Apparently, wrong. He came home from school in a mood and was challenging every decision I made. He didn’t want was I was packing for lunch. He was angry about where he had to sit for homework. Big or small, whatever the decision I gave him, he hated it and was very vocal in expressing his distaste.
I know someday that stubborn streak will carry him far but for right now it makes me want to tear my hair out. Everything needs to be explained. Everything needs to seem fair or else he loses his shit. Pardon my language, but it’s that simple.
Back to the play. They were selling t-shirts this year and we bought one for her because she was in the play. We didn’t buy one for him and we explained if he’s in the show next year we’ll buy him one.
I’m sure you can guess how that went over.
The Husband was at the play so I let him deal with this particular meltdown and took The Baby into the theater. When they returned, The Middle One was visibly upset but seemed calm. I silently high-fived The Husband.
As soon as we sit The Middle One turns to me and starts to make his appeal.
I answer with, “I’m not discussing this. You heard our answer and that is the end of it. There is nothing more to say.”
Then I silently high-fived myself for keeping my cool when what I wanted to do was shake him by the shoulders and yell, “shut up, shut up, shut up.”
He resonded with, “why can’t I just ask…” Which I cut off with a stare and a simple “no”.
Then he cried. Quietly, in a small ball on his chair, he cried.
And I questioned why the hell I cared so much about a t-shirt.
I nearly gave in. I gave in on the lunch choice earlier in the day. I nearly gave in to this too, and not because I didn’t want him to cry (Please he cries all the time. I’m immune.) but because I just wanted him to leave me alone and let me enjoy the play. Sometimes, it is so much easier to give in.
But I didn’t. And I’m glad. Because he eventually snapped out of it and I did enjoy the play. (Oh, the jazz hands!)
I hope this time will make next time a little easier, or at least short-lived. Because I’m just not sure how many more life-lessons I can survive.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.