Friday, February 11, 2011

My Son, The Asshole

Jack is at a peculiar age. We're less than a month away from his third birthday, and evidently he has plans on ringing it in with my sanity hanging by a thread. When did three become the new thirteen? He walks around the house like he owns the place, grabbing, screaming, pitching fits, and basically, it's his way or the highway. Or, there will be blood-and not in a cool Daniel Day Lewis, "I drink your milkshake" way.

Here's what an average day looks like-

And when he's not doing that at home, he's tantruming at Target, which I secretly think is because he senses that I so adore shopping there. He instinctively knows that to take down a leader, you must first take away their resources, thus begins his quest to destroy merchandise whilst trying to steal my food/chair/brush/soul, and just generally being a disheveled rapscallion*. Every day starts with a tantrum and ends with what I assume to be the beginning stages of alcoholism.

As I'm looking over the evidence as the day winds down, I find myself baffled, wondering where my sweet-natured little boy went, and who sent this clone-hell bent on destruction-to take his place. Then I ask myself: Where did I fuck up along the way?

"Maybe we spoiled him too much? Maybe I need more patience. I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE! No! I can! I am woman! Hear me roar!"

Everyday I get broken down and it's my job to build myself back up. And everyday I find myself thinking of other women, other mothers, and I'm amazed that there are so many who are out there doing it alone, doing it with less, doing it with multiple children and jobs. And I'm amazed.

Motherhood takes balls. It's not for the weak of stomach or the faint of heart. So I tip my hat to all of you out there. You're all my heroes.

Nevertheless, Jack is still on my shit list.

*I'm happy I finally got to use "rapscallion" in a post.


Maggie May said...

When Dakota turned three I said 'three is the new two'. He was an angel at two and turned into a nightmare at three. Three was HARD. He hit me, (no one else, thank god) threw tantrums, told me exactly how I should walk up our driveway and screamed if I did it 'wrong', etc.

The way I handled it, which really worked, was completely detaching his behavior from him, and just looking at it like some unwanted growth on my child that would eventually pass with my support. It's totally developmental. I know it's easier said than done, but try to stay calm at all times and simply and firmly repeat yourself ( no, you cannot hit Mommy, you have to sit here until you are done screaming and we can talk, etc) like you are talking to someone very very stupid. Make sure he knows the rules and keep them few (pick your battles) and simple. Now ist he time to let him get away with some things ( too much candy, not cleanign up ) so you can focus on the important things- pick those and stick to them with clearly laid out rules and consequences.

This post made me laugh twice. You are funnnnnny and obviously a great mom. Hang in there!!

Maggie May said...

I forgot what you probably already know, too- keep him ACTIVE. This was essential for Dakota. His behavior got SO much better after I enrolled him in karate.

Amanda said...

You're totally right Maggie! He's right at that age, same behaviors, everything! I keep repeating that "it's just a phase" over and over to myself when I'm starting to lose my cool. And DEFINITELY, keeping him active really changes the game. Little kids are like puppies in that way, if you leave them to their own devices or allow them to be bored they turn to destruction for fun. So the park and errands and trying to keep his mind active are usually what changes the game. Karate actually sounds perfect (he's been obsessed with Kung Fu Panda right now)! I'm going to look into that!
Thanks for your words! I appreciate them every time!

Althea said...

I'm so taking advantage of this advice. Maggie, you are a genius.
My kiddo is almost exactly the same age as Jack (Milo was born 3/13) and the tantrums, the hitting, the self-doubt...
It wears on you. Don't forget to tip that hat to yourself, too, Amanda.

Chelsea said...

I found myself threatening a time out in a restaurant recently. I said, "Conrad, do you want a time out? Dont think I wont find a corner in here to sit your little butt in!" OMG, I'M THAT MOM! ugh!

I fear that by not addressing his bad behavior right away, but rather when we get home, he'll just forget about it and it wont have the immediate sting-so i'm left putting him in time out in restaurants and parks....

I think all of our kids are brats at some point or another. He's gotten to the "NO" stage. I can't stand it. He says "NO" with sass for just about everything... So annoying.

Bonnie @ This Young Mama said...

I think your kid and my kid would be two peas in a pod. My kiddo acts just like this except oh he's barely going to turn 2! He screams, throws things, hit's me, throws himself on the floor, spits gross drooly milk all over the floor, he even threatens me and raises his toys/hand like he's going to hit me! Wtf right? I feel like I'm dealing with a hormonal teenager. Like someone said before though distraction is key, when Lex is doing something wrong I don't even make a big deal about it anymore, I just pick him up and say Ok, were not going to do that anymore let's play with your toys/read a book instead. I think they just try to get a reaction from you and if they see that you react to whatever they are doing of course they want to do it again.

Kathleen said...

I am getting flashbacks to a few years ago. Made me laugh but it is soo hard to not take what they do personally! I totally agree with maggie may. A night out and a big glass of wine might give you a much needed break!

kathleen xx

Amanda said...

@Bonnie- Hehehe, your comment made me think of that line on the Breakfast Club- "your dad and my dad should go bowling." I think moms need a Breakfast Club. A quiet place where they can chill out and drink and commiserate.

@Kathleen- They should give parents a giftcard to BevMo upon your child's 2nd birthday. It's only fair.