Are five-year-old boys a little like 13 year–old girls—sassy, needy, narcissistic, moody, and demanding? I know mine is! I’m not sure what we are going through, here, but most parents would probably call it “summer vacation.” I call it countdown to freedom. The day when Mikey gets dropped off at school, and I know that I have won the internal battle I’ve been having with myself about possibly strangling my child. In all seriousness, though, I am really sort of sad. I love my little boy, but I don’t like him very much these days. He says nasty things, contradicts everything I say, is insolent, and it’s making me a mean-spirited mother. I find myself trying bigger and badder threats hoping something will get his attention and make him stop in his impulsive, hyper-active tracks. Nothing does, and it just makes me one of those parents that don’t follow through because I have threatened with a punishment that is too much work. Or I feel it’s just too harsh. Then I get crazy and start taking toys to Goodwill—toys he really likes, but I’m busy trying to make a point about cleaning up and doing what I ask of him. I’m baffled! Who is this little snot? He’s gotta think I like his little brother more, which isn’t true, but he’s certainly more fun to be around. I’ve even said to Michael that I adore him more than anything (except Pierce. HA!), and that I never want to feel otherwise, but if he wonders why Pierce and I seem to have more fun together, it’s because Pierce is not mean and nasty to me.
His latest thing is to threaten bad language when he doesn’t get the attention he needs. He also does it unconsciously when he’s talking or chattering to his toys. I will hear him saying silly, nonsensical things including but not limited to “f-word.” No, I don’t mean that he actually says the f-word—that is his way of saying it: “f-word.” I’ve also been told after I’ve sent him to his room for bad behavior. “Mommy, I said the f-word in my room.” Innocently I’ve asked “Why would you say that?” To which he’s responded “You made me mad, you were mean to me.” Then the other day, I heard him yelling at the Talking Tom Cat app on my phone “Shit! Shit! Shit!” just to hear that effin’ cat repeat it! I’ve actually lost my sense-of-humor for any of his antics, and sadly, it’s probably my sense-of-humor that has caused my problems with Mr. Mouth! Lord knows that although I try hard not to use foul language in front of my children—except when I am mad or hurt (which seems to be most of the time these days) , and lord knows that Dad isn’t as careful as I am, (that’s where I place the blame for Mikey’s expanding vocabulary in the category of expletives.) But really, how many times do I have to explain that there are some things that adults can do that kids can’t—that’s the luxury and accomplishment of living to adulthood?
Then there is the potty talk! Everyone in our house has been threatened with being pooped or peed on, and no matter how much I ask, tell or threaten him with losing something, he still does it. Again, it’s impulsive and out of his mouth without him even thinking about it. What’s better is that Pierce is doing it now, too (only it’s funny because it’s a little hard to understand in cute little toddler voice.) Once again, therein lies the problem…I have laughed too much, and now shit’s not funny anymore!
Another thing that seems to be an impulsive habit is to tell me what he’s going to do, and that I better not say “No.” “I told you not to say that—not to say no!” Then he reiterates that he’s just going to do it anyway. He doesn’t usually have the nerve, but having the last word and pushing my buttons is almost as awesome as actually doing what he says.
They say “Pick your battles.” I sure feel like I am having a battle every other minute or so, it makes it really hard to choose one or two when there are so many. I think I have chosen the one, and then another one happens, and then–wait for it—another one. Pretty soon I’m bouncing all over the angry spectrum like some barefoot idiot dancing on hot coals. It doesn’t take long before I am meeting him half way on the “pain-in-arse spectrum.” Then, we both need a bigger, better parent to step in and figure out how to deal with both of us. What to do…What to do…