Yesterday was a very difficult day. Alex is in one of his destructive moods and he got more and more frustrated and aggressive as the day went on.
We started the day with him shredding his used overnight diaper. Over an hour to clean up. Then he began to go after toys. He broke two of the cars from Nathan's new train set (twenty-five minute tantrum in stereo), several of his own new Christmas toys, shredded part of a calendar (luckily one that expires tonight) and chewed through two of his supposedly "indestructible" chewsticks.
Then there was the hitting, kicking, screaming and headbanging. Every time I told him he couldn't do something, he went after either me or Nathan. I took away privileges, I put him in time out. Eventually I had to put him in his room because my temper was getting seriously frayed and I didn't trust myself not to start screaming back.
By the end of the day, I was emotionally exhausted and feeling like a complete failure as a parent. Looking back, I don't see an obvious point where I should have done things differently. But I can't help feel like I must have missed something.
I'm inclined to blame the reduced medication but my slightly more rational side tells me not to make that judgment just yet. Maybe he's frustrated at being cooped up at home and the disruption of routine, maybe it's backlash from the frustration of the holidays. Maybe he's coming down with something or has a stomachache.
Of course, all of those things could apply and the medication could still be a factor. If he is emotionally destabilized, it will be easier to set him off into a tantrum and harder to get him back (which would certainly describe the last two weeks). It's an anti-anxiety medication, so the renewed anxiety could be making things worse.
I still think it would be prudent to keep on the reduced medication until we get back to school for at least a week. Give us a real chance to evaluate the effects. I wasn't expecting a response this soon and so I wonder if I'm blaming the meds for something else.
Today I get to deal with it all again, plus try and get the house ready for a New Year's party. I've already accepted things aren't going to be great, since Alex will require constant supervision throughout the day. I'm hoping I can at least get the soiled bedding washed (he likes to fiddle with the washer and will halt the bloody thing in midcycle) and get the toys picked up off the floor and put in their bins. Small goals but I think anything bigger is only going to stress me out more.
Being able to get my nails done would be nice ... a girl should have some dreams.