Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Boy, Bad Choices

As much as little kid can make me crazy, he has great taste in movies. Don't get me wrong, I am sick and tired of the Incredible Hulk and Spiderman, but when we are choosing a movie to watch together, he loves to pick movies he knows I liked when I was a little girl. This means I get to watch Little Mermaid, Labyrinth, Return to Oz, Jungle Book, Annie and Alice in Wonderland as much as I want without hearing, "Is dis a girl movie? Girl movies make me puke in my mouf," like I do if I try to talk Big Kid into watching one of these.

My laptop is on a side table, and I sit at the end of the couch and turn my body towards it and do my typing, and little kid rests his body and head against the slope my back makes. He is warm and sweet and watches movies quietly, putting his arms around me and hugging me tight every once in a while.

He goes through cycles where the bad behavior seems worse than ever, and it has been one of those weeks. Let's just say that I honestly had fantasies of taking my laptop and moving into a homeless shelter, where I could work and read books and visit the kids on the weekend. It sounded like a really good plan and something to look forward to.

Mr. Ashley thinks he said "sucker" and not "fucker" the other night, which makes sense since that is one of his favorite insults but I'm pretty tired of being called names. Time outs don't work, taking his stuff away doesn't work, 1-2-3 Magic didn't work, spankings don't work, bribery doesn't work, reasonable conversation doesn't work.

He has also taken to calling me "woman", which I agree is halfway funny without the rest of the abuse, but having someone scream, "Get me a drink, woman" or "I tode you to come wipe my butt, woman!" after being physically and emotionally harassed by them all day long makes me feel like I'm in an abusive relationship. With my 3-year-old. It has to stop.

Since I am tired of yelling at him and chasing him around to get him into time-out all day long, we're trying hardcore positive reinforcement with a ride around the neighborhood in his ride-on Jeep tonight if he can act like a civilized human being for most of the day.

It's almost even more frustrating that he's one of the sweetest people I've ever met. He's deliciously cuddly, and full of joy, and openly loving. When he's truly apologetic, he crawls on to my lap and puts his fat, sticky hands on my cheeks and presses soft little kisses all over my face and asks, "You like my kisses, mumum? I know you be happy wif me now, 'cuz you love kisses. I'm a good boy who makes bad toices, mumum. We best fwiends, mumum, you're my best fwiend, wight?"

He loves me and I love him, we're just engaged in a serious battle of wills lately. I remember having a hard time with Big Kid between the ages of 2-3 too, maybe I'm just not good with this age group. (or maybe this age group just really sucks...)

He's standing in front of me right now begging me to let him watch The Last Samurai. I'm trying to tell him that it isn't a kid's movie, but he's pointing at a shaggy-haired Tom Cruise and telling me there is a giant rat in it and that's why he must watch it.

Funny shit like that, and the sweet stuff, make it worth it (but damn it's hard.)

16 comments:

Kristin's Gang said...

Oh..I so sympathize with you...I too, have a child who I adore and would give my life for...but at times, he is the most frustratng and defiant little person on the planet. Keep up the wonderful job you are doing as his mom. He obviously adores you too!! I enjoy reading your posts everyday because it makes me realize that I am not alone!!

Valerie said...

Hang in there. I don't have any kids yet to compare to...but my mom is always telling me what an asshole I was up until the age of 3. I got my mouth washed out with soap so much, she said I started to tell her how much I liked the taste just to piss her off.

Anyway, by the time I turned 4, I was magically the sweetest, most well-behaved child ever.

Just remember, this too, shall pass :)

Renee said...

David and little kid are cut from the same cloth. It seriously might be something about their birthday (do your readers know our little kids were born on the same day?). David is the funniest kid in our family - but he is CRAZY and so, so naughty and so freaking LOUD and annoying. Tony and I often say that everything would be so pleasant around here if it weren't for David......lol. Hang in there, I think these kids will shape up as they get older, and they will end up being really funny, really pleasant, and real assets to their families. :)

-The Renee

LceeL said...

Three boys. One of which I actually hung on a wall by the straps of his bib overalls when he was especially recalcitrant. To this day he looks at coat hooks with suspicion.

Samma said...

That just sucks- his antics are so entertaining to read about, but I can imagine how rage-inducing they are in real life. I hope it this phase passes soon!

Sasha said...

I am at my wit's end too. WC was doing better for a while, but is back to hitting and such. I put The Kazdin Method on my library que today since the CBBC told me that it's magical and will solve all her behavior problems. It involves all positive reinforcement which is fab since you simply can't punish her. She laughs, runs from time out and general can't be contained. So I shall give Mr. Kazdin and his super-special method a try.

Hugs- I know what you are dealing with!

miss. chief said...

HA i totally laughed out loud at the giant rat thing. that's hilarious.

don't worry. i think everybody feels that way sometimes about their 2-3 year olds.

Claire said...

I, too have a 3 1/2 year old that I would like to sell on the black market some days. How a beautiful, charming, intelligent and humorous person can be such a dick is beyond me. Sometimes it takes more self-control than I possess to not run screaming from the house into a calm, silent, well-lit cave from which to read and escape. I know that these kids are probably the cream of the crop but damn, can I just pawn him off for a couple years, get him back all sweet and sensitive. I just know that if it keeps going the way it is, I might scream at him, "Why are you such an asshole!!" and then i would feel bad. *sigh* Some days, I can't win. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.

Jennifer said...

It is hard. It is hard for all mother's (even if some don't admit it). I have no advice. My brother was so much like this and nothing worked with him either. I pray every day that one of my kids didn't get that gene.

meredith said...

they don't call it terrible two's and horrible threes for nothing. its the age...trust!! so keep your head up pretty lady he will grow out of it...mostly!! :)

Nikky said...

Ah, I remember this. I don't have kids, but when I was 13, 14 and my dad took off, my mom started working full time so I got babysitting duty. I think my youngest siblings were 2, 3 and 5. I can't even being to describe the horror. The 3 year old took to throwing plastic chairs at me for a while, and stabbed the 5 year old with tweezers in the arm once. The 2 year old was usually eating my moms makeup.

That 3 year old is not just about the sweetest, most people-pleasing 12 year old I've ever met. It baffles me that he used to bring me to tears so frequently. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Reading this blog is the highlight of my day. That should tell you something about my life, or at least my day.

Susan in Texas

LivingLifeBackwards said...

It's the age. Zaber turned into an instant asshole the day he turned 3. I wish he would turn into an instant angel now that he's 4. No such luck but it is A LOT better.

Melanie said...

My Big has been very similar with his actions and lack of response to ANY punishment we ever tried. I finally started therapy with him this summer out of fear of losing forever, and it has worked wonders. Basically, the main thing we figured out is that it is a control issue. I am a fairly controlling person and so is he, so I've had to learn to let him have control in certain situations so that he feels like he has some control over his life. It's been amazing how little I had to give in order to fulfill that in him. Some days it's hard as hell, but I've found that the more I let go of control, the better he acts and the less anxiety I have.

kristin said...

The reason it's called terrible 2's is that the person who coined the term hadn't gotten to 3 yet. I empathize....my boys were both rotten when they were 3. It's hard to not sell them to the lowest bidder, but they will grow out of it. In the meantime, know that the stories have kept many of your readers from not selling our own kids. And I've shared "I'm brushing my teeth fucker" with so many people...it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Amo said...

I'm going through some similar stuff with my son as well. I've tried all the tactics you have, to no avail. I've finally resorted to guilt. As in, "You make me really sad when you speak to me like that/hit your brother/talk back/ride the dog/ etc.

I think it's starting to work...but I'm cautiously pessimistic.