Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Mom

So last night was one of those nights when my dear little Peanut was lucky to be left alive.

Yes, I am certainly kidding yet at the same time, maybe not.

If any of you are on the fence about To be or Not to Be a Parent, then certainly think about the endless arguments you will have about homework, bedtime, teeth brushing, getting up in the morning, getting the kid dressed or making her/him do it themselves. It never stops. Really.*

Especially when they start realizing their negotiating powers.

Yesterday, when Peanut and I got home, I let him play outside in the snow for about 30 minutes. When I opened the door to call him in, I got this response, "Hold on 'til I defeat the enemy."

I called him again, still standing in the doorway.

"Wait mom! I need to defeat the enemy first!"

"Peanut, if I have to go outside in this freezing-ass weather, you're going straight to bed!"

Needless to say, he complied that time.

But, it was only to be continued upstairs when I told him he would not only write his words 3x's each, but he would also use each word in a sentence.

Oh. My. Goodness. You'd have thought I pulled his hair out or something because all I got for approximately 15 minutes was, "But mom! (whine) I only have to write the words 3x's each, that's all my homework...(whine). My teacher didn't say I had to write sentences....(whine)"

I'm sure you can hear that lovely voice in your head, especially if you've already got kids.

So I told him to either do it or there would be no video games before dinner. That didn't stop him. So I told him he got one more chance to whine and then he'd be going to bed before dinner.

"What! (whine) But mom! I'd miss my dinner! (whine)" (Please imagine that in the whinest, cryingest voice possible.)

After about 30 minutes and still no change and I'd had enough. So I put him in bed.

He promptly stood up, screamed, then threw his pillow in my general direction. (He's a bad shot, fer real.)

I picked that little shit right up and carried him downstairs to this perfect "corner facing" spot and there he stood screaming at me for the next 10 minutes or so while I went in to start dinner.

You can always tell when their resolve is wearing because they go from screaming, "I don't like you very much!" and "You're so mean to me mom!" to "Mom? Mom? Can I get out now?" and "Mommy, I'm really sorry. I'll do my homework now."

It didn't matter since our dinner of pancakes was almost done. I did have a chat with him about anger being a perfectly acceptable emotion, but he will not treat others in the house or his or my things with disrespect just because he doesn't want to do his homework. I also emphasized that I was not punishing him for his anger, but for his outburst and the way he choose to handle his anger.

He said, "Okay mom. I'm sorry. Can I eat now? Because I'm really hungry..."

One thing about kids anyone without them might not completely understand: they are completely and totally narcissitic and self-centered. It's only with converstaions over a long (very long) period of time that they get out of that. Peanut has been showing great signs of immense empathy lately so there is hope.

But of course our fighting did not stop there, no. That would have been a miracle or something right?

He did come to the kitchen table and attempt at doing more of his words and sentences until dinner was ready. However, he wouldn't fix the one sentence (I think it was), so I held on to his pancake until he was done. He whined and cried about that. It didn't take him long to just fix it though because he was hungry and my niece had already started eating hers, right across from him.

Then he still whined and cried while eating, when finally, I told him that if he didn't stop crying, he was going to have to go in the other room until we were done eating and only then could he come back in. When he realized this meant eating a cold pancake at the table, by himself, he quit. The clouds soon lifted and my kid was happy yet again.

But because I was sticking to my word, he got put into bed directly after dinner. No snack, no playtime at all, nothing. And that was at 6:30pm. (Say what you will, but I cannot put him to bed without dinner. I just can't, so I don't even both using that as a bargaining chip.)

This morning he woke up bright and early at 7am without any of my prodding.

Breakfast went fine.

We get in the car to head down to Richmond and, guess what? The fighting over words and sentences started again, lol. This time though, he was stuck in the car with me, attached by a seatbelt so he couldn't escape, lol. We ended up sitting in front of the school for an extra 10 min or so because he was correcting his a's, taking the 'e' off growe, putting an 'e' on squeez and replacing 'write' with 'right.'

So I'm saying this: if I could have had a drink at 9am and gotten away with it, I most likely would have.

I'm hoping it being Valentine's Day and the field trip to the SPCA his class is going on this morning will put him in a better mood. But I'm not holding my breath.

* Once (and only once), Peanut's dad used this excuse for not being a parent even for just 4 days a month: "Everytime I get him he's a new kid and I have to figure him out all over again." I looked right at him and said, "Welcome to my world!"