Parenting is NO JOKE.

Today was hard, to put it mildly.

Some days parenting brings me to tears,
this was one of  those days.
 I don't know what it is.  Ava is the sweetest most
loving girl.  She can charm the pants off of just about
anyone and has a million perfect little qualities...BUT

She is driving me bat-shit crazy lately.
She KNOWS she is driving me crazy and it seems to
just fuel the fire.  

Yes, I know what you are thinking, she needs more 
attention.  This girl is demanding attention every. single.
second.  With out fail, she is asking for something at 
all times.  
Usually you can find her on me, physically on me.  

She is loud, totally obnoxious, sassy, back-talking,
instigator of all kinds of trouble, liar, wild and 
constantly disrespectful.
I am at my whits end.  

I talk to her about all these issues until I am blue in the 
face, I explain what she needs to do, what she can not 
do, why it is important, blah, blah, blah.  She assures me
she "gets" it then turns around and does the exact same thing
again and again.  

I put her in time outs, I take privileges away, I threaten her
more then I would like to admit.  I reward her good behavior
and point it out when she is doing things correctly.  
 She takes EVERYTHING a little too far,
no matter what it is, if something is funny she takes it
one step further until she kills the fun out of it.  

When she plays with Norah she will do something sweet
like hug her, but then take it to far by turning the hug into
pinning her down, until Norah starts crying.  But that
doesn't make her stop, she waits until I yell at her to stop.

 It's so frustrating.
It's not like she doesn't know the difference between 
right and wrong.  

Or so I thought...

The other day we went to Target and parked along side
the building like we usually do, she got out of her car
seat and ran to the front of the car to wait for me.

There is usually a sidewalk there but that day we were
at a different Target and there was no sidewalk.

I unbuckled Norah and got her out of the car,
I couldn't see Ava anywhere.  I screamed her name
over and over, getting progressively more panicked
as she didn't answer me.

Finally a couple down the line of cars called 
out that they thought they saw her run by them.  
She apparently went to get on the sidewalk, saw there
wasn't one, then ran around the building to the front of the
store, then decided to just go in BY HERSELF.  WTH??
She has never took it upon her self to run off like that,
especially in a parking lot.  I was beyond upset.

That was the worst feeling ever, first wondering if something
happened to her, then after finding her safe, trying to make
sure she understood WHY that was so bad.
My head never could turn off the "what ifs" that kept
playing over and over.  We had to just go home,
I couldn't shop like that.  

I could barely see strait I was so disappointed that she 
would do something so reckless. 

I really thought she knew better.
And the thing is?
Everything I put so much effort into explaining to her
seems to do no good.

She just does it anyway.
 I hope the fact that I never stopped talking about THAT
incident for days afterward left a lasting impression,
but who knows??  It's so scary.  

So between her just being plain naughty and scaring me out of
my mind I just feel overwhelmed with this parenting gig.

And Ava is my safety girl, she is the safety police,
teller on of all things, if SHE is giving me this much trouble
what in the heck am I supposed to do about 
my crazy, fearless, danger girl Norah???  
I am in so much trouble!!  

This stuff really makes you question your parenting skills.
She is constantly testing me and I think I am failing miserably.

That is the hardest part, 
wondering if you are screwing up your kids.

It's funny how it all starts out dripping in good intentions
but then it gets HARD and TRICKY.  

Nothing is so cut & dry, love doesn't solve everything
and good intentions only go so far. 

I've had several people recommend Love & Logic, I haven't
really gone there yet, but I think it's time.
I'm telling you, this parenting stuff is NO JOKE.


Oh my God, that would have scared me, too! And don't doubt your parenting skills for a second because in my opinion, you are an amazing mom! She's just going through that age where she's pushing you to the limits. But you are a great mom and her acting out is no reflection of anything bad at all!
The Iwen's: said…
Huge hugs to you friend. Ugh, parenting can be rough. Ava sounds so much like Aubrey...truly. I am so glad she was safe and I am so sorry you had to go through that. My heart aches at the thought of that much panic. Hang in. Day by day. Sometimes minute by minute, us parents cope with the demands our kids place on us. They are more hardcore than any boss could ever be...challenging our hearts and minds. You will make it through! xoxo