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Run down and tired – a parenting rant.

I’ve always looked forward to my evening blog post.  It’s a time to reflect on the day, gather my thoughts, share what’s on my mind – whether it’s something of huge importance or just a little blurb about my life.  Lately though, by the time the girl is asleep in bed beside me, I find I’m too run down and tired to be much in the mood for blogging.

Lily-Ann is a “high need” kid (a term coined by Dr. Sears).  She’s never been easy.  She’s challenging, but oh so worth it.  She’s super bright, creative, head-strong, determined, yet compassionate and full of empathy.  Her emotions are always heightened and many would find them exaggerated – a fact that was nailed home in her report card, which came home right before Easter break.  And all this would be just fine, if she wasn’t such a chip off the old block.

My emotions tend to get so tied up within whatever she’s feeling that I’m just exhausted by the time I’ve laid down with her to read our nightly chapters.  What she feels has always translated directly into what I myself feel.  When she’s happy, I’m happy, when she’s upset, I’m upset.  I honestly can’t see beyond her pain when she’s hurting – and that includes when she’s in the middle of a temper tantrum…  which has been happening on a more and more regular basis in the evenings.

I’m exhausted, and can’t think of anything to write beyond that.

People talk about “the terrible twos”…  Lily-Ann was a BREEZE at two, and good-natured trouble at three.  At four she was everything I could ever have hoped for – and then some.  We’re now at five and a half, and wow!  While I still wouldn’t call her terrible, there are times when she brings out the terrible in all of us.

I’ve got all sorts of parenting skills.  It comes from a lifetime of parenting those around me.  I have multiple siblings who are young enough to be my own children.  I’ve been babysitting since I was ten (which seems crazy in retrospect).  My family ran a daycare when I was a child and a teen.  Parenting just kinda comes naturally.  But even I am left with nothing left after an hour of break-downs over everything including something as trivial as a piece of scrap that missed the wastebasket by 1/2 cm.

Now, I know this will pass.  Every child goes through phases where things are just more than they can handle.  However, while we’re in the middle of this particular tempest?  Blogging isn’t exactly my priority.

And hey!  Advice, ideas, suggestions, and pats on the back are ALL appreciated just now.  I know, as parents, this is something we’ve all faced (or are going to face) at some point.  😛

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Dreams Dashed, Just Like That.

Just like that, a dream I’ve held for the last half a decade have been dashed.  My heart is more than a little broken.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I began dreaming of the day I could take my little one with me traveling to dog shows.  I know so many moms who take their infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children, and teens with them on the road…  and they all absolutely love it.

When Lily-Ann was born, I knew she wasn’t the type of baby who could go to a dog show.  If she wasn’t being held she’d cry.  And there was no way for her to be the constant focus of attention at a show.

When she was a toddler, nothing had changed.  And I envied those parents who’s little ones would nap in a stroller while they did their “down and back”.  You put Lily in a stroller and even if she was previously tired, she’d pop up alert and ready to go knowing that something must be going on.  She was a baby and toddler who was WORN not put in a stroller or bucket – so if she was in one of those places she knew something interesting had to be happening.  She also had stopped napping at 11 months old, which didn’t help matters.

As a pre-schooler she LOVES dog shows.  She made her debut as a junior handler at the SKOC show last Summer:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/junior-handling-debut/  And was just awesome.  But she’s still a high needs kid, that hasn’t changed.  She needs your focus at least 95% of the time.  She proved that to me tonight.

I knew she couldn’t handle traveling to dog shows when she was little…  but I’d hoped that by the time she was five it would be a very real possibility.  Tonight though?  Tonight was a disaster.  It took everything in me not to completely lose my cool and fall apart.

We were at handling class…  the first time I’d taken her to handling class.  Usually it’s just me, the dog, and sometimes my younger sister Jewles.  With the dog show in Saskatoon this weekend, and Lily having never worked with Alice before, I thought the two of them could stand to have some practice with one another.

Lily-Ann was obnoxious.  She managed to get through about five minutes before she kept announcing that she was bored and thirsty and wanted a treat – over and over again.  She wouldn’t listen to instruction (from myself OR the instructor).  So after she finished one trip around the ring, I set her up on the sidelines with treats and my phone (on which she has nine or ten apps).  And I went back in to practice with Alice.

That didn’t work either.

The kid kept running back and forth in and out of the ring, disrupting everyone.  So after repeated attempts to get her to listen and just sit down for even five minutes, I packed it in.  Not even half way through the class.  I grabbed all of our stuff and we left.  I have never been so embarrassed in my life.  Her behaviour was atrocious.  Not only did she ignore me when I repeatedly told her to stay out of the ring when it wasn’t her turn, she ignored the instructor as well – who told her to “get out” when it was obvious she wouldn’t listen to me.

So yeah.  Embarrassed by how awful she behaved (seriously, she was shockingly awful, I’ve never seen her behave even close to this before…  ever), and brokenhearted to know I will likely never be able to trust her enough to take her with me…  to enjoy something together that I love so much.  Maybe by the time she’s in high school…  but certainly not before.  I’ll probably still let her do junior handling whenever there’s a show in the city – so twice a year.  But she’ll never get the experience to do well when she can only participate so infrequently and when she’s not able to attend classes between shows.

Yep.  It’s just not going to happen.  She loves showing.  Absolutely loves being in the ring, in the spotlight…  which only makes it harder to bear, and harder to understand.

Seriously…  I can’t even express how awful she was tonight.  We’re not talking just silly little kid antics.  I’ve come to expect those.  But constantly ignoring everything anyone said to her???  yeah, that’s not cool.  And yes… I realize that at this point, I’m starting to ramble.  But it really was the WORST parenting experience of my entire life.  Don’t even ask me how the drive home afterwards went.  Good freakin’ grief.

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