with my baby girl anyway so I just asked mommy if she wanted to go. She said that she would like to, but she didn’t have to. I should have left it at that and gone to lunch. Instead I wanted to give her what I thought she wanted (in this case it is what she wanted) and take her to lunch with us.

When we got to the car, my daughter and me, I took off her jean jacket and her hoodie was dry. Her legs were soaked, but her chest was dry. When I was young I was told that as long as your chest was not wet you were fine. I was even told this by the Boy Scouts so I took that to mean that my daughter could sit in wet jeans for a while.

After picking up my wife and getting to the restaurant, my daughter’s mommy felt her pants and had a fit. I told her what I had been taught and she was not satisfied. She decided that we could eat, but she was still upset.

When we got the toddler in the high chair my wife felt the pants again and realized they were even wetter than she thought them to be. She informed me that if she would have know they were wet we would not have gone out to eat, but we would have changed her pants. I apologized.

She called me a Bad Dad.

This may not mean much, if anything to some people, but I would have rather had her cut my gut open with a rusty scalpel than have someone call me that.

I blew up. I thought I hit the table and lifted it off the ground, but instead I threw my drink at her and said:

F*ck You!

I stormed out and went to the car. I texted her immediately and said that I was not leaving as I would not leave my daughter anywhere without a ride.

When I calmed down I tried to call and text, but got no response. I was trying to not go back in the restaurant as I didn’t want an even bigger scene, but I had to apologize and tell her that she hurt me so I tried to go back in. The manager met me at the door and said I assaulted her and she would call the cops if I tried to go back in especially since there was a kid involved. She did even let me say a word. I made it her business when I blew up in her store.

I have all kinds of issues with this. If the roles would have been reversed and I was the one who got yelled at and had a drink thrown at them, no one would have barred my wife from entering the establishment. No one would have helped me clean up (everyone apparently helped her). No one would have offered to pay for my food (everyone from the manager to the couple in the booth next to us tried to pay the bill).

Yes it was assault. No it’s not better than hitting her. No there is no excuse.

Men get assaulted too and even though there are hundreds of thousands of domestic violence cases that go unreported every year, that only takes into account the man on woman cases. What about the woman on man cases? Or the woman on woman? Or the man on man? None of it is right. It is all wrong. There is no excuse for any of it, but none of it should be treated any differently.

That’s how I assaulted my wife. “I’m sorry” is a phrase not only overused but one that even though it does say everything I mean, it says nothing that I mean, nor will it ever.

As far as how I have been abusing her for years (this is serious, do not laugh or take this lightly, this is not to take attention away from the prior information) –

She has said that she was going to leave a few times over the years for various reasons and I have told her that if she leaves I would kill myself. After a while I thought that was too much so I just told her I would be dead soon after. She considers that psychological abuse.

I tell her that she is my world. I write her love poetry. I compliment her at every turn. I send her cute text messages, I write cute messages on her Facebook wall. That is all abuse as well, since she doesn’t want it.

I am not saying I have not abused her because if she thinks I have then I have, but she is not alone. The difference is that I would never tell her for fear of losing her and I think just telling her would be a form of abuse if those other things are abuse.

Scared Of Missing Out On Her Firsts

I cannot watch my daughter during the day. My anxiety levels get too high and I end up prone and useless before the day is half over. I can barely take care of myself (some days I can’t) and therefore it is best that my daughter spends her days with someone else.

Luckily we do not have to result to daycare as my wife and I are both against it for many reasons. The only good thing that we believe comes from daycares is socialization skills. We attempt play-dates as much as possible to make up for the fact that she is alone all day with her great-aunt.

Mi-mi (my wife’s aunt) watched my wife and her sister when they were young and now she watches our daughter. She could never have children of her own and makes up for it by treating our child as her own. This is a wonderful thing in many aspects, but in certain things I find myself insanely jealous.

I have missed so many firsts in my daughter’s life and will continue to do so. Mi-mi and her husband take our toddler anywhere and everywhere they can. They buy her whatever she wants and while attempting not to spoil her, give her nearly everything she want and do everything she asks to do.

I want to be that person. I want to take care of my daughter. I want to be there for her firsts. But I can’t. I cry more often than a man should, especially since emotion has come into my life.

Instead I am the disciplinarian as my wife refuses to be. She wants to be the fun mom when she gets home from work. So I nearly never get to be the fun guy. The exception to the rule is on the weekends when my wife wants to go shopping.

On the weekends when it is just my daughter and me we color, paint, watch TV, have tea parties, cook in her kitchen, go shopping ourselves, go out to eat, etc. It is rare, but I cherish every moment.

I have had an issue with memory in the past and it is not completely gone, but it is getting better so I take pictures of everything I can, every time I can and of her as much as possible, especially when she is smiling because of something I did.

Today, when I dropped her off with Mi-mi my princess would not let go of me. She clung to me like I was the last piece of chocolate in the box. She cried real tears when I said I was leaving and begged me not to go. Part of me felt really bad, but part of me felt really good. I know my daughter loves me, but it is nice to be reminded from time to time.

A Kiss On The Lips And An “I Love You”

A child shows affection how she sees others showing affection and I am happy to say that when my wife and I greet one another or just want to show our love we kiss on the mouth.

The only issue with our choice of private – turned public affection is that my two year old only wants to kiss people on the mouth. It was cute a year ago. Now it is becoming disturbing and completely inappropriate (in my opinion).

She kisses everyone from my wife and I (her parents) to her grandparents to her aunts and their boyfriends and husbands (not cool), her great grandparents (eh) and friends of the family.

We have started trying to discourage her, but a kiss on the cheek is hard for her to understand. My wife and I have even started kissing on the cheek to show her it is okay.

The other issue was that she was telling everyone (including waitresses at restaurants) that she loved them. We discouraged that and now she won’t tell anyone she loves them with out coaxing. I will tell her that I love her and she will respond with a yeah.

Affection is something that we just don’t know how to explain or display.

I need a happy balance. I need help. We have no idea what to do in this situation.

Two Nights Without Mommy And Daddy

We hate being away from our daughter for any amount of time, but sometimes a break is required. A little one on one time is needed to ensure each other that the love is still there. We cannot justify having that alone time overnight without a reason that both of us are comfortable with – wanting to sleep through the night is not it.

My wife is obsessed with a certain band (Blue October) and would follow them around, attending every show if she didn’t have to work, but she does and so she only sees the shows that come within a certain distance to us and only if she can get the time off from work. I really enjoy the band as well (they are in my top 10 of all time) and am delighted when we get to go. My schedule is open more than(insert crude joke here). When we heard the band was coming to our hometown (something they haven’t done in a very long time) and two hours away we decided that we would make an outing of it. We would see the show two hours away and then the one in our hometown. The original plan was to have my in-laws watch our baby girl while we were gone and then she would still sleep in her own bed. As time went on my wife’s parents convinced us to leave her there for the entire time. One concert was on Thursday and the other on Friday so our daughter would stay there from Thursday afternoon until Saturday afternoon. It took some convincing but my wife agreed.

Two nights alone with my wife and no toddler to wake us up during the night. It was going to be heaven.

We got up to the first show and stood in line for nearly six hours waiting to get in so we could have a choice spot in front and at 11:00 pm, we decided that we were getting a hotel and not driving our wearied bodies home. The hotel was not what we expected and not what we paid for, but it was a bed, no interruptions and a late check-out. We headed home and ran some errands, without the toddler tornado, and made arrangements to meet up with friends who had never seen the band live but were fans. They were also going to the show and we all had VIP tickets (seats, no line, drinks, etc.). It was a good experience, different from the night before and almost not as good, but we still had a blast.

When we picked up our daughter we found out that she was not the perfect angel my in-laws had been telling us she had been over the phone and that they had been bending to her will in nearly all things.

Great. That meant possible days of trying to get her back on the routine we have been working so hard to get her on.

The master manipulator was still in her shorts and t-short from soccer that she apparently refused to go to and instead of pushing her to do it they just caved at the first whine and brought her home. No bath because she didn’t want one (she’s two – she doesn’t want a lot of things). She only ate what she wanted or she didn’t eat what was not exactly what she wanted and so had only eaten a can of tuna a few bites of food from a breakfast restaurant and a bit of fruit. From Thursday to Saturday morning!

At home I have made a CD of me singing songs to her that we play on repeat all night. We sent the CD player, the CD and instructions with her so that she would sleep. We also told them that she sometimes screamed for a half an hour. They swear they put the CD on, but she just wouldn’t stop screaming so they got her up (possible since she was out of routine). She finally fell asleep around 11:30 pm not in her bed and woke up at 1:30 am demanding tuna. This is where the can of tuna came in. At home we would calmly and with love, tell her no and that we loved her but she had to go back to sleep – and she would. They gave her the tuna and wondered why she didn’t go back to sleep. After further probing it turns out that she did fall asleep in her bed to the CD, but they didn’t hit repeat so when she woke up and it wasn’t playing she was awake and that was her way of convincing mamaw and papaw to get her out of bed.

The second night she went down at 9:00 pm (only an hour after her normal bedtime) because my father-in-law wouldn’t let my wife’s mother to deal with it and she slept until 7:30 am (they hit repeat on the CD player).

I was grateful to them for everything, but I regretted my fun even though it brought my wife and I closer together – which we desperately needed.

Saturday night could’ve been hell on earth, but she was out in ten minutes and hopefully stays down.