I just did it again…
I just yelled and screamed like a maniac at my preschooler while he stood looking up at me, so small, a little scared, and finally understanding that Mommy meant what she said five times. Or was it six?
But, dammit! Dammit.
I won’t say my sweet son, because he wasn’t being sweet at that moment. I love nobody in this world except his sister as much as I love him. Nobody in this world can push my buttons as hard and as quickly as he can.
He is an angel for everyone else who watches him. Does he push limits for them? Yes, sometimes…that’s part of growing up. But, when they ask him to stop; he does. Does he push limits with me? Yes, sometimes…that’s part of growing up. But, when I ask him to stop, he then mocks me, ignores me, or goes harder at whatever it was.
When he spends the night with his Godmother or his Grandmother, and they say, “Honey, it’s time for bed.” He goes to bed. HE GOES TO BED! Every night with me, I say, “Honey, it’s time for bed.” He then mocks me, ignores me, or keeps doing whatever he was doing harder.
When he is playing at his sitter’s house and she says, “Share your toys with your sister”, he does. He actually shares his toys with his sister. When he is playing at home with me in charge and I say, “Share your toys with your sister”, he then mocks me, ignores me, or hoards his toys even more.
With me, he knows the boundaries and charges over them constantly. When he knows he is caught, he turns on his charm. He smiles sheepishly and says a quick, if likely insincere, “Sorry.” Or changes the bad word he just said to “Silly!” and smiles. Or the time out is acknowledged, but he needs a hug or a cuddle first. “Mom, I just want to cuddle you!” Or he “can’t” stay in his room because of the crocodile. (And what mother would send her son back into a crocodile-infested bedroom?)
He is charming and he knows it. He is manipulative and he uses it. He is strong-willed and smart and he works it. Most of the time, I am more than a match for him. (He is, after all, only four).
But then, some nights I am stressed or tired from the adult things in my life. Frankly, some nights, I am exhausted. And, it is those nights that I am sometimes not the Mom I pictured myself being.
I am that Mom. I am the Mom yelling and screaming at my children. Again. Dammit.