We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


What in the holy tantrum is going on here?!

Terrible two's my arse.  We're beginning to think it should be renamed the "terrible childhood".  The craziness that goes on in our house these days has us thinking back to 6 months ago when we thought things were never going to calm down.  Nicky's moods are like the ebbs and flows of the tides.  He comes crashing down hard on us with no warning one second, then receeds just as quickly with a calmness that washes over all of us.  And that's all in a matter of an hour or so.  Most of the time there is absolutely no indication as to why his behavior becomes so out of control.  Although we try to tell ourselves we'll never understand why he acts the way he does, we continually ask "why is he doing this?!".  I know that he's seeking independence at this age, and I gladly acquiesce in relinquishing some control with many things we do as if to make him feel like he does have a say around the house.  We give him many choices throughout each day, which seems to help.  But other days, he's just completely impossible to appease.  No matter what we do or say, we're wrong. 

We can be giving him all the love in the world and involving him with "helping" us with the household tasks.  We'll be singing and to Kris and I, we're having a grand ol' time.  However, to the preschooler, we're complete idiots and apparently don't know our heads from our arses because out of the blue he will turn on a dime and be sitting on the floor hitting at us, screaming things such as "you not my friend"; "i don't like you right now"; "you being mean"; etc, while pushing around rugs on the floor.  (Not sure why he does that one - he HATES when the rugs are out of place and is constantly fixing them, so to mess them up kinda baffles me.)

We've tried the time-outs to no avail.  We've tried the Love and Logic method - which we still use in combo with some other tactics.  (i.e. I'll tell him (after he's calmed down) "Oh man.  That's so sad.  Because you spent so much time not listening and not doing what I asked, now we don't have time to do *insert fun thing here*.)  Doesn't matter - he just looks at us with a smirk and goes about his business.  We've tried threatening to take things away/not getting to do things - he doesn't care, just keeps up with the bad attitude.  Our new method is to send him to his bedroom upstairs alone until he can calm down, then once he does we try to reason with him.  But, sheesh.  It's still turmoil until he's over the melt-down.  The saying "I'm at my wits end" comes to mind on a daily basis.  It's as if we're waiting for a little volcano to blow.

I will have to say this though.  It doesn't feel as bad as it did last year when we were going through this phase.  I was really, really upset then.  I took it all very personally and felt like a complete failure as a parent.  I mean - I'm the one that taught preschool; I'm the on that has read all the parenting books; I'm the one that has a degree in Psychology with emphasis in child development, yet this child was giving me a run for my money (and we did invest a lot in him!) and beating me into submission (figuratively speaking).  Now that the love is more unconditional, I'm able to take a step back and know that this too shall pass and that if I wait an hour, I'll have a totally different kid (of course if I wait two hours, I'll be right back where I started, but that time in between is well worth it!)

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