The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

by farrah on October 29, 2013 · 24 comments

I know I mentioned that my husband and I are watching American Horror Story : Asylum (season 2) this week, but that’s not the asylum that I am talking about. The asylum is my house and my children have all gone crazy. Go ahead, laugh, snicker- say what you will. But I am at a complete and utter loss as to what is going on.

Pennhurst Asylum

I’ve never been one to complain- or feel that the boys were troublesome outside of the norm. The ‘oh man they’re driving me nuts’ sort of thing to show camaraderie with another mother, of course. But this? This happening here is bananas. Specifically with Brody and Linc. Brody is 4 1/2 and Linc just turned 3 last week. It’s like all the years of insanity have been waiting to pop out and yell ‘SURPRISE!’ in my face after I thought we were safe. It’s like full-moon, bat crap crazy on a minute-by-minute basis. I feel thrown off, unbalanced- and constantly on guard for a situation I need to diffuse. It’s sucking the life from my bones.

The Accused:

Brody (4.5)

I love him. He is my first-born. He’s funny and smart and a genuinely nice kid. But let me tell you- over the past few weeks I do not know what has happened to this child. He’s always been a little on the sensitive side- which is a great thing. But lately we’re going off the deep end regarding dinosaurs and how they’re all dead now. I try to reason with him, give him logic as to actually the dinosaurs have evolved- and are seen today as birds yadda yadda- but it does no good. The other night at bedtime he was sobbing, tears streaming down his cheeks over the fact that the dinos were dead and the meat eaters had nothing left to eat. I honestly had no idea how to reason with him, make him feel better- turn the conversation around, etc. I tried! I did! But every angle I took went down the road of ‘Let’s not go there’. Before I knew it I had him sobbing even harder asking me ‘Am I going to diiiiiiiee???’. Sweet dreams, kiddo.

I ask him (them) all, ever so nicely: Please don’t do that. I’d really rather you not do that here. Please don’t be so loud. But no one cares. No one hears me. I might as well be stranded in the bathroom asking for someone to spare a square for all the good its done. The yelling, the fighting, the defiance and the tantrums. We haven’t seen the likes of this from B in ages and ages- if ever. I think normally, if we were back in the States I might say- ‘Oh, he’s just geeked up over Halloween.’ but, ah, I don’t really have that excuse to fall back on. They hardly realize Halloween is coming.

Linc (3)

Me: Linc—-oln. Where are you? What are you doing? Linc: Nup-ing. Me: Linc—-oln. Please come in here. (ignores me). [He was removing the toilet paper from the roll in the bathroom. Repeat 500 x’s just move around what he’s doing.]

Linc has never ever ever given me a dull moment. Ever. But I have to say that I feel 2 was a fairly quiet year for him. I should have known better than to get too comfortable though, as he’s clearly going to make up for it in 3.

He’s currently fighting me in every single aspect of life. Be it ‘wash your hands please‘ or ‘let’s put on some pants‘. And I don’t mean just in a casual way- oh no. These are all epic of epic-ness in tantrums that I have ever experienced as a mother. He changes his clothing on average four to five outfits per day- none of which are weather appropriate. He fights me every single step of accomplishing a task such as leaving the house. It’s like all of those jokes I’ve ever heard about little kids are coming true with him. Convos With My 2 Year Old (now 3 year old), Honest Toddler, the Crappy Pictures kids, all of them- they are my Linc. I’m dying over here and exhausted with the sheer effort it is taking to get through a single day. I’m sick of my own voice.

Chase (3)

I’m suspicious. He’s going to break me I think. Pretty sure he’s biding his time while his brothers tag-team me into insanity.

Send Help

This morning I woke up and my entire back ached. Like from the tip of my spine to the top of my hips. Once I opened my eyes and heard my children throwing caution to the wind waking us up at 6am (thank you European time change) I ached all over. I think I’m sick. Sick from children. I don’t know what to do other than keep on keepin’ on, try to keep my temper in check, tell myself that I need to cherish these moments (ahem), and remember that they’re kids. They’re growing and changing and emotional asteroids right now. I’m trying. Oh how I am trying.

And then just to completely mess with my mind they’re all the sweetest most loving kids on the planet every night. ‘Hug me, hold me, kiss me, mom’. Isn’t this a form of torture?!

The bright side of this is that I do have something to look forward to. In exactly 17 days I am heading away for a Mamagetaway in Malta. Eye on the prize. Just let me survive to the 16th.

So how the heck are you surviving these rather difficult days? Beer/wine/chocolate= check. Any other suggestions?


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan D Crochet Addict UK October 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

Wow that sounds awful. Distraction is the only technique that sometimes works. Give responsibilty to take their mind off what they shouldn’t be doing. Re the upset we’ve been through the same concersations with my son. We’ve come to understand he thinks about bigger things more than most kids. Each situation is different and can go in a lot of different ways. Unfortunately they can often go downhill. It just shows how intelligent your son is.


2 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

That is nice to think about- but boy oh boy is it every exhausting! I can’t imagine how tired he must be 🙂


3 Heather October 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

Hate to say this, but it sounds as if they are learning how to totally play you. And once one catches on, they all follow suit. Then-possibly-they compete for your attention (any attention is good. your sanity is inconsequential) by whatever means works.
Every family is different and every parent has different goals. Personally, when my eldest would have a tantrum in the middle of JC Penny’s, I would let him scream it out in the middle of the aisle. Talk about your high drama! He would scream, cry, lay down on the ground and spin on his side-crying at the top of his lungs. I kept on walking, turned a corner and let him think I’d left him there to figure it out. Honestly, I snuck back through the racks and kept an eye on him. I got some nasty looks, some snickers and quite a few thumbs-up. But I NEVER let my children use my emotions, or copious love for them, to manipulate me. BUT, that is how I chose to handle it…
So, when the dead dinosaurs come up, I’d lend a sympathetic ear, address a point, or two, and then let him sit with his feelings. Kids are super smart and are usually quite good at finding simple reasons to justify things.
If you find their emotional moods seem to serve the need to try to obtain your undivided attention…you have your answer. If that is the case, it only gets worse if you don’t nip it in the bud. Riding that out is sometimes worse than the first night sleeping alone; that is why they made wine.
Good luck!!!!


4 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I actually hadn’t thought of it from that perspective before. I think it’s a mix of that and he tends to get really really emotionally involved with something- losing any sense of reason and rationality. Like he’s too young yet to understand ‘big picture’ and logic is lost. Thus a big cycle of ‘what happened with x’ then sort of thing. Good tips- thanks. And yes, lots of wine on hand 🙂


5 Marloes October 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thank you soooo much for this honest post. First of all; HUGS. You rock! You’re an amazing mom of THREE boys and doing an awesome job! There, that needed to be said, who else will do that. Second; YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I seriously hear myself asking now and then: “helloooo, do I exist?!”. It drives me nuts at times. My oldest; sensitive too. Why this, why that, how come, how to, etc. all. Day. Long. Youngest; no no no. And energy wise all over the place. Loudness is a constant thing. AAAARGHHH! How I survive? It’s what you said; they hug, they kiss, they tell me they love me exactly when I need that. Boys are momma-kids. Must say that they can have days like this, but then the storm calms down. I know you know; the storm will calm down at your house too. I hope soon! Take care!


6 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I’m physically beat. Like I know I had to wake them up at 12:15 to get them lunch, dressed and school by 1 (from naps). I was already so drained from the battles with B this morning that facing the drama with L over what he was going to wear just about did me in. He fought me, but I just kept going. Talking calmly, saying this is what we are doing. You are going to school and you are wearing these clothes. I think part of my problem is that I give them TOO MANY choices and thus they’re overloaded. But oy. What a learning curve this is. xoxoxo


7 Ace October 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Oh, Lord, talking mortality with a 4 year old… best of luck getting through this phase. Maybe just start the *white* lie that iguanas are tiny dinos?
Just after turning 3 until about April/May was the hardest we had with my guy. He’s chilled out for a bit, so I’m feeling better about the whole thing, but while it’s great to watch them learn, sometimes how they express their learning is… trying…
Can I recommend headphones? Or is that an invitations for disaster? In the meantime, let the countdown to Malta begin!


8 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm

YES! How many hours? Too many. I’ll count faster 🙂


9 Karla October 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Didn’t you say you wanted pictures of the toadstool nursery? I love children. I’m glad I get to borrow them regularly. All kidding aside, you are an awesome mom, Farrah. It sounds frustrating but when they are teenagers and refuse to tell you about their day, you’ll look back at the dinosaur discussions and smile. For now, just do what you’ve got to do, my friend. 🙂


10 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

That’s the crux of this- I KNOW for a fact that I will miss all of these little things terribly. But today? Today I am tired. Bone tired and so tired of fighting.


11 Stephanie October 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Take a half day out for you. Just leave your husband with the kids for a few hours and recharge. It’s the only thing that helps me.


12 farrah October 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

No worries. It’s coming. Just not soon enough 🙂


13 Deanna October 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I don’t know how you do it! I struggle with my one and you have 3! You’re just amazing. I can only imagine how tired you must be. Wish I could help! Just keep your eye on the Malta prize. 🙂


14 farrah October 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

You got it! That’s what I’m doing. 16 days to go….


15 Gayla October 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Sounds like a job for Jo, the Supernanny 😉 Sorry I don’t have any helpful advice and you’ve already got my recommendations of wine and chocolate covered. Hang in there. the 16th isn’t that far away.


16 farrah October 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

If only she would come and camp out for a while!


17 Amanda Bergren October 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Oy. Feeling your pain with my uber sensitive 4 year 3 month old. Recent traumatic sobbing, dry heaving tragedies include trading in our 1998 Honda with a blown transmission for a new car, and our pothole ridden road being repaved. It’s sweet really. Change can be hard for sensitive souls and you guys have been on a great adventure, but I totally empathize with the weariness of it somedays. Transitions are hard, change is hard, having to wash your hands EVERY time you go to the bathroom is hard. Being 4 is hard. So is being a mom even if it’s great most of the time. Hugs and solidarity from the States.


18 farrah October 31, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thanks Amanda! Sometimes the best medicine (besides running away) is just to have other moms say they get it and know exactly what you’re talking about. Sometimes their behavior is so amazing you don’t know how you could possibly explain it to anyone. I mean really! Imagine if we tried to tell aliens what this was like?!


19 Cynthia October 30, 2013 at 3:46 am

High Five to you for putting your frustrations and moments out there! I love it. I have had days recently where I cannot WAIT for my husband to walk through the door so we can tag team. The issue that I am dealing with now is the intentional teasing. Drives me nuts! They drive each other nuts. “A” does it to “B” who hates it, then “B” does it to “A” who hates it. I have to keep reminding myself that they don’t understand A+B=C! “Don’t do it because you don’t like it”. It is tough. I thought 4 would be easier, but I am finding 4 equally difficult…and can I mention I also have a pre-teen in the mix who likes to shake things up also.

Enjoy your countdown to your trip. 🙂 You will find your strength, power, patience, and SANITY … maybe not all at once but you will get through this stage. In the meantime, distractions are awesome…along with “quiet time”.


20 farrah October 31, 2013 at 8:00 am

Thank you! And for the most part- the past few years I have done exactly that- as soon as hubs gets home, I’m like- ok, see ya. But as of late, things have gotten SO crazy that even that doesn’t help. The bickering, the yelling (theirs, not ours) there’s no escape!


21 Mrs. Chasing the Donkey October 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

You mean they get more tricker as they get older? Dang girl I am screwed. I have zero clue how you manage with 3 under 5. Actually 3 kids at all is enough to make me twitch.
I hope the time zone changes settle soon. xx


22 farrah October 31, 2013 at 8:01 am

Somehow people have done it for as long as we’ve been having babies- you’d really think there were some new advancements made to our advantage by now!


23 Amy October 31, 2013 at 4:14 am

I have no sage advice, but I am cheering you on. Just the thought of three exhausts me. You rock. And I am so happy for you, and jealous, of your upcoming getaway! Hang in there.


24 farrah October 31, 2013 at 8:02 am

Thanks! I’m tired. Just so tired.


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