PMS and Sibling Rivalry

Please hang in there with me- I know the two topics in the title seem completely unrelated.

I hope I am not the only one here who has this problem, but PMS turns me into a mommy monster and I am going through it right now. Everything irritates me, annoys me and stresses me out to no end. I also become constantly hungry all day long. I was freaking out because I wasn’t able to zip up my jacket to go outside. I used swear words in front of the kids twice yesterday (I NEVER do). Daddykush said, “Just let me help you, you sound exasperated.” It doesn’t help that baby Banana has had a bad diaper rash for a few days now (hopefully not a yeast rash) and screams every time we change her diaper. Then this morning, as I drove a tired and crying Baby Banana back home from her first music class, I noticed Daddykush’s car was the only car parked on one side of the street. It’s STREET CLEANING!! Knowing that it could be towed any second, I frantically changed and fed Baby Banana, put her to sleep and ran out onto the street to move his car into the driveway. Of course, the tow truck was nowhere in sight. Daddykush even reassured me that even if it gets towed, it’s ok, he will go get it this weekend. I made it more stressful than it needed to be.

PMS and the conflicts between Lemon Cake and Baby Banana is a vicious cycle. I confess that I lost it yesterday morning. Lemon Cake and Baby Banana were playing with magnatiles nicely together. Baby Banana would hand him a tile and Lemon Cake would build with it. In just ten seconds time, she took a piece of tile off his magnatile creation, and he started throwing them at her. I swiftly picked up the crying Baby Banana and took away all the magnatiles, left his room, and closed his door. It was a suggested time out for him. It honestly was more like I needed to leave the room before I exploded. I left his room in anger and he knew I was angry. When I calmed down, I asked him to check on her and Lemon Cake apologized to baby Banana. Soon after, Baby Banana wandered back to Lemon Cake’s room and was standing in front of his full length mirror. Lemon Cake walked in at that moment and immediately decided he also wanted to be in front of the mirror and shoved baby Banana aside. THAT WAS THE MOMENT I LOST IT. I YELLED, “YOU DO NOT PUSH BABY BANANA. YOU DO NOT THROW THINGS AT HER. YOU DO NOT TAKE THINGS AWAY FROM HER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” Daddykush walked into the room and Lemon Cake was just about to tell him to leave. I started yelling again, “YOU DO NOT SPEAK TO DADDY THAT WAY!” This was the loudest I have ever yelled at him (luckily I later confirmed with my upstairs neighbor that she did not hear me yelling… whew…). I honestly don’t remember what happened after, except that within a short time everything was calm again. Lemon Cake did not get upset but I know it affected him (as evident to his more than usual clingy behavior). He requested to sit on my  lap a little while later as he was eating breakfast, and he asked, “Mama, do you love me?” “Yes I do, I love you very much. Even when I am upset with you.” That was enough guilt to last me a life time.

To give you the full picture, Lemon Cake and Baby Banana share many sweet and fun times together. Every time Lemon Cake gets Baby Banana upset, she immediately looks for her brother when she is done crying. The glee on her face when she follows her brother’s leads to defy us like banging the table loudly or screaming, is hilarious and priceless. Yesterday afternoon, as I was still feeling so much guilt over yelling at him, Baby Banana laid on top of Lemon Cake as he was on top of me (like a Lemon Cake sandwich). She patted his head, caressed his hair, and of course also pulled his hair, poked him in the eye and nose. Lemon Cake didn’t mind at all and continued to lay there. I hope these precious moments will always be in my memory.

The reason PMS is an important part of this blog topic is that I don’t think I would have yelled and lost control like that otherwise. I would still have been incredibly upset and been very stern. It is not an excuse. I am grateful for it because this degree of losing control made me realize I really need to figure out the best way to respond when they have conflicts or when Lemon Cake is aggressing against Baby Banana. I am sure it will happen the other way around as she gets bigger. I leave you with this article I found inspiring:

http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2012/06/27/toddlers-at-war-sibling-rivalry/

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