Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why doesn't anyone understand me?

Look at that little face. According to my pediatrician we are well on our way to a lifetime of hell if we don't get things in check pretty soon. She was a complete monster this afternoon and now our ped has us both on probation. We have another appointment in a month and she wants to check on our behaviour. She said Ella's behaviour, but I know that she means both of us.

We just got back from a doctor's appointment, obviously- Ella has developed yet another interesting skin disease requiring pots and pots of ointments and unctions- and it didn't go well. Last time we were there was only the end of November and Ella got two big shots, which she clearly remembered. As soon as she saw the doctor, she started fussing and tried running in the opposite direction. As soon as we got in the examination room, she grabbed onto me like a little howler monkey and buried her face in my shoulder.

If it had been only this, that would have been bad enough- but when we insisted on her showing the doctor her face, Ella started screaming louder and louder and finally swatted at me, giving me a real crack across the cheek. Have to give her points for manual dexterity. She nailed me.

Because we were in the middle of the exam, I just snapped, "Ella! Stop that!" The doctor finished her examination and sat down across the desk from me, only to give me a 15 minute lecture about Ella's appalling behaviour. I was a bit irritated because considering the circumstances, I don't know that even the strictest, most battle-scarred mother would have been able to administer a lesson in proper behaviour. But mainly I was horrified that someone with rather a lot of experience with children was so shocked by Ella. I guess that up until now, I thought that I had been doing pretty well at the whole mommy thing. I need B to get home and remind me that I am not a complete failure at this. Its hard to be positive when the truth is that I feel like this latest challenge has me whipped. I think I'm doing the right things and yet it just keeps getting worse.

I suppose, considering how she has been since Christmas holidays and all the extra attention she got, I shouldn't be surprised that I am currently battling to keep things in check. But she used to be so sweet! The terrible twos are really really not fun. Not only do I have to be constantly disciplining her at home but now I am going to have to start cancelling stuff out of fear of her acting like a little thug and embarassing me.

And its just like everyone says- all the naughtiness comes at the same time as something utterly adorable, like her new penchant for kissing. Throw a tantrum or cover mommy in kisses seems to be her big dilemma most of the time. There is no happy medium with a toddler, I guess. God, I may have to drag Ella with me down to the cellar so that I can grab a bottle of red wine. Detox, schme-tox. I need a drink.


Sally Lomax said...

Dear Nicole,

What a grotty paediatrician!!

I would very much take it with a pinch of salt. Goodness, think of how well she coped with her trip to the States etc. She was brilliant for you!!

You only have to look at your blogs to know that you are doing a great job with Ella. The problem with motherhood though is that no-one sees you doing the best bits, and people only ever comment on the negatives. That's a good reason for writing a blog, to let yourself and everyone else know that you are actually doing it just right.

Honestly Nicole the Paed needs shooting! How dare he/ she! it's the sort of thing that send mothers into despair - for no reason.

My youngest had a complete fear of hospitals and doctors for years - she's 6 now, and has only just got over it. That was all due to some badly handled tests at an early age. She too wouldn't allow any doctor near her for a LONG time!!

To me I would say that Ella's behaviour is as of a normal toddler who quite understandably hates what hospitals and doctors have to offer, and is possibly feeling a bit tired after the Christmas trip. She may even be under the weather... My Eldest once threw a hissy fit in a shoe shop aged two, and then the next day went down with Chicken Pox. You just never know with little ones how they are feeling completely.

It's the Paediatrician that should be apologising for not reassuring her properly!!

You are doing a good job!


Anna said...

Absolutely, Sally is totally right. And I would add that, being English and knowing quite a lot about the French (I've been here for 15 years, more or less), French expectations of parental discipline are TOTALLY different from English ones, and in my experience of all other Anglo-Saxon ones (even though they vary between countries) and you should under NO CIRCUMSTANCES pay any heed to what French doctors or other professionals of childhood say about the way you are bringing Ella up. The best service you can do to yourself is to read up the major childcare manuals from the US and France, and give them a lit. crit. treatment as seriously as if it was your PhD thesis. And you'll understand that the thinking behind child rearing is so colosally different that you can't even begin to talk to French people about it. Oh - and start watching that show on La Cinq calles Les Maternelles (every morning at 9) to get lots of info, some of it totally terrifying, about how the French bring up their children.

DON'T WORRY you are definitely doing a great job and she is beautiful!

Nicole said...

I saw your comment on Tertia's blog and couldn't resist checking you out. We share the same name and we both use it as our signature, plus we're around the same age.
And, uh, that doctor should be smacked upside the head. Doctors get absolutely NO training on child development or behavior so I am not sure what soapbox she is standing upon that gives her the right to give out assvice. Geese, doctors drive me nuts.