I may have named a previous post by the same title, but I am not sure because I simply cannot remember as it seems like we’ve been playing this game forever. The crying game. Previously, it was just Liam who liked to play this game. Now it’s Liam AND Hannah. And we’re playing doubles – them versus us.
To be emphatically clear, I do not mind crying if you have been injured or if your feelings or ego have been bruised or if you are over tired and just plain down miserable because of it – this I can understand and relate to and FIX for you. But when you cry just BECAUSE… I can’t deal with that. Or rather, my way of dealing with it, will upset you even further to the point that you will be crying because of an injury… usually to your bottom, administered by my hand.
Liam and Hannah have taken to crying for EVERYTHING. Scan through this possible-reasons-that-will-bring-on-the-waterworks list, and please tell me if you think I am being too harsh here?
- Liam finishes his juice. I ask him rather nicely to take his bottle to the sink. He doesn’t feel like it so he cries.
- Hannah wants to sit on the couch. Alone. The big two seater? Yes, she wants it to herself. I, too, want to sit on the couch so I move over into the littlest corner, giving her enough space to stretch out as much as she likes. This is not good enough so she screams until I get off the couch. So the three of us must sit on the other couch, while she gets this particularly BIG couch to herself.
- Liam wants to watch one DVD while Hannah wants to watch another. I explain that there’s only one DVD player, and that we must take turns. They BOTH
scream wail go 666cry in protest.
- Hannah wants to go for a ride in the car. We.are.not going.anywhere. We are at home, no one is going in the car and petrol is too expensive to be handing out rides for nothing. She stands by the door with the keys in her hand and cries and cries… and cries.
- Liam starts to cry when I say no. No to him touching something he shouldn’t, no to him putting something dangerous in his mouth, no to him playing outside in the rain. This sends him off. When Liam starts to cry, Hannah starts to cry too. And when you have two small children chorusing together, you have to have nerves of steel not to snap.
I am pretty good at zoning out and turning the crying noise off in my head, but it’s gotten to a stage where it isn’t even about the noise, it’s about making them understand that this is not on. That no problem was ever solved by people crying around a boardroom table – that’s just not how the world works. Ignoring the crying doesn’t help either, they simply tone it up if you are ignoring them. Have you seen that YouTube clip where the crying child actually follows the parent around the house to show them a point? It was funny when it wasn’t my child. Yes, that’s my house now. And Scouts Honour, they can cry for up to 45 minutes at a time. I know because we have timed them; crying for 45 minutes for no good reason – can you IMAGINE!
So this weekend, at the end of his tether, my husband yelled a profanity when they just wouldn’t stop. I wasn’t in the room, but when I got back there was absolute silence and as soon as Liam saw me he piped up “Daddy said a bad word!” I didn’t want to rock the boat just then. I told them that they made us very mad when they cried for no reason and now Daddy was very cross and it was THEIR fault that he had said a bad word (talk about shifting the blame). They were very remorseful and full of apologies and behaved like perfect angels for the rest of the day. Later that night, while tucking Liam in, I asked him what Daddy had said. After having to explain about 37 times that it was fine for him to say it THIS time because Mommy was asking him to say it, and no I wouldn’t be cross if he said it THIS time because it was a different situation (yes, it was a crazy explanation like that), he eventually told me that Daddy screamed “SHUT UP” very loud! I used the opportunity again, to explain to him that crying for nothing isn’t very nice and that we didn’t like it one bit. My speech didn’t work because the very next morning we had a no-reason-crying-episode.
But yes, this is where we are at. It is driving my husband and I crazy. They aren’t crying because a need hasn’t been met, they are crying just because! I have tried everything; I have threatened them with their lives, I have even threatened them with MY life, nothing works. I’ve tried the art of distraction, I’ve tried ignoring, I’ve even tried crying louder than them – N.O.T.H.I.N.G W.O.R.K.S
I accept defeat, I admit that I suck at fixing this problem. Please give me advice, please help me/us out, I promise not to cry.
Oh and look, I have blogged about this before. Right over here. Last year on the 19th July! Do you see how long we’ve been enduring this torture!