Can a human be born angry?
This is the question I’m asking a lot these days.
Our son is having quite a tough transition lately from his private school to his public school. From his single mother household to his newly married mom and step-dad. And issues we’ve dealt with in the past with his anger and tantrums are raising their ugly head.
I remember the doctor’s appointment in which I confided with his pediatrician that his tantrums were more than I could handle. That he had been removed from a daycare due to his rage over taking a nap. And at the time he was only 20 months old.
Through his doctor and a program called Help Me Grow, I gained access to early intervention programs to help me with my son. We did a developmental screening where we found he had a slight delay in his fine motor skills. But in all other areas we were fine. Until we discussed his behavior and the tantrums.
It was in this area that the most red flags began to fly. Jake was an angry little boy. He’d tantrum violently and I often found myself at the mercy of his little fists and kicking feet. And though I had a background in education and child development, I was finding myself flying by the seat of my pants when it came to disciplining him. I had no clue what to do and I was doing most of it on my own.
We went through some therapy and got a little help. A term was tossed around, a possibly key: ODD or oppositional defiance disorder. I laughed at first thinking it was just another multi-lettered acronym for the pharmaceutical companies to push more drugs. But as Jake aged and his temper ebbed and flowed, I wondered if, for him, it may be true.
Now we’re back to square one. He’s defiantly resisting most everything at home and many weekends are spent dealing with his anger and frustration. When good things are planned and outings are scheduled for fun, they often are cancelled due to a time-out or a day long grounding because of his anger issues.
And I find myself a tired, sad mommy again.
It’s hard not to feel helpless when your child seems to butt against anything you say or do, even the positive stuff. When you tell him today will be a good day and he responses with a “No it won’t”, it’s hard to keep your spirits up. When you want to do fun things together as a family but in the back of your mind you prepare to cancel your plans because you never know if something will trigger his anger before you even get to the car.
And I’m balancing a brand new marriage to boot. Not only am I dealing with the frustrations of parenting a particularly explosive child but I’m also trying to find a place for my new husband in all this parenting stuff. The two seemed so fine together and loving before the wedding but now it seems to be a war of wills to vie for my attention. And I’m exhausted.
So exhausted the tears are burning the backs of my eyes just tying these truths.
I want to roll up in bed and never get up. I just want to sleep, read, and sleep again.
That is my selfish side speaking. And apart of that voice is another little tidbit that’s niggling at me. I don’t want to be one of those activists moms speaking up for their child and how to accommodate them better in life. I don’t want to have a child with special emotional needs. I just want…normal. I want to love my son and have him love me back. I want to be a newly wed planning to make a new baby, too.
I want a family that isn’t torn in half by rough nights, big fights, and have me standing in the middle.
I feel very unprepared for this and I’m starting to unravel at the edges. They say the first year of marriage is the toughest and I can’t agree. The marriage is actually going fine. It’s the parenting in the 7th year that’s been toughest. And we have 11 more years of closely parenting a child that fights like a cat caught in a bag, flinging and screaming, when all we want is for him to do a chore. To clean his room. To find his soccer gear.
Can a human be born angry?
I’ll lean towards yes…