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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bring it on.

I was in a battle of wills this morning with a 3 year old and I lost.  It all began last night at a school potluck.  A school that my husband teaches at and that all four of my sons attend. A school that promotes peaceful resolutions. A school that prides itself on respect for the child.

I was not a good example of this.

The potluck was at 5:30 immediately following work. I had prepared our side dish the night before by opening a bag of organic greens and dumping it into a bowl.  Last year I embarrassed my husband because I arrived with styrofoam plates and chips. Not this year, I brought our home dishes.
Oscar (3) is new to this environment and decided to lay flat on the floor right in the middle of the foot traffic. I ignored him.
He then discovered the dessert table before dinner had started.  He took 2 brownies. I ignored that too.
By the end of the evening after he spit in my face on the playground I took him to the hallway and made him sit in the naughty spot.  A naughty spot I created.  Don was socializing and despite my efforts to communicate with him by burning a hole in his skull with my eyes, it wasn't until he heard Oscar's scream that he realized what was going on. Oscar's scream is an entire body scream. He clenches his fists and shakes until  he boils and a loud screech is propelled out of his mouth.  A babysitter once told us she had never heard anything like it in her 75 years of life on this Earth. 

Oscar was born the day after my birthday. He and I are the same sign in the zodiac which is known for strong wills.  Ram is the animal and is accurate in his an my interactions. We lock horns…. a lot.

How can a 3 year old have so much anger pent up towards his mother? Already?
This morning I felt that things were ahead of schedule.  One son was helping with the dishes. One was practicing the violin, one was playing and Oscar appeared to be reading a book on the couch.  All was well.   However in closer observation, he had removed his pants and underwear and was resting my phone on his "parts".   He had also removed his shoes and socks.

By the time I finally put all his clothes back on I had broken a sweat. The harmony that had existed in the background was now chaos.   When I took my phone back he decided to declare war.

Is there such a thing as toddler bullying?  If not, this will be his legacy.  He is calculated and has been methodically breaking me down since before he could talk.  When he was just an infant he would shun my left boob.  It wasn't good enough for him. only the right one. Which immediatly resulted in my chest looking like Barbie on one side and Ken on the other.

Yesterday he walked in on me changing and screamed.

At the pool he asked me how I got my stripes on my belly.  He knows very well they are from him.

He hides my phone in an effort to make me believe I have lost my mind.

He sneaks into our bed at night and wets my side of the bed. 

This morning on the car ride he had convinced his brother to get him a bowl of veggie straws. Before we had even backed out of the garage they looked like confetti being thrown in my review mirror because he didn't like the bowl.  I stopped the car, collected them off the floor and left them in our drive way.

He then decided to scream which I ignored.

His next attempt was to throw his shoes at the back of my head. I kept driving.  Next were his socks. That was it. Again, I pulled over the car.  Got out, and opened the back door.  Our horns locked.  He stared deep into my eyes and spit.

What is with this SPITTING THING? Is he part camel?  Its not like he has aim. It usually dribbles down his chin, but it all began when we told him he couldn't hit, so he decided to spit.

The rest of the boys who witnessed this let out a collective gasp. At this point I wanted to lay in the middle of the traffic. I was not going to let him win and his brothers witness it.  That is how coups d'├ętat get started. 

I used his sock to clean up the spit from his chin.  Shoved his Fred Flinstone feet back into them and velcro-ed his shoes back on so tight that he may be wearing them until he is 4.  He screamed. It was all he could do, because he hasn't mastered the unbuckle task.

I got back into the drivers seat. A tear streamed down my face from under my oversized sun glasses.  My oldest son who now sits in the front seat and who I forget is there sometimes, handed me a kleenex.

"I think he needs anger management or something" said someone in the backseat.  I nodded and proceeded in the 5 minutes ride to school which was now taking 20.

The tear formed out of complete frustration, but I was able to collect myself and suck it up.  I was not going to let this break me.

We arrived at school and the three older ones gave me long hugs goodbye. As if to say, "you really lost that one". But in a nice way.  By the time I drove Oscar to his door, he had silently removed his socks and shoes… for the third time that morning.

As the teacher approached to take him, I couldn't hand him over soon enough. I did all I could to act calm as I put his shoes and socks back on. But I sensed his silent satisfaction.   I said goodbye and as I was driving away I heard him yell "Mommy! Hug and Kiss". So I stopped, yet again and hugged my little tyrant.

It doesn't end there. Why? Because he had gotten into my head!  I rolled down the windows, turned up the music and drove to work.  I thought I had shed the anger/defeat/loserness by the time I was walking into work.  That was until I ran into a neighbor who was walking in the opposite direction. I don't know him that well.   He asked how the boys were.  It was at that moment I lost it.  Yep.
I started crying and said that our last child was impossible and that he threw his shoes at me. Poor guy, he was just saying hello. 

If the mascara running down my face didn't freak him out. I'm sure my ability to suck the tears right back up in my head and smooth my hair and act like that never actually happened most  certainly did.  He said he had to make it to a meeting and was off. But before his goodbye he asked, "are you going to be ok?" "oh sure," I said with a smile. Trying to not look as crazy as I actually am.

I admit it,  this morning got the best of me.  It took four sons, over a course of 10 years, but this little guy is going to be my tough cookie. By lunch I am sure he has forgotten this even happened, but mama's don't forget. (My mom still yells at me for climbing on our roof as a kid like it happened yesterday.)  The black mascara that has been washed away and puddled under my eyes has only giving me my game face.  So bring it on sweet child o mine. Bring. It. On.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh man have I been there. Act like these moments don't matter. You are going to have to lose a few to win the war. If he takes his shoes off don't say a word. Put him in the car with no shoes on or socks. Pull up to school and calmly explain to his teacher here are his shoes. Soon as he sees you could care less he will move on. Of course he will move onto something else but now you have a game plan. Just think of Superman :) oh and drink. Good luck - I don't envy you but I understand you.