We had the best intentions. It was a family dinner to kick off our weekend. As we sat at the restaurant, things went south quickly.
T.Puzzle was extra whiny and was having difficulty behaving (to put it mildly). Soon he dropped his entire cheese covered burger on the floor and choked down his broccoli as if the broccoli itself was trying to kill him.
Mad Dog and I quickly lost patience.
We wrapped things up in haste and headed home.
“When do the terrible fours end?” asked Mad Dog.
“You said it yourself, age five was the true turning point for Full Speed. We still have a year to go with T.Puzzle,” I replied.
And that folks, is why we only have two children.
Granted, a third one may have actually been laid-back.
Over the past few days T.Puzzle and Full Speed have not been on their best behavior. In fact, whatever you use to describe the opposite of good behavior; that’s what they are doing.
The weekend was rough.
Then, while I was at T.Puzzle’s karate practice (hooray that Mad Dog had a chance to join us!), Full Speed decided to be a sore loser for the babysitter. He thought crying, tantruming and hitting her were acceptable ways to deal with the fact she beat him at a game.
When she walked in the door with Full Speed behind her, she described to me these unfortunate events. I felt the color creep up my neck and my face burned bright with frustration, anger and whatever else a Mom feels when her child’s behavior mortifies her.
She packed up T.Puzzle to head home so Mad Dog and I could remain for Full Speed’s practice. Upon leaving, T.Puzzle melted down for me and I almost snapped. The babysitter gracefully swooped in and escorted him to safety.
As Full Speed practiced his kicks and punches, I stewed in my thoughts. I was disappointed that my boys were being so poorly behaved. I know that kids aren’t going to be perfect and will have a bad day or two, but this seems to be spiraling and it isn’t fun.
All Moms are familiar with the phenomenon that when one of your children is out of control, your remaining children become eerily angelic. This is helpful because having one kid lose it is more than enough.
Then, there are the special days. The days you are convinced that your children made some sort of evil pact to share the burden of dreadful behavior equally. Those are the days where all you can hope for is that you don’t lose your cool enough that the neighbors alert the authorities in some capacity.
First, it started with T.Puzzle. He called his brother a ‘diaper head’ and ran screaming away and hid in a corner when I punished him for the name-calling. I took away all of his stuffed animals and Thomas blanket and he screamed, “You’re mean!” at top volume. This was later followed by a meltdown about sharing a toy riding car. I had to carry him kicking and screaming to his room for punishment.
I could already feel how special the day was becoming.
He eventually pulled it together.
Great, I thought. Now we can enjoy this awesome weather with friends and look forward to our dinner out with Mad Dog.
Well,.. Full Speed decided to get in to the act. He was glorious in his sassiness, which started because he lost a game of Red Light, Green Light. The unfortunate power struggles and tantrums that ensued culminated in him screaming, “I never want to live in this house again!” Oh, and he also hit me. A knock-down, oh-no-he-didn’t veritable knick-knack patty-whack across my back.
We didn’t go to dinner (foiled again!!!), they went to bed so early I’m pretty sure I heard the faint whisperings of the five o’clock news in the background, and I dropped to my knees and prayed to my God (Supernanny) for guidance.
Some days are good, some days you wish you ‘never want to live in your house again!’, and some days are better when they are over.
Like nails on a chalkboard. That’s the only way I can describe T.Puzzle’s onslaught of questions concerning his assorted punishments. I picked him up from school and when it was time to go, he decided that he wasn’t in the mood. He dragged his sorry self down the hallway and folded into a heap of sorrow about half-way down. I informed him that he would lose his crocs for tomorrow and would be sent to his room when we returned home. He screamed at top volume all the way home. This only lengthened the amount of time he would be spending in his room, expedited his bedtime hour and contributed to a loss of his other privileges.
After I managed to get Full Speed off to tae kwon do with Mad Dog, I allowed a seemingly defeated T.Puzzle to come to the table for dinner.
“Why can’t I have my Thomas (the Train) color book?”
“Why can’t I have my animals?”
“Why can’t I have my crocs?”
“Why can’t I have a treat?”
“Why can’t I watch TV?”
“Why can’t I stay up late?”
“Why? Why? Why?”
I tried to ignore him, but my ears couldn’t take it. Not after all the high-volume screaming they had already endured. I tried to tell him to be quiet. I tried to calmly explain the reasons for the loss of his privileges.
Why, even after all these years, do I think I can take both boys on a simple errand and actually think it could be simple?
I had already had a successful Walmart run with little T.Puzzle in the a.m. (this in itself is nearing miraculous) but in my haste had forgotten a couple items. I figured I’d scoop Full Speed up from camp and head with both boys to the grocery to get the remainder of my list.
When all was said and done they were banished to their rooms and lost pebbles out of their reward jars for their embarrassing display of awful behavior.