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Whoa!  I’m writing this from a beach in Tahiti!  (I wish)  I adore my boys, and am so grateful for the beauty and fun that they have visited on my life–do you  sense a big “but” coming?  But, today was quite possibly the worst day of motherhood in 5 years.  The day itself was fine…uneventful…until I picked Mikey up from school.  He looked tired but otherwise content when he got into the car.  Then he asked to go to McDonalds.  I indulge that once a week because they love it, and let’s face it–it makes my life easier.  After all, I won’t be around when they need open heart surgery.  One of the beauties of starting a family late!  However, today was a no go.  We had been there earlier in the week, and not only do they not need to eat it that frequently, but it gets expensive.  Well!  You’d think I had called off Christmas.  That’s next! What with the screaming fit that ensued while Pierce is sleeping in his car seat.  After I got on him for being so ugly to me–I actually told him that he will begin riding the school bus if he doesn’t stop this nonsense of making demands as soon as he gets in the car and acting horribly when he doesn’t get the desired response.  I’m not going to come and get him anymore and be treated this way.  He was nasty for another minute or so, and then all was quiet.  I knew he was tired, especially having just overcome the intestinal flu, but this was irrational. 

Upon arriving home, I put his brother on the sofa to finish his snooze, and Mikey collapsed on the other one.  I sat down to look at his school folder with the work he’d done today.  I sent a note to his teacher discussing the issues we have with him being able to complete a directive if I’m not standing over him.  Her reply was exactly the same.  “If I don’t work with him one on one, nothing gets done, so I try to work with him one on one as much as possible.”  Great….what’s this kid going to do when that option is unavailable?  Oh well…I can’t worry about that right now–hopefully maturity will take care of some of it.

While I was looking over his school work he is telling me that he wants a snack.  So I told him he could go find one himself, which he usually does.  Well, that didn’t go well either–again “cancelling Christmas?”  He exploded with random screams and hollers, knowing that they get on my nerves.  I acted as though I heard nothing until I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Thankfully, the phone rang, and it was Auntie Good Times.  My sister and I chatted, while I wandered off to my bedroom for some peace and quiet.  Meanwhile, he is kicking and screaming on the sofa, and I hear Pierce’s baskets of toys under the coffee table rattling and scattering with fury.  I tried to ignore for a little longer, but ultimately, I had to go take Michael by the arm and lead him to his room where I closed the door.  He’s still asking for a snack in between being insolent.

Back to my bedroom (across the hall–not nearly far enough away) and phone conversation.  Pretty soon the screaming and hollering is accompanied by kicking his bedroom door.  Now, I put the phone down, walk into his room, grab him and set him in his bed where he continues to scream and defy me, telling me “no” that he is not going to stay in his bed.  I am so beyond any ability to see my way clear of this situation that I grab him and spank him.  Here come the alligator tears.  I told him he better not cry, “You don’t get to treat me the way you have and expect me to comfort you or do anything nice for you.  That’s not the way it works!  You need to figure out how to calm yourself down and quit behaving this way or you will lose all your privileges.”  It got quiet, finally, and Kathy and I got to finish our conversation.  We left it where she goes back to her charmed empty-nester life in her ocean view condo in the Bahamas’s (she’ll love that I advertised that) while I resume the hell I call my life!  Just kidding–it was only hell for a couple of hours. 

I went in to find my school boy asleep.  I was concerned that he would never get to bed if I let this go, and I wanted to make amends and start our evening fresh.  Big, BIG mistake!  The sobbing, hyperventilating, screaming, and defying started up again.  I left him in his bed, and then he started yelling for “mommy!”  Now, I’ve tried ignoring, being firm about my expectations, spanking, and tenderness.  Nothing has reached him–he’s totally irrational–I mean totally.  I even told him that he could not come out until he calmed himself down and could be happy.  He would tell me he was done and that he wanted to come out–then within minutes he would be freaking out again.  It was literally 2 hours before he recovered.–after his dad got home from work, and even then it continued for a while. 

I expect this from an adolescent.  I remember being pissed off as soon as I walked through the door of my home as a teenager.  For some reason, I was mad at my parents, but at five-years-old?  This is bizarre.  Yes, we have had meltdowns, but this went beyond anything I have experienced as a parent.  Frankly, not only did it exhaust me–it scared me.  Is this normal, or do I need to be on the look-out for a child with a propensity for depression?   It’s like he’s mad at me for sending him to school.  Although, he seems to enjoy himself while he’s there, it’s blatantly apparent that he doesn’t want to go.  In the midst of his meltdown, Pierce wakes up, which he doesn’t do happily as a rule, senses the energy in the house, and begins a meltdown of his own.  It truly made the old “Calgon take me away” commercials seem like a vacation!