Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's come to this

Dear Andrew & Abigail,

Tonight, we reached a turning point. I have said frequently (usually at bedtime) in the last months that I have seriously considered locking one or both of you in your rooms. Your aunt Audra reached that point with cousin Georgia. To be honest, I judged her for it. Well I am paying the price for that judging now. I tried to understand then how things could possibly reach the point where the only way to control a three-year-old child was to lock her in her room, but I just could not imagine the level of frustration and desperation that would lead to that. It seemed so extreme. NOW I understand. I understand the temper tantrums. The hitting. The kicking. The screaming like a caged wild animal. You think I exaggerate. If I could load audio and video here - and had a camera person from Super Nanny's crew to film it all so I could still have hands free to ward off the blows - I would find a way, just so I could have a record later of what happens on an all too regular basis in this house.

And so here we are.

I know that the reason we are here on this specific evening is because of our weekend. As fun as it was to see our friends in Tennessee, I know that the repercussions of disrupting your schedule so drastically are these fits from both of you, but more fiercely from Sweet Abigail. For Andrew, everything is hard, frustrating, unfair. We're hearing a lot of exasperated pre-teen "GAWD!!!" (ooh, I HATE that!). For Abby, living and breathing is just pure torture. The tiredness possesses her little body like a demon, turning my Sweet Abigail into Screaming Mimi. There is nothing to do but wait it out. But an audience of any kind feeds the demon. Isolation is our exorcist. And so, the lock.

I would much rather be talking about how much fun we had this weekend visiting Patrick and Ainsley and the Dinosaur Bounce House. You both did so much better on the drive than I had hoped for -- thanks to our pre-travel purchase:

You had fun swimming, bouncing, digging, sliding...all the things summer should be about. Bedtime in the hotel was okay each night, with only one major fit-throwing incident when we passed the point of no return with Abby. But mostly, you two snuggled in with Mom, Dad, or sibling and fell asleep on your own without major drama. A blessed change of pace. And Mommy and Daddy got to spend some time with our long lost friends. It was one of the most wonderful Memorial Day Weekends ever. But then we came home to reality. And now our reality includes a lock on Abby's door to keep the demon contained. I am sad, and I'm wishing for a Super Nanny fairy to come and fix this. Clearly, your parents are not having any luck. I feel like a bad mommy. That I am failing you both. That I should be able to make this work. But I have resorted to locking Abby's door. And it makes me sad.

Why can't every day be like vacation?
Updated: Daddy wasn't home when I put up the lock. He is not happy with Mommy, but I think he's mostly angry that I put a hole in the door. He is not seeing the problem. And that is making me even more sad. love, Mommy

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