I snapped

It’s fair to say that being a parent can be pretty damn frustrating at times, sometimes it seems impossible to avoid getting some form of inner rage or anger. The terrible two’s were not really terrible at all. But now that Oscar is mid way through being 3 the tantrums and arguing have increased dramatically along with the refusal to do things we ask.

I know it’s normal and and a healthy part of development but it can really piss me off sometimes. I don’t think I’m known as someone who gets angry and I don’t think I’m very good at it but last Thursday I snapped. I think it’s the only time in my life I have ever snapped like this.

Jenny was trying to get Oscar ready to go to mothers group and this involved removing his pajamas and getting him dressed for the day. Oscar loves wearing his pajamas and every day it’s a bit of a struggle to convince him to change but on Thursday he was down right refusing and doing lots of whinging and arguing. Jenny would try and start to remove his shirt and he would shout and move away from her. This went on for some time and for some reason I lost it. Neither of us have ever really shouted at Oscar and I did I shouted his name then lent over and grabbed him, I pulled him towards me and began trying to yank his top off. Oscar burst out screaming and fought hard to keep his top on. Jenny quickly shouted STOP at me and I stood up and went and sat in the dark in the other room. Oscar was screaming and crying, I had scared that absolute s%&# out of him and in between sobs he was asking Jenny why I did that, Why did daddy do that?” He has never been so scared in his life.

I know that pulling a toddlers shirt off is probably not the most sever response to rage you have ever heard about but not only did it freak Oscar out, it scared the crap out me. Where did this come from, I have never snapped. I didn’t want him to freak out, I was frustrated he wasn’t cooperating and I wanted it to be over. Something set me off, I reached a line and then made a snap reaction. Whilst sitting in the dark I was freaking out, I had just broken my little boy. He was really really upset and freaked out. My eyes filled up with water as I listened to the anguish in the next room. What had I done. I felt like I had just destroyed my relationship with my son.

I came in and apologised to Oscar and Jenny, not that it felt like an apology could justify my actions.

Jenny and Oscar left to go to mothers group with Oscar still in his pajamas and still crying. I laid on the couch for several hours feeling nauseous, worrying about what I had done. I never wanted to freak the little guy out soo much. I sent Jenny an SMS asking if Oscar was hapier yet, there was no response which didn’t help.

I prayed, I paced, I laid down more. I sipped water to reduce the nausea, I went to lunch with Debbie and was distracted for an hour or so then when I got home Oscar and Jenny returned and he went in to his room to play.

Later that afternoon I was laying on Oscar’s bed and he came in and sat on my head thinking it was the funniest thing in the whole world. I was forgiven in Oscar’s own special way which was one of the biggest reliefs I have ever experienced.


8 thoughts on “I snapped

  1. If you have made it 3 and a bit without shouting at Oscar then you have done amazingly well. I shout at my kids on a disappointing frequent basis. Fortunately, or unfortunately, they have gotten a bit used to it. Fortunately, or unfortunately, they have an amazing ability to forgive and forget, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t admit to them you did the wrong thing and apologise, and tell them that you love them and remind them how precious they are to you. Don’t try to justify your actions to them (“If you didn’t misbehave I wouldn’t have shouted at you” or “I only got cranky because I’m tired” or whatever). If you need to have a talk about behaviour or obedience do it some other time not in the context of an apology.

  2. I totally get all of that: the refusal to get changed, the frustration and breaking point, the regret, the relief at being sat on in forgiveness(well ok, not so much that bit) – really appreciated this. thanks Howie.

  3. I get that the apology doesn’t make up for loosing it but one of the most meaningful things I remember about being a kid and getting in trouble is that whenever my mum had to put her foot down and get particularly disciplinary at me a bit she would always come back a little while later and apologise to me that she had to get cross. I’ve always appreciated and remembered that.

  4. I always considered myself a patient person… until I had children. I’m with Dav, if you haven’t shouted until now you deserve some kind of medal I think. Thanks for your honesty. This parenting gig is jolly hard and all our emotions are heightened at times – for the good and the bad.

  5. Thanks for your honesty Robert. (And for Oscar’s special expression of grace!) Parenting is a tough gig. My hat goes off to you and Jenny, and all my parenting friends.

  6. You’re a terrible person.

    I have never lost my temper (ever) and I float everywhere on little clouds so that I don’t trample on any poor little blades of grass/concrete.

    Therefore I am fully equipped to judge you for being a normal human being who (apparently VERY) occasionally gets tired/frustrated.

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