Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Make it, day 2

(and a low point)
Yesterday's project was whipping up that pillow I had intended to make when I bought the pile of fabric books awhile back. I let Jack choose the book page he wanted and added it to some old ticking I had kicking around in my fabric cupboard.

It's super cute, and I wish it hadn't taken me so long to get to.

It felt so good to just be making something again, doing something that has a successful, measurable outcome.

I'm afraid I have hit a serious low point in this mothering gig. Jack has taken to saying the most lovely things. Everything is disgusting and stupid and he hates me and I am an idiot. Sigh.

Where did he even learn such things? School I suppose? We don't speak that way to each other around here.

Don't get me wrong, I was pretty sure this "phase" would come sooner or later. But right now is the worst possible time. He is 3 and 1/2 years old and not only do I still have to do as much work physically caring for him as I did when he was an infant, but now I have to spend many, many, many hours a day trying to work out how to get him to be cooperative and helpful and polite and a million other things that he very much does not want to be right now.

It's hard.

And something has to give.

And yet somehow forcing him to be more independent and do things like dress himself, clean up his messes, use the toilet, etc. is even more work?

I don't even know that work is the right word. It's emotionally exhausting.

Somehow I feel like every single moment of my life since about November or so has been sucked into an abyss of cleaning and cooking and caring for Jack and I am completely losing hold of that small part of life that was my own.

Make it week could not come at a better time I suppose.
Anyway. My apron swap from the lovely Double Winky arrived on my birthday, what perfect timing. I had admired this apron in her Flickr, and never imagined she would actually send it to me!
It has been hanging on the ladder in the living room since it arrived, where I can admire all the lovely bits and pieces of the patchwork.

It is a fantastic piece of art. I love every inch of it.

I've tried to make the rounds to see all of your aprons. If you need help or have a swap issue, let me know. Most of the aprons should have been received by now.

Ok then. Onward and upward. There is a parenting book that I need to get cracked open ASAP.


  1. The pillow you made is precious--I love it.
    Your apron is so pretty-
    I'm going to try to figure out how to post mine on flickr this evening.
    You are doing fine with Jack- yep, it is all a part of the independence thing they go through. I can hardly remember going through it with my 3 girls (now, their teenage years....that's another story!I remember that all TOO well!). But I have been full-time caretaker for my Grands since their birth. Age 3 was definately the time of "speaking up;" even the most well behaved children go through this.

  2. I love the pillow and the apron!

    Uggh about Jack! I'm sorry! You have my sympathy but I don't have much advice to offer - Peter's speech delay keeps him from saying most of the things I don't want him to say (unfortunately it keeps him from saying a lot of the things I want him to say too) and he's been pretty easy going so far. I think Ned has that feisty streak that's really going to test me in a year or so. Maybe by then you'll have advice for me.

  3. Mothering is hard. No doubt about it. Just when you get used to him being this way he will change again. They always keep you guessing.

  4. Anonymous7:28 AM

    i know what you're going through! jerrett started around 4 and he still continues to say some hurtful things. words like stupid, hate, dumb, fat, ugly and curse words are not allowed in our house and jerrett will even correct others. it use to be jerrett would say things out loud like "look at that fat, old lady! she looks stupid!". thankfully that has been resolved but he can say some very hurtful things to me like he once said he wanted a tiger to come and scratch my eyes out and kill me or he wants me to go away or he wants to be divorced from the family because he doesn't like me anymore. as soon as something like that comes out of his mouth i sit down with him and tell him why it's not nice to say things like that and how it breaks my heart. i know it's a lot of work but it's the only way for it to be "fixed". i'm everything for jerrett (the hubby doesn't do very much in the way of discipline, raising, etc.) so it's hard, tiring, and sometimes i just want to sit in the corner and cry. all absolutely normal feelings. don't sell yourself short; you seem to be a strong women and a fantastic mother. if he's not hearing it at home then he's learning it at school; a little conference might be helpful. big hugs! xo

  5. Believe it or not, that is one things my children have not said to me. The boys say it to each other, occasionally, but I jump on them the minute they do.

    Good luck and big hugs to you with hope it passes soon.

  6. Your pillow is adorable.

    I've already shared how 'there' I've been and still am some days. It's a tough job...and even tougher, I think, when you care as much as you obviously do.


  7. Oh Sarah, you have my sympathy! You know, everyone always says how you have to treasure these moments, because they won't be little for long, and all I can think of when I hear that is "Good!" LOL Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward to about 5--that seems like a good age when they're still sweet but so much more independent, right?

    The qualities that Maren has that I think can really benefit her in the future (persistence, stubbornness, problem-solving, independence) are the same things that make her so difficult to deal with as a toddler. Sound familiar? :) If we can just survive toddlerhood I am confident things will be much better on the other side.

    Oh, and if you find any really good parenting books, please share!

  8. The pillow is great! As for Jack...that's about the time I started getting "hate" mail from my oldest. He would draw a picture of me with a big X on it and throw it down the stairs at me. sometimes he added "wuv jason." Too funny. I kept them all! Even the sweet ones go thru it.

  9. I have no advice. Mine is only turing 2. But I have a great little girl in my life that is 3 and just spending three days with her is tiring. She has started rolling her eyes and talking back. Sometimes you just need to breath and walk away.

    Keep crafty to keep your sanity. And yes please do share if you find a great parenting book!

  10. Darling things, pillow is lovely. Realize that its difficult to be a parent. I don't think people let you really in on that secret before hand. I have 8. There are so many days I think "what was I thinking having 8 children? who was that person that had 8 children because it isn't me now!!" I hate to tell you this but it does get even more difficulty. So brace for impact. Not all days are hard. But adult children have adult problems. You are only as happy as your sadest child. It ain't easy. I guess thats why I hate mother's day. Its a great nice day and all, but instead of patting yourself on the back, its easier to think "I wish, I should have, If I had it to do over again".

    I don't mean to be Debbie downer. I wouldn't change it (most days). But it is so much harder than I ever dreamed possible. Being a mother is just so much sometimes.

    My only advice is to try to take it easy on yourself. Teach him to be as independent as possible. And enjoy the good moments.

  11. What I do when my 4 year old is really bad is start to schedule things. So in the morning we have a project (craft; cleaning I give him the swifter and he loves it...I do not get as clean a house, but we all have fun; garden stuff) then lunch then nap time then walk, park .... After a couple of days of this he starts to see that there will always be time with me (which is what he is looking for when he is bad) and that it is ok to be without me sometimes.

    Not to worry it will get better and you WILL find a way to make it work and stay mostly stable;)

  12. Anonymous10:51 AM

    Oh, wow, your apron is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for anything patchwork, and especially bright colors!

    They keep us on our toes, don't they? I wish I could say after having three, that I'd have some profound advice for you, but I (hang on...I need to toss my screaming two year old back into his crib...) still don't feel like I have the hang of it, myself, most of the time. Just when you think you've figured things out, it all changes up again. (One sec...he got out again...) I have learned this much, it doesn't matter whether you have one child, or ten, being a mother isn't always easy, but it is always rewarding. It's so normal to feel the way you're feeling. No one tells you that before you have kids. There are always ups and downs when it comes to parenting, but I think you're doing a fantastic job from the parts I see through this blog world! Keep you're head up, and soon enough, it will all level out...at least for a while, until the next difficult hurdle throws itself in your way.

    I know, that sounds so optimistic, doesn't it! But, it's the reality of it all. Around here, we have good days and weeks, and sometimes we have bad days and weeks. But, just remember, the good ones always come back around!

  13. Anonymous10:53 AM

    I love that little pillow!!

    I can totally relate to your post today about your Jack. My Jack seems to be doing exactly the same things. I'm reading "Your Three Year Old" by Louise Bates Ames and it has some fantastic things to say about this stage, specifically three and a half! Not necessarily a ton of advice, but great insight.

    Keep finding time for yourself too, whenever I manager to do that I always feel better!
    Karen (kwntn from adl)

  14. I'm sorry you are having a difficlut time. I remember wanting some time to myself to not do laundry, not change a diaper, etc. My DH worked (and still does) from 1:30 am to 6:00 pm, so he is/was rarely ever around to help and when he was home, he was dead on his feet and I didn't trust him to even hold the kid, let alone leave him alone! I remember him leaving for work one morning, and I had been up all night with Christopher and an earache. When DH walked out the door, I had a little screaming fit telling him how LUCKY he was to get to go to WORK. I was in dispair~! I really got into crafting back then, it was an escape, something for ME to do. I entered it all int he County Fair, won a ton of ribbons and about $100.00 in prize money. But,t hat's beside the point. I can tell you need some Sarah time. Hope you get it soon. I'd take the little dickens for a few hours if I was there!

  15. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Well, it sounds like you know that you aren't the only one that goes through the dark days of the motherhood abyss! I don't think it's the terrible two's, I think it's the terrible three's. They want to be independent, and still require so much and they really now how to whine. Try to remember the good times, like when you get those sweet cuddles at night.

    Love the make it day pillow! fabulous!!

  16. Sarah,
    What a wonderful idea to recycle those great fabric books and what a creative way to do so. I just love it.

    As far as your challenges with little Jack, this too shall pass. He is testing your boundaries, so make sure you are steadfast in what you expect. I promise, he will be Mama's little angel once again.


  17. The pillow is awesome! I don't have kids yet, but my colleague is always talking about how the "terrible twos" is misleading because it really is the threes that kill you. (((Hugs))) From what I hear around the lunch table, four is pretty nice.

  18. Oh, and I can tell you from solid experience K,1st, 2nd and 3rd grade boys are delightful! 4th grade boys are also sweet.

  19. LOVE the pillow! Kids are HARD! Hang in there, I know how you feel x2. The sewing. Sometimes it saves my life. And the naps.

  20. Sarah what a great job you did with the pillow.
    Being a Mother is the hardest job in the world. So much to do and cope with both emotionally and physically. We all feel your pain. Somewhere along the road we lose a bit of who we were - the mothering takes control. One day you will get to be you again, even though now it seems impossible.Don't worry everything you feel is normal.

  21. Anonymous7:35 PM

    You sound just like me! I have two girls, one is 7 and low functioning autistic and the other is 5 and typical. Both can be overwhelming in different ways! I have said the exact same words, "they are sucking the energy out of me and I feel like I've lost myself." When my normally sweet typical girl started screaming, "I don't love you, you're the meanest mommy and I want another one, etc." and then kick me. I was shocked. I guess they learn some bad stuff along with the good stuff at school...I also think that because she and I are so bonded and loving that she felt secure enough to explode on me - she is a very bright, loving girl but her emotions are all over the place.
    Just want to say you are not alone and "this too shall pass" - they apparently go thru a lot of phases. I know understand that parenting is the hardest job in the world. With my autistic girl there are other issues and that is extremely hard...anyway, that is why I get on the blogs...it really helps me to feel connected to that part of me that feels I have accomplished something...it helps me to be creative and crafting...it feeds my soul. So thank YOU! You are doing great as a mom and as a person. Now I gotta chase my older girl out of pushing the window screen out.

    Great pillow, btw!

  22. Hi Sarah,
    I love the pillow that you made it is soo cute. I'm sorry that you are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment but it will clear, just hang on. You are doing the most important job in the world, and all of us are there with you some of us (like me) are just stumbling along blindly, but they do say it is worth it in the end.
    Cheers Linda

  23. Anonymous3:45 AM

    WOW, that apron is drool worthy, lucky girl! I swear it should be called terrible 3's, not terrible 2's. Sorry you are having a tough time right now, it is a phase and it will pass. However when they are about 11, they may develop the same lovely additude again! Gab hates her life lately because she ahs to do chores, sheeesh!!! Hang in there!!! XOXO

  24. It gets soooo much better! Hang in there. I have a 4 year old daughter and a 5 month old right now. She has not gone to school, however they pick up all the rudeness somewhere (friends in the neighborhood that are school age maybe). I think it is all a part of their growing independence. Gina never did the name calling or hating me, but I hear with grils that comes in the teens. Her attitude did go south for a short while though. I feel you though, it is all about cleaning up after them, cooking for them, and then when you aren't feeling the love back it SUCKS, but rest assured it gets better again. Also he will suprise you with some incredibly cute moment that you can cling to for a few days ;)
    Oh and hope you had a Lovely Birthday!

  25. This pillow is so sweet. I love that it has an actual working zipper on it, and how the ticking fabric echoes the checks on the little boy's shirt.
    I remember my nieces doing these things to my sister--especially if I was around. I do think it's normal...but still kind of hurtful.
    Thanks for commenting on our blog, Sarah. We really appreciate it.


  26. oh, Sarah, I feel for you. It's hard to be a mommy. Really really hard. I have no advice, just a hug. :)

  27. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Three has been the hardest year so far for both Jake and thus far for Kate. Personally, I think they say "terrible twos" just to warm you up for three.

    It's just a hard age. They are coming more into themselves and there for testing every little boundry. Verbally and physically, they are able to do so much more than before. But there is still so much they can't do and they don't seem to like that.

    I can say that it has seemed to get better with Jake. At nearly 6 years old, he has his moments where he is totally golden. Don't get me wrong. He can still throw a hissy with the best of them but over all, it is leaps and bounds better than three.

    Hang in there!

  28. What a great idea for the pillow!

    I have both those things - vintage ticking fabric and that cloth book. Both have been sitting there waiting for me to do something with them - i might have to do something similar! Hope you don't mind :-). I was going to use part of the ticking fabric for railroad dressup stuff for my train fanatic so maybe i can get both projects done at once.

  29. Anonymous1:52 PM

    oh my gosh, i feel so bad i missed this post until now. listen, my lizzie is exactly the same. she calls everyone stupid (her favorite word) and gets in a huff at the drop of a hat. all i can tell you is, it is definitely a phase and a test, i feel it is their way of asserting independence and the LAST thing they want is to push you away. what works for me is to just answer like this, "well i like you and that word hurts my feelings" or "please dont say mean things to me, i am your friend" i have noticed at pre school the teachers use the word "friend" a lot. like, "lets be a good friend" and "friends share, friends dont hit" or whatever. anyways, i can totally relate! hang in there. email me anytime so we can chat more.


  30. I can relate to how you feel. Layla just turned 4 so hopefully she is heading out of the "terrible three's". But Blake is mouthy as ever.


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