Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Johnny rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard

If you had walked up to me last weekend, and you’d pointed at my son and said, “Would you like me to take him off your hands?”

Assuming I’d been able to hear you over the indignant shrieks of the screaming little buttercup of my heart, light of my life, I’d have said, “YES! HERE! Oh, and here’s some cash! Buy yourself some ear plugs and liquor! Good luck! BYE!”

Because overnight, from Friday to Saturday, he’d transformed into a relatively sweet, charming little boy into a malevolent creature that shrieked, screamed, threw things, and generally made you want to run the other direction.

I don’t mean he spent every minute behaving that way. Just every minute that he wasn’t getting exactly what he wanted the instant he wanted it.

So, for example, when he wanted to read a book, but it was actually time to have breakfast, “Read book” transformed into “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEED BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!” Screamed at such a high pitch that I’m quite sure you could precision cut glass with it. It was this way with everything. Screaming. Crying. Kicking.

You might think I’d staged this picture, but no. This is my child drinking a blueberry smoothie. Or buebelly fooey, as he likes to call them.I’m pretty sure this is right before he poured the rest of it on his tray. My clue that he’d done so while I was turned to the sink was his exclamation of, “You dumped it!”

You Dumped It! is one of our favorite games. It’s up there with NO Brush Teeth!

Which is more like "NO! BRUSH! TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETH!" and then a fling of the toothbrush behind the radiator.

That one made me so angry this weekend that I sat him on the bathroom floor and hissed, "You! SIT!"

It scared him. He sad.

Now, there were very sweet moments that then instantly made you forget the horror film that was your morning. And then minutes later, this tender little morsel of delight would turn into a fire-breathing dewdrop of evil.

He'd be so dreadful, and there were five million a couple times where I just had to walk out of the room. At which point he’d start crying and running towards me with outstretched arms. “Mama! Mama!”

As if I his world would crumble without me in it. So of course I walked back in, and picked him up. Knowing that it was just a matter of time before Beelzebub would appear.

Or I would piss him off and he’d reach out and say, “Daddyyyy! Buh bye Mama.”

Summarily dismissed. Thank God.

It’s hard, you know, because with anyone else, you could just say, “You’re being an asshole. I’m going out.”

But when it’s your child, you can’t really go out without your asshole. Unless you take turns at asshole duty, which we did a bit of. But mostly we opted for family time. Strength in numbers and all.


  1. Knowing my personality and Shawn's personality, and the inevitable personality of our spawn, this really scares me.

  2. Yes. I SO get it. Last night, Jessica was making me INSANE. Her new trick is to snack like crazy at grandma's and then refuse to eat dinner. Then, at bedtime, she's "huunnngryyy".

    one good thing is, once they get older, you can TELL them when you are really DONE. (Of course, they enjoy that fact until you walk out like you did with J.)

    As crazy as it is, it's worth it!

  3. i love how honest you are about how some days the kid turns into a 'fire-breathing dewdrop of evil.'

    i fear that if i had kids, i would end up leaving them in padded rooms to tend to themselves.

  4. I know I shouldn't laugh because I can really only imagine what this is like, but that second picture is just hilarious. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. I think you're doing remarkably well, and being honest about it probably makes it easier for a lot of other parents that feel the same way.

  5. I do occasionally say that parenting is like being in an abusive relationship (I can only assume; Mike only abuses me by LIKING HORRIBLE TELEVISION SHOWS), but in what other situation would we stay with someone who screams and throws things at us?

    Also, yes to all this. Yes to the evil and yes to the joy and a big ALL-CAPPED yes to the booze.

  6. Weekends like yours are why I am slightly terrified of ever becoming a parent. Writing like yours is why I still think I want to.

  7. what jennie said. and you are sooo not alone!

  8. Oh I laughed! The look, the name buebelly fooey! And you HAVE to have those moments when you make them a bit scared. It's called leverage and you need all you can get some days. You know this goes on for another 18 years or so right? At least it's a great excuse to drink.

  9. You dumped it...made me laugh out loud. Despite the shrieking, your house must be so much fun! Jordan is lucky to have you as his Mom :)

  10. I started reading your blog back when you started posting about the trials of pregnancy. It was a way for me to show my wife she wasn't alone in what she was going through. And this is why I keep coming back. It's to find out that my existence is actually pretty normal. Our sons are essentially the same age and I swear that just when something like this happens at home, you end up writing about it.

    A bit off the topic, and not to sound scary or stalkerish, but I saw you at Tryst on Friday late morning / early afternoon. I was going to come over and introduce myself and thank you for writing the blog, but I was too timid due to your e-celebrity status.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  11. Oh my, there's something in the air, isn't there? The tantrums have gotten SO BAD lately! I'm glad I'm not alone. Thank you for not making me feel guilty for thinking my child is evil. I love him to death, but he drove me to tears last night (thank you pregnancy hormones), and I know it's only going to get worse in the weeks/months to come. *sigh*

  12. Could you do a vlog on how you hissed at him to sit, because I can't, for the life of me, scare my child into silence. And I've tried, repeatedly. I must be getting the intonation wrong or something. The frustrating thing is that when he's all tantrumy and impossible to live with he refuses to look me in the eyes... because if he did look me in the eyes he'd KNOW how mad I get.
    So, Vlog please!

  13. Oh hahahaha "you can’t really go out without your asshole." Ha ha ha!

    That old saying springs to mind: deciding to have a child is like deciding to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

    But this! What you said! So funny! What would that be... like deciding to have an extra asshole stuck to you for 18 years? I don't know. It just made me laugh the way you said it.

    But really the whole entry -- we are right there with you. You make my day, lady.

  14. http://abc.go.com/shows/supernanny

  15. You can almost see devil horns in those pictures too. My would-be spouse takes to summarily rubbing at the sides of our child's head from time to time, "just to file down those horns," he tells me. I figure if we've survived thus far, we can keep on going.

    I have also noticed that LBM (Le Bebe Munch) has recently developed a habit of morphing into a raging psycho-hose beast of infinite proportion when not given what he wants, when he wants it. Namely, now, Now, NOOOOOW!

    Eh, for you and me personally, I just hope it gets easier, better. Either or. Happy Tuesday!

  16. Oh man. My boyfriends daughter was terrible at that age and it unfortunately continued for a while. I felt like I was giving punishments more often than we were playing and having fun. Tough time but when they are sweet.....oh they are just so sweet.

  17. Oh I was sooooo tempted to photo shop horns on your little monsters head in the second photo. That grin is naughty naughty naughty. Lol at Laura and the extra asshole bit, I laughed kinda nervously at that being as how mine is almost 18.
    As for the hissing and scaring him. Keep it up they have to know when they have pushed the limit. I used 'the look' when Ben was little, when 'the look' came out he knew it was time to back off. If you combine the look with the hiss, once he gets to know they are together you can use 'the look' out in public without the audio. Very effective I might add.

  18. I can't wait to show these photos to my kids. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but they get a huge kick out of your little man.

  19. Also, I read this out loud to MathMan and he reminded me that I didn't always adhere to the rule where you shouldn't tell the kids they're being assholes and that's why I'm going out for awhile.

  20. Oh God, something in the air! H was the exact same way. For 3 days straight. Clingy as all get out, screechy, hitting people in the face, throwing things, crying, throwing herself on the floor.. She is having an overnight play date tonight. I cannot do it one more night. Also, husband went out Saturday night after work with the boys after I gave him the death look, which I perfected this weekend. I have TWO extra assholes I am boycotting tonight.

  21. Oh I hear ya! And those pictures! AWESOME!!

  22. Oops, this is Miranda - signed in work address!

  23. So, is it a good time to tell you that at daycare drop-off today, Erin kicked the childcare worker, pulled her hair, screamed and then got naked in protest? When I rang to see if she'd settled, the comment was "she was a bit cross."

    Also, she's taken to saying "fucksake" (in cotext, and she's only 2.5, so I gotta be proud of that)

    Sheesh - Declan was NEVER like this.

  24. Hillary - Nick and I are both very strong and stubborn, and I like this in a person, but yes, scary.

    cla517 - Oh, grrrr. That would make me mad. Grandma needs to be enlisted in curbing the snacking. I am looking forward to the age where he gets it - even if he doesn't comply, he knows the what and why.

    K-Tee - No point in sugar-coating it. There are definitely times that I'd love to shove him in a padded room.

    moosie - I love that second picture as well. He had blueberry smoothie oozing through his teeth and he looked seriously evil. Delightful and evil. And thanks for the nice words.

    Jennie - YES! That is exactly it. Why would you stay otherwise?

    Keenie Beanie - If you decide to become a parent, you will be a great one. Your progeny will drive you up the wall, but you will love him or her like crazy most of the time anyway.

    sloaneclearv - Thank you!

    Lynn - I believe that's true. If you can't ever put the fear of God into them, you're screwed. And yes, I have that suspicion. And it scares me.

    HK - Thank you! We do a lot of you dumped it! And he's so proud of himself. "You DUMPED it!" Huge grin!

    Anonymous - Oh, I wish you had come over and said hello! I love meeting readers and knowing what they're like in person. And thank you for the kind words. I think it's always nice to know that we're not going through any of this alone. I've been so relieved reading the comments and realizing my kid is doing the same (horrible) stuff as everyone else's.

    Luna - Ugh. I'm so sorry. I can only imagine this with crazy preg hormones on top of it. They are evil. They are sweet and kind and loving and evil. All wrapped into three-foot tall packages.

    Moomser - You really made me laugh with this. I will try. I don't know if I can muster up the anger to appropriately show how furious I was and how it actually worked, but I will try. Also, I totally got in his face. There was no way not to look me in the eye.

    Laura - You thought EXACTLY what I was thinking! You can't leave your asshole at home...do you have an extra one attached? It's such a weird visual. Hahahaha! Thank you!

    tamater sammich - I know, I know. I should watch for pointers.

    Moue - Oh, that makes me laugh. To file down the horns. Hahaha! I believe (writing this in this moment) that it will ebb and flow, maybe forever. But overall easier. Ask me again tomorrow and I might tell you it will suck for the rest of our lives, however.

    Grace - That is exactly how I feel! So much "stop that" and "don't do that" and not so much fun. But yes, when they're sweet, they're so delicious.

    Go-Betty - Why did that not even occur to me? That would've been perfect! Yes, I'm sure you are right. They need to know when they've hit the limit and that you aren't going to let them go any further. I'm glad to know about "the look" - thank you!

    Lisa - You make me laugh. I guess you're right, you shouldn't tell them when they're being assholes. I'm sure I'll have to go out for a while as well.

    Jenn - Aaaah, I'd be doing the double asshole boycott as well if I got deserted during such a difficult period. That screaming and crying and hitting will suck the life out of you.

    Miranda - Thank you! I love those pics!

    Nicole - OK, so your description is hilarious and the fact that they were so restrained in their comment is even funnier. But man, oh, man. I do hope this is not in my future, and fear it is.

  25. I've always believed that time outs are more for the parents. ;)

  26. Sounds like Jordan needs some "crib time" - Unless you really secretly want to encourage screaming at you and throwing things - he's not too young to understand that there are consequences for this behavior ie: "crib time" -
    yes - he will cry - this isn't abuse - it is what we call discipline!

  27. I had to laugh (albeit with a bit of tremor in my laugh) as I read this, mainly because I'm terrified of what I must have coming my way soon. My son is a few weeks younger than Jordan and often follows your son's lead developmentally (I've been reading your blog since before Jordan came along and find it very reassuring that it's not only my kid who does these adorably crazy kid things), so I must be in for it in the next couple of weeks. My little man was so done with me last night that, while sitting in front of me, very methodically selected a Nilla wafer from the box, waved in my face in a pointed "wouldn't you love one?" manner, and then offered it to my husband with an angelic smile, followed by a saucy grin in my direction. Boys. What can you do? Hang in there - we will survive somehow, especially since they are so cute when they're driving us crazy!

  28. Anonymous - The thing is, he loves his crib. Loves loves loves. He knows it's all his, and he arranges his animals in there and piles his blankies and snuggles in. I like the idea of a time out, but I dislike the idea of making it a place of punishment, since I don't want to change how happy he feels about his own little space.

    Elizabeth - That cracks me up! I've had Jordan offer me something and then eat it himself, but not had him offer me something and then give it to Nick. I love the sophistication behind this behavior! Good luck to all of us!

  29. "a fire breathing dewdrop of evil." Lol - I love that phrase, hahaha! this post cracked me up! I love the photos! That is some awesome purple blueberry fooey!!

  30. Lisa, my granddaughter Abby has taken a shine to her crib lately. She wants to play and have snacks and toys in there. She'll say, "Abby go cib!" I think you're right - it's their own space just for them: ) They're crazy cool little people.

  31. I love that the photos are titles "devil child." hahaha He's still super adorable. :)


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