I have been composing a post in my head for a week or so now about how I wonder if my 6.5yo son is going to be a kind-hearted, respectful young man or a pushover who gets his ass kicked at the playground.
I usually don’t worry about Mr. T at all, because he is so good All The Time…and I’m so busy deflecting the crazy shizz his 4.5yo sister throws my way.
But then he stood out among his peers in his gentleness, his kindness. And I started to think: Shouldn’t he kick someone’s ass at some point? Shouldn’t he be the one getting into trouble…sometime?
I worry that he’s not gonna be tough enough for this really tough world.
He’s so sweet, such a fair kid, good listener, easy-going guy. Especially compared to his tough-as-nails little sister.
As hard as Miss A is on my sanity, whoever tries to eff with her in Life will pay for it. Dearly. This is something I find reassuring.
I never got pen to paper about my worries, because I haven’t been able to articulate it yet.
Then this morning happened.
It all started with a innocently silly request by the boy:
“Mom? I want a cookie for breakfast!”
He went so far as to help himself to a cookie, which made me laugh but I told him to put it back and if he was a Good Listener, “maybe” (<– this means yes) I’d put it in his lunch bag for snack at school.
Then things spiraled quickly out of control. Laughing turned to sneaking, to Not Listening, to out-and-out Disobeying, to stomping feet, talking back, being rude and so on.
FROM MY ANGELIC SON.
I doled out warnings, which he knows I follow through on. He ignored them. Then cried when I did so.
He slipped a note next to my coffee cup:
I thanked him for the communication, but still told him “No.”*
*And told my husband not to read the note, because he is a sucker for this kinda thing.
I doled out ‘checks’ (marks for bad behavior). He went to erase them.
WHO IS THIS CHILD?
The whole time, Miss A sweetly and happily acted responsible. Ate, cleaned up, got dressed, brushed teeth without a single reminder, and decided to quietly color at the table while her brother went all Bad-Ass on me.
AND WHO ARE YOU, LITTLE GIRL??
I told them what I needed them to do while I went upstairs to finish getting ready so we can leave for school on time. “Cookies” were not to be mentioned at all the rest of the morning. Not the word, or a description or anything suggestive of anything else cookie-like. Issue? Over.
My bathroom is above the kitchen. I heard what sounded like WWIII, mostly from Mr. T, so I shouted down the heating vent that they had better STOP IT.
I heard footsteps. A note slipped beneath my bathroom door.
I finished and headed downstairs.
I thanked her for the note. She apologized to me while getting her coat on, as I had asked her to.
Mr. T was up to something else, completely: Trying to convince me with yet another note what acceptable breakfast foods were:
I said it was a good list, except for the last item “…which you will not eat today because you won’t drop the topic like I told you to many times already.”
(insert tears and stomping…his, not mine – shockingly)
My blood pressure was pulsing, he was so out of character I felt like he had been possessed, and Miss A was being so good it was confusing me (she’s always up for jumping into a fight or egging on her brother so he gets in more trouble).
This morning? Altogether baffling.
I pulled him aside alone for a minute after he finally finished his Godforsaken toast and put his coat on to tell explain to him an important Life Lesson, and unwritten House Rule #40:
(In not quite those words)
This is something I have gone over with his sister a thousand times.
She knows this and pays the price then suffers then earns her privileges back. It is a daily occurrence with her.
Who, by the way, spent the rest of the morning being a doll, and after school has been a pure delight. Even making me fresh orange juice. Not a tantrum or tear All Day Long.
This super-sweet day with her has been wonderful. She and I are always butting heads, so it was refreshing to have her acting so…like her brother usually does.
Which opened my eyes a little.
While this morning’s events with Mr. T were tough and frustrating, and I hate punishing my boy…I’m almost glad he was such as asshole….like his sister can often be.
Because he’s got it in him.
He was rude, feisty, determined. He tried to work me with notes, rationalizations, pleads, a big Bag Of Tricks.
Mind you, nothing worked and his ass ain’t getting a cookie til he spends a solid 24 hours not being a jerk about a friggin’ 2-bite Gingerman….
…but I almost feel a little better about my earlier worries about him being Too Sweet.
He might have just enough Bad-Asss in him to make it through Life unscathed, after all.
I think I owe that tempting little Gingerman a high-five for showing me all this today, all that my kids have hiding inside them.
And then? I’m totally eating him: I deserve it after this Head Trip of a day.
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