Patience, Please Find Me. Now.

I honestly believe I’m a good dad. Maybe even a great dad.

And, this isn’t me asking you to tell me that I am a great dad. Quite frankly, the only person I would love to hear that from right now is named Aidan.

This is me beyond frustrated with a certain amazingly smart, (mostly) fun to be around, always thinking four-and-a-half-year-old. Ironically, his name is in the previous paragraph.

He’s killing me. Trying patience? Um, yeah. You could say that.

I guess we’ve done something right, because he’s pretty much perfect whenever he’s with someone other than mom and dad. And, I know, I know, it’s a phase. It’ll change. He’s trying to be in control.

Whatever it is, I get all that. I really do.

But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I don’t like it.

In fact, I hate it.

I hate it that there are moments where I absolutely cannot communicate with him. Can’t do it. Because he won’t allow it. And because I’m not smart enough (or patient enough) to find a different way.

He has spent time in his room. He has been spoken to. He has had time out. He has had everything imaginable. Yet still it persists.

And, I know there are factors. For example, he’s an outside kid. He needs to run off steam and burn energy. He’s been cooped up all winter for the most part and when he gets even 10 minutes outside, he’s happier than being anywhere inside.

He’s been sick. He’s been fighting bronchitis all winter. He’s taken 47 kinds of medicine and now knows what a nebulizer is.

His Mimi is visiting from Florida. Aidan is very close to her. She’s up visiting for a few days. Which is great. It really is. But with Mimi comes a huge amount of excitement. Excitement that is different than any other excitement. Excitement that makes said four-and-a-half-year-old even more excitable.

Is he showing off? Yup. Is he trying to be in control? Yup. Is he succeeding in making me crazy? Yup.

I mean, it’s to the point where I hear myself say things that I know aren’t going to be effective, yet there are no other words I can find that will work.

Mimi is watching the kids during the day this week because our regular sitter is on vacation. And, this morning, I was waiting for someone to come to pick me up and drive me to work.

When I saw the car pull in the driveway, I was actually excited. Excited to get out of the madness of being there all day and wondering what I would say or how I would discipline if necessary. Excited to just be away.

And, it may be a natural thing from time to time — dealing with this type of frustration.  But I hate that I thought that. I hate that I was excited to be apart from the kids (especially Aidan) for awhile.

I love him. I do. More than I ever thought would be possible. He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He makes me smile. He makes me believe I am a good dad. And maybe even a great dad.

Just not today.

5 Comments on “Patience, Please Find Me. Now.”

  1. 3carnations says:

    You mentioned him being talked to, time outs, sent to his room…But have you tried “consequences”? My son loses a privilege (listening to a CD in his room at bedtime, TV, dessert or something similar) when he isn’t listening. He gets a couple warnings, told if it happens “one more time” he will lose {fill in the blank}. When it happens one more time, follow through, and odds are it won’t happen again (for a while, anyway). Sometimes losing something specific is enough to help someone that age learn that there are consequences when we don’t do what we should.

  2. Sara says:

    You are a great dad…today and everyday. Being great is knowing when you need a break, when spending one more moment together is not going to be good for either of you. He will grow out of it and in the meantime…you are a great dad.

  3. Janette says:

    If only somebody could tell us parents the definitive start and end date of phases, then we could deal with it and move on. I agree, when you’re in the middle of the muck it is the most stressful and you begin to question your own feelings and abilities. Hang in there. It will get better. Summer is almost here and Aiden will be outside running around very soon!

  4. Tom says:

    Let me give you some brotherly advice. 1) Stop trying to be his friend all the time and concentrate on being his father. Your not equal friends, your his parent. 2)Stop worrying about him being happy all the time. Life sucks some times and he needs to learn to deal with it. 3) Lay down the law and enforce it. Don’t worry if you aren’t buds or not at the moment or if he is “ok.” 4) Think of what Dad would have done.

    I’ve made mistakes at times with my kids because I was to friendly, to worried about them being Ok or happy. My instinct many times was to be their friend. I need to be their DAD.

    And by the way, it’s perfectly normal to want to get away from your kids. Do you think Ma and Dad wanted us around 24/7? NOT!!

  5. Carrie says:

    Ok I know you didn’t ask for this but yes Mike, you are a great dad. Everyone who knows you and sees you with your family knows that.

    I can’t speak to kids since I don’t have any so I won’t even try. Sounds like big brother Tom has the best advice going.

    Other than that, if we didn’t have moments that were hard or frustrating or we would never know what easy, happy or fun moments are. We could not appreciate them. So while I can only imagine your frustration, just remember a really great moment is bound to come after it. Just need to get through this moment. Deep breath and one step at a time.

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