Helpful hints and tempting tidbits on how to really screw up your offspring

What? You thought you couldn't possibly damage your child in just a few, short years...Ohhhh, I beg to differ.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kicking Butt and Calling Names- Meet The Big One

Let  me introduce you to The Big One.

 A few politically correct adjectives to describe him:

  • Wicked  intelligent
  • Cute as a button
  • Animated
  • Articulate
  • Sprightly
  • Affectionate
  • Chatty
  • Witty
  • Opinionated
  • Hands-on
  • Creative
  • Well spoken
  • Loving
  • Protective
  • Caring

    Now, a few alternate descriptions:
    • Wicked  intelligent  He is quite adept at knowing when to capitalize on his brainpower and when to let it lie.
    • Cute as a button  His darling face is the only thing that's kept him alive on many occasions
    • Animated  Forceful and excitable 
    • Articulate  Eager to point out shortcomings and share his thoughts on how to improve
    • Sprightly  Hyper
    • Affectionate  Has a propensity for TIGHT, squeezing hugs and bearish pats on the back
    • Chatty   This. Kid. Talks. Nonstop.  From  the minute he wakes until he goes to  sleep at night. 
    • Witty  Usually has some little quip or wisecrack to add to any conversation
    • Opinionated  Oh, you didn't want ask for his opinion?  Too bad.  You got it of charge. 
    • Hands-on    The World Wrestling Federation could take some pointers from this boy
    • Creative  Has a bazillion schemes ideas that behoove him in some way or another. 
    • Well spoken   Forms grammatically correct sentences and thoughts that would rival any teenager.  E.g. "Actually Mama, instead of taking a nap I'd prefer to play with my toys in a quiet manner." (Yes,  those words came from his sassy little mouth). 
    • Loving  At any given point in the day that he feels he hasn't gotten sufficient attention he will randomly declare his love for one of us and deliver a cavalcade of unsolicited physical attention hugs and kisses
    • Protective Will go to great lengths to defend the honor of his precious sister though, in reality is most likely using his creativity  (see above) to pummel someone in  a hands-on (see above) way.
    • Caring Cares about toys, treats, games and fun things in general.  

    Don't let my sarcastic if not slightly skewed description of The Big One put you off.  He really is a smart, charming, funny, sweet boy.  He definitely has his faults and drives me to drink most some days.  He also brings me to tears on a regular basis just by exhibiting his tenacity, happy spirit or even his raw vulnerability.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself reduced to a complete ball of mush over such seemingly insignificant things-  things that normal kids do every day.

    Let me paint a picture for you. A few mornings ago I awoke to the sounds of squeals and giggles.  A cheerful way to wake up, no?  In some instances, yes.  But in this particular instance the squeals were evil and the giggles were LOUD. I hesitantly walked  down  the stairs to find  The Big One at the kitchen  table with a Play-Doh set that had been  hidden in the garage.  Next to him, to my complete horror sat a steak  knife.   His awesome  Play-Doh  plan had been  foiled by a pesky cellophane wrapper.   Hmmmm, what to do?  Crafty as ever, he got his stool from  the bathroom, reached up onto the kitchen counter and chose a knife from the block.  He had sliced open the wrapper and thankfully none of  his appendages,  then proceeded to happily create. When I happened upon this crime scene I was LIVID!  His  innocent, impish look infuriated me further. Through blinking (most likely blazing)  eyes I started to scream..."WHAT THE  H..."  I stopped myself mid sentence.  See, I go to therapy.  I know yelling is not a successful parenting tactic. I know that it only escalates already tumultuous situations.  I know.  I KNOW, GAWD!  My mind is racing with expletives and plans of torturous consequences as I continue....


    "I didn't want to wake you and The Little One up so I decided to get this Play-Doh out and entertain myself",  he says logically.

    Seething, I send him to his room.   I count to ten...thousand.  Ok, I'm calm.

    Luckily, the day before we  had agreed  upon the next consequence for bad choices.   He had the opportunity to choose and had settled on all day in his room.  Even I felt this was a bit harsh for a 4 year old but he'd  made the decision on his own so I let  it fly.  Fast forward to the end of the day and he had indeed spent  nearly the entire day in his room.

    I'm getting to my point, I swear.

    The next morning, while free of Play-Doh  incidents, was challenging nonetheless.  He was oppositional and sassy. Evey answer I had for him was the wrong  answer and would send him  into a huffing, grunting rage. By the time we pulled up in front of his school I was already dreading the pick up. It would more than likely include his (poor) teacher's report of the day's mischief.  One of his peers would without  doubt be going home the proud owner of  my child's dental impressions. (Yes, he still busts out the biting card  from time to time.)   His name would surely be on the red, frowny  face  section of The Daily Behavior chart.  I know, I exude positivity, don't I?  But these scenarios are things we're used to dealing with.

    Ok. So, I walk into his classroom  with my emotional armor on.  I'm ready to be tough.  Through the sea of little people I see his sparkly,  little eyes.  He's beaming.  Before I could even get to him he jumped  up and shouted,   "Mama!!  I had a DAZZLING day!!!"

    What the....?

    Dazzling?   An addition to his vocabulary?  Cool.  It never dawned on me that he might be serious.

    Turns out there is an  illustrious blue (aka: Dazzling) section on the Daily Behavior chart.   And there, all by itself in that beautiful blue section, was my guy's name.  The angels sang!  A beautiful light shone from above!  And, to my great surprise I stood there stunned, crying like a little girl.

    It's HUGE victories like these that keep me trying every day.  Trying to help him be the boy I know he can be. Trying to understand that he's still a baby. Trying to remind myself  that all  these exasperating traits that he owns at age four will make him a strong, successful, responsible man. Trying not to completely ruin him.  Trying to help myself  be the Mama I want to and hope I can be.  These shining  moments are usually pretty few and far between but when they do show up the sun shines and the birdies sing...and  Mama cries.


    1. This is the sweetest, funniest, most honest post ever! I love it and I love The Big One!

    2. I loved this post!! I can only say one thing--YOU ARE RAISING A KOEHN!! Grandma Viv would be proud of his vocab not to mention his proper use.