Me: Raines, ready to go?
Me, thinking to myself, “Why am I asking him?” Deep breath.
Me, sternly and annoyed: Raines, it’s TIME to go.
Raines, nonplussed: Ok, Mum!
Aaand now I feel bad for being so annoyed. I forget, sometimes that he’s only three. And I take his responses, like his initial “No” above, like they came from an adult. And I let myself get annoyed. And I feel disappointed in my little man because I’m perceiving him as being unhelpful, difficult. And then we have a conversation like this. And I come crashing back to reality, realizing all over again that he’s only three. And to a three year old, when their mum asks, “Ready to go?”….he actually thinks I’m asking how he feels and am truly interested in if he’s is, in fact, ready to go. And now I’m ashamed that I’m not. Instead, I was just barkin’ out direction. And I couldn’t even do that in a clear way or without sounding annoyed. Talk about confusing. Poor kid.
Parenting is just SO hard. Sometimes I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror that is motherhood. God forbid I turn into one of those moms who are always yelling at their kids, or who constantly sound annoyed by their kids. I hate that. But when life is crazy (and it has been) or really hard (yup, that too), I find myself getting annoyed with poor R for no other reason than the fact that he’s three. And acting like one. Even worse, when we’ve been having a hard time, his behavior only gets more annoying. And when I have a quiet moment to myself I’m able to see outside the situation and realize that really, he’s doing it for me.
I think that annoying behavior is the three-year-old way of connecting. When he senses that our connection is off, he doesn’t ask for a hug…he launches himself off the couch shrieking “TOYSO FA LA”, does two karate kicks then rolls on the ground over to where Pax is lying and pretends to sit on him then fake laughs maniacally HAHAHAHAHA and spits “pbbbsssst!!!”
And I can either bellow, “RAINES, YOU ARE DRIVING ME FREAKING CRAZY!!” Which I’ve done. And he walks away feeling less connected, and has now learned to 1. Bellow and 2. The word “freaking”….
or I can simply stop what I’m doing and make more time for him. For us. Why is it so hard to choose this option??? Because when I do stop, stop and sit and play or read or wrestle…he’s an angel again. With very little exaggeration, I have really, really easy kids.
But for all of my own head-banging-self-reflection….he’s a pretty smart kid. Of the stinker variety. (How shocking.) As I was writing he just walked nonchalantly out of the bedroom (it’s theoretically naptime here) and informed me that he was done napping. “Raines, you’ve only been in there 5 minutes. You are not done” I reply. “BUT-BUT-BUT” he says, gearing up to plead his case, “I been sweeping fur a WONG time! If I sweep any more wonger I maybe pee the bed. SOOOOO….” (here comes the big finale) “I sweep for a wittle time and no pee! See! That’s all!” Cue a big, big angelic smile.
Ooooo….he’s good. He knows how much I hate going through the sheet changing, bet-wetting scenario…good one, R. Nicely done. And using a cute look to boot. Hunh. That’s a new one.
“Uh-hunh” I say. “Back in there.”
But honestly? I’m impressed.
ps. Life has been insane lately. I do have some posts to finish about our move, something to publish about grammabear….but in order to just keep my writing going, I’m trying to jot something down when the mood strikes. Or, more accurately, on the rare occasions both boys are sleeping. Here’s my current fav pic: