I want to start off by saying I love my kids.
I do, I do, I do.
But they drive me CRAZY!!!!
I know I’m not alone in this. I’m pretty positive every single parent, at one time or another, has envisioned running away from home holding a plaid knapsack on a stick containing a few PB&J’s while whistling a merry tune as you find a nice train car to jump into and go far, far away.
Or do what I do and hide in a corner, suck on a thumb and rock myself.
I was a teacher. I took child psychology classes, learning development classes, I knew all the stages of anal, oral, and whatever else Freud liked to talk about, so you would think when my child is freaking out about something I would remember it was normal.
It’s so hard to remember that when they are screaming at the top of their high pitched lungs and telling you they hate you because their apple isn’t as red as their brothers.
(That was last night)
My oldest is 18 and is easy at this point, but he still has no idea how to clean up after himself. He can create mods on his computer games, and defeat any enemy he wants, but the concept of bringing dirty dishes to the sink escapes him.
My 5 year olds, well, they are another story. Every minute is full of wonder, such as: “I wonder who is going to have a meltdown next?”
The Terrible Twos and Threes are nothing compared to the Terrible Fives. I find myself correcting more during the day than cuddling, and constantly trying to see into the future to know what may or may not cause a tantrum.
Eggshells. Lots and lots of eggshells.
One of the twins said they hated me last night because I wouldn’t give them a sucker with their dinner. I have never given them a sucker with dinner, but they decided it was to be, and when I nicely refused, it caused a serious row and I was flabbergasted. I’m often flabbergasted.
One of the twins has a broken arm and decided he wanted to wear long sleeved pajamas to bed. I said that wasn’t a good idea because a) the cast doesn’t fit into the arm easily, and b) it was 85 DEGREES.
Well, that made him more determined to prove that I was wrong and he proceeded to fit that cast into the sleeve one millimeter at a time. He was getting red faced and mad and kicking and screaming, and it took him 10 minutes to put on the shirt while I watched, defeated.
But he showed me.
They also like to lie, now, which is awesome. I will say: “No, we are not going to the McDonald’s play area, it’s 9PM!” and they will say: “You’re mean. You said I’m a stupid boy and you hate me!”
WHAT?? NO I DIDN’T! “Yes, you did, you said you don’t love me any more and that I’m just a stupid head.”
I’m exhausted from all the work my brain has to do to deal with them sometimes. Yelling doesn’t do anything but make everyone more frenzied, but sometimes being calm makes them think their behavior is ok. Forcing them to say they’re sorry when they aren’t, or don’t even understand why they should be sorry, is difficult, as does knowing which battle to fight or give up on.
Every generation goes through this, and I think it’s because we aren’t given enough insight into what children go through in their little brains. They are testing the waters, seeing what they can do, not realizing they are slowly sending their parents into mental zombie land.
There should be a pamphlet that is sent to us on their birthdays so we know what we’re in for the next year. Things like: “Five year olds often have no clue what the heck they really want, and reverse psychology works amazingly well at this age. They will also think they need everything they see on every commercial, especially the “As Seen on TV” ones.” (Thanks, Snackeez)
I also think there should be hotlines for each year of age and when the kids start going nutso, we can call the 1-800-5yrolds for advice.
Operator: “Hello, this is the 5 year old hotline, how can I help you?”
Me: “Um, hi there, my 5 year old won’t come downstairs because I refuse to carry his blankie for him.”
Operator: “Do you have a plaid knapsack on a stick?”
Me: “Why, yes I do.”
Operator: “Fill it up with sandwiches and find yourself a train car.”