That’s how I see it — all caps. Newsflash! Headline! SHE’S AT IT AGAIN! (subtitled “Oh my god who gave this woman children?”)
I have a new internet friend who recently thought less of herself for smashing one of her daughter’s toys because it was broken and wouldn’t stop singing the Winnie the Pooh song. So, to let her know she’s not alone…and probably give her a superiority complex (“Geez, at least I’m not Elisa!”) I submit the following QUIRKY PARENTING MOMENTS from my house.
Kegan (age 3) running to me in the living room: Mom, Cade (age 4.5) is picking on me!
Me: That’s why I had you — so he’d stop picking on ME.
One day they were fighting almost non-stop. All I heard all day was “He hit me” “he took my toy” “he hit me first”. It got to the point where enough was enough already.
Kegan: Cade hit me!
Cade: No I didn’t!
Me (taking both boys by the hands and quietly walk them from their playroom to the living room): Okay. (I draw a circle in the shag carpet.) You two stand in here. (They look at me like I’ve lost my mind.) You want to hit each other, you can go right ahead. The only rule is you have to stay in the circle because I’m not cleaning up a big mess.
(They stare at each other, then look out the corners of their eyes at me like I’m a wild animal and if they make a big move I’ll attack.)
Me (urging, encouraging): Come on. You wanted this. I’m trying to help. Go ahead (I say to Cade) hit him.
Again, they look at each other, then back at me. Then they quietly take one another’s hands and walk back to the playroom where they play quietly for the rest of the day.
Cade and Kegan are running back and forth from their bedroom, around the little table and chairs in there back through the hallway, through the very echo-y kitchen, down the echo-y hallway to my bedroom where they turn around and repeat. While screaming. And giggling. And yelling intellectual things like “YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA!!!!” I’m in the kitchen, trapped, because I’m doing the dishes and getting dinner started.
Me: Please stop being so loud, and don’t run. The floor is slippery in your socks.
(On next pass) Me: Please settle down!
Boys: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA!!!
(On next pass) Me: Guys! Come on! Stop!
Boys: YAYAYAYAYAYAYA WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
(On next pass) Me: STOP RIGHT NOW!!!
(On next pass) Me: If you don’t stop right now, I’M going to bed!
They stopped. ((0.o))
Cade was about 4 and one day just kept saying, “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.”
Me (sighing heavily, I decide not to answer because he’s not saying anything.)
Cade (whining): MomEEEEEEE!
Me (frustrated): WHAT?
Cade (whining louder): MOM-MEEEEE!
Me (ARGH!): WHAT???
Cade: (almost crying now): MOMMY!
Me (spinning around to face him, bending over so I’m at his eye level I whip out my index finger, point it right at his little face and say): “NEVER! Call me MOMMY!”
I meant “Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice.” Cade’s eyes got big, he realized I’m nuts and he BACKED out of the room and went to play.
Boys are older, about 6.5 and 8. We go out to dinner with friends of mine. We go to an Italian place that has all you can eat spaghetti and they serve it with a humongous meatball on top. I have briefed the kids on manners, acceptable behavior and make it clear we will never leave the house again if they act horrendously. All goes well until the food is served. Kegan, the logical child, cuts his meatball and eats the smaller pieces with his fork. Cade watches and then pokes his meatball with his fork and shoves THE WHOLE THING in his mouth. He has trouble chewing because his mouth is so full. Naturally, we’re in public, we’re out with my friends and I am mortified. I say something to Cade (I can’t remember what exactly because I’m still mortified) and Kegan looks mortified. Cade starts to attempt to say something to defend himself when I cut him off saying, “Cade! Do NOT talk with your mouth open!” (What?)
Kegan laughs. “That’s not right, Mom.”
I take a bite of my spaghetti and shrug. “You know what I mean. Don’t chew with food in your mouth.”
Kegan, giggles, “Uh…mom…?”
Oh! And I also tried reverse psychology once. They knew I’d never spank them, so any threats were HILARIOUS. I was standing in the living room talking to them. They were sitting on the couch, bouncing up and down and giggling, getting louder and louder.
Me: Please stop jumping on the couch.
They keep going.
Me: Guys, stop bouncing.
They keep bouncing.
Me: All right. Do you want me to hit you now or later?
Boys (laughing and STILL bouncing): Hit us now! Hit us now!
I laughed. How could I not?