Losing It

Most of the time it’s easy for me to remember that this little kiddo has no idea how infuriating he’s being. Besides some things he does that should be aggravating (and certainly would be if anyone else did them) are even a little charming. So, while I wouldn’t describe myself as patient, I’m much more tolerant than I ever thought I could be.

However, sometimes, usually when I’m running late and ALL my buttons have been pressed all morning long, I just lose it and start screaming like a banshee. It’s not often, it’s not effective and I feel like an idiot afterwards, but I honestly think it’s my only choice in the moment.

Scene:

After trying to dress a child who has played collapsing noodle boy, run away constantly and changed his mind 16 times about what he wants for breakfast, we are dressed, 10 minutes late and heading out the door. He decides he wants to bring two of his action figures in the car.

C: I want the two that I don’t have and/or haven’t seen for the last year.

Me: You don’t have him and the other one is missing.

C But I WANT them.

Me: Pick something else.

C: OK I’ll take the one that does not exist.

Me: That does not exist.

C: But I WA

Me: PICK SOMETHING!!

C: Um

Me: THAT’S IT WE ARE LEAVING

C: NOOOOO

ME: THEN PICK SOMETHING PICK SOMETHING PICKSOMETHING!!!!!!

C: You don’t have to scream at me.

I get to work 15 minutes late with a sore throat and he gets to spend the day with the image of his crazy-eyed mother shrieking nonsensically at him.

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Human, Not Rational

Like all parents (I’m sure) I spent most of Christopher’s nonspeaking (small baby) time, trying to interpret and sooth his crying. When he started using actual words, I was SO relieved. It’s like a mystery was solved, and because he could talk, there was much less to cry about. I feel like we spent most of his second year, chatting and getting to know each other. I can honestly say, I found the time delightful! I think he did too.

Now he’s three and the crying is back, along with much of my own bewilderment.

I think I sometimes make the mistake of believing that because my son can now talk like a rational human, he is a rational human. That is not the case.

The other day we had a conversation during which every single thing I said sent him into a fit of despair.

C: I want to go swimming.

Me: Well, it may rain soon, but we can go for a little while.

C: NOOOOOO!!!! sobbing

Me: It’s OK, we can go. It’s not raining right now.

C: NOOOOOO!!!! It’s not going to rain!

Me: OK, it’s not, do you want to go swimming?

C: NOOOOO!! It’s going to rain!!!

Me: …..

Then I realized, I was looking at me. This is exactly how I would react if I wasn’t forced to act like a reasonable adult. And it is an act. Sometimes I will be talking to my husband and I’ll be in a bad mood, and my inner 3 year old will shout, “say NO.” Now, I have just enough power over my inner toddler to understand that it’s being unreasonable, but not enough to stop it, so I say “no” like an adult.

Husband: This looks like it’s going to be one of the rainiest years on record.

Inner 3 year old: No!!!!!

Me: Well, actually, we had much more rain at this point last year.

Understanding this about me, should help me deal with tantrums better, but instead, I think it just makes my inner three year old jealous.

C: I WANT IT!!!

M: I told you no. Now we need to be quiet

C: NOOOO!!!

Inner 3 year old: I WANT TO SCREAM TOO! I WANT TO!!!

No lie, sometimes she wins.