I used to think babies were scary. That newborns were the most challenging. That I could easily wish away about the first 6 months of their lives, just to get to the part where they were ‘people’ unto themselves. Oh ha ha ha ha ha, old me. You were so naïve. Babies are DA BOMB. These kids, they grow up and they get way more complicated.
You know those people who repeat trite sayings like ‘parents, don’t let your kids grow up to be assholes’? Some parents are trying really hard to do that, but their kids are being assholes anyway. Next time you spot that jerk on the playground, spare a thought for the mother who is wringing her hands at home. (And maybe even blogging about it.)
I’m not really sure what to do with a child who is exhibiting behaviour that would get him arrested if he was a few years older. It’s been a veritable crime spree around here lately. Perjury, assault, shoplifting, larceny — what next? Grand theft auto? I’m not cut out to play detective. Or arresting officer. I’d like to send him to rehab but probably he’s a little young. Boarding school? A cupboard under the stairs? At this point I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air and quit this gig. I’m at a loss.
He’s crying out for attention, it must be. But we can’t see that he’s lost much attention. Lately he’s graduated to riding his bike without training wheels and we’re all very proud. So the bike is out every day to and from school, and for additional rides on weekends. I took him away for the weekend recently, just the two of us (more on that, soon).
Yes, we had a baby. But we had a baby four years ago, too. And the baby is carted around to all the things that he wants to do, that his brother wants to do. How much more attention do you need? What do you need from us and why can’t you articulate it?
He was writing a book, he told me. But then he stole some of my stuff to decorate the notebook with, and I took it away. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it away. But he took my stuff. And it upsets me. But not as much as the lying.
He tells tall tales. He takes things. He takes our things and he brings them to school to give to his friends. He takes our things and he hoards them in secret places in the house. He stole candy from a store. He returned the candy to the store and they smiled at him instead of mentioning the police and I don’t even know if he thinks he did something wrong.
He tells me that his behaviour will normalize if he gets candy every single day. If he gets candy every single day, then how am I looking after his health? (just in case you think he is deprived, his recess snack today consisted of chocolate cookies and a banana – always a treat and a fruit or a vegetable, the ungrateful little…).
He’s not listening to us. He’s not listening to his teacher. So, kiddo, you have our attention. Now what? ‘Cause I really do not know. Going to stick my head back into the baby’s tummy to hide and blow some raspberries and make him laugh and wow that is so god damn easy. Babies! They rule. (I kid. Going to brush up on Alyson Schafer suggestions and try to be calm and not kill him. It’s getting harder.)