Encouragement in the Strangest of Places

Posted on | August 16, 2012 | 6 Comments

When I got to daycare today, one of the other moms was dropping off her son.  He’s a little older than J but not by much, and they’re in the same class at school.  We made small talk about being single in Macon (she’s recently remarried) and she joked that men would be lining up for me with my new look (thanks for that little white lie, friend!).

And when I got one last hug from J and started out the door, she was still struggling with her son.

“He’s just so grouchy sometimes,” she said, in the the universal voice of exhausted mothers.  I nodded.

“We get that, too.” I gestured back to my child, happily sitting at the table.

“Really? Because J always seems so pleasant!”

I laughed and told her how I get kicked and hit and yelled at by my tiny dictator and she looked… relieved.

“That’s really encouraging,” she smiled and then laughed, realizing that no… it’s not encouraging when a kid is acting out except yes, it is encouraging when it’s not just YOUR kid.

And I sort of realized that THAT is what is so epic and awesome about having the internet.  Because honestly, my kid comes across like a real gem in public.  He almost always smiles, he gives big hugs and kisses, he says “please” and “thank you” like a tiny little champ.  If everyone judged their child against J’s public persona, they would wonder what they were doing wrong with their own child.  Just like pretty much every other kid I know.

Because they save the worst for us, don’t they.

The truth is, from 2.5 to Lord knows when, my child has been six shades of crazy.  He doesn’t even say “no” anymore… he just does this weird “NEAH!” sound that makes me want to pull my hair out and shove it down his throat while screaming back “THAT’S NOT EVEN A WORD.”  When he eats PB&J he always gets peanut butter all over his cheeks and then when I try to wash it off, he acts like I’m rubbing sandpaper on his cheeks and runs away sobbing until he actually climbs under the dining room table and I have to get down on my knees and crawl after him JUST TO WASH HIS FACE.  He wants to do everything by himself and if he’s not allowed to do it “to myself” then he screams until he turns bright red and then starts this awesome game of running up to me, smacking me, and running away. If I tell him “no” to anything, even to some ridiculous question like “Can I drive the car?” he yells at me “I CAN drive the car. I CAN” until he’s all worked up and the words “I can” have lost all meaning.

To all you other moms, all I can say is this: my kid is “grouchy” sometimes, too.  Because he’s a toddler.  And because he has the worst mommy in the world, obviously… just ask him.

So if you’re wondering if it’s just you, if it’s just your kid who throws these crazy fits… trust me it’s not.

Hope that’s encouraging… because it damn sure encourages me when I hear about your little hell raisers!


6 Responses to “Encouragement in the Strangest of Places”

  1. Emily Duss
    August 16th, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    oh man, my 3 year old is the same way! the screaming, the kicking and insisting he can drive! it’s exhausting!

  2. R's Mom
    August 16th, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Amen to that!

    R is so good in public, at daycare, etc. (which I’m happy about). But holy cow — the tantrums at home lately!! They are epic! It’s kind of crazy how my sweet, docile little boy can turn into such a tiny tyrant in the blink of an eye!

  3. Joanna
    August 16th, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    This! Sometimes I need to hear a “mine does that too.” Maddie is PERFECT at daycare (not so much public, we’ve had TWO very public restaurant breakdowns lately that I’m not even recovered enough from to talk about) but at home she’s a schizophrenia patient. One minute she’s snuggled up to me. The next she’s screaming NO at me and folding her arms because OMG don’t you dare put the ketchup on THAT part of the plate. It doesn’t go THERE. But I was talking with one of my very best friends about it & God love her but she actually said “my kid never did that, he never threw fits or cried or anything.” & I wanted to punch her in the face right in that instant.

  4. Samantha
    August 16th, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Thank you, thank you! I needed to hear this! Every day I hear about how well behaved my little one has been and every night that seems to change the minute we hit our front door.

    Glad to know that I am not the only one 🙂

  5. Heather Griffitts Clark
    August 16th, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    We had a 2 hour meltdown two days ago because I gave her strawberries, a hot dog and cheese. All three of which are her favorite foods!!!!! It was the most epic of all epic meltdowns she’s had. Her grandfather arrived and within minutes the tears dried up and she chased him around the house tickling him.
    Yeah….Cybil, anyone?

  6. Delia
    August 16th, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    Oh gosh – the attitude these days is insane. Mine started telling me “I never get to XYZ.” This morning it was “I never get to eat a granola bar.” And I promptly told him he was lying because he had one yesterday. So yeah…it does drive me crazy to hear they are so awesome for everyone else BUT mom & dad, but I also get a little thrill because maybe I did something right.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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