Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Clash of Wills

It would appear that my children have a stubborn streak.


Is anyone else surprised?  No?  Just me, then.  You’d think they’d have the courtesy to see that mom has had a hard few days (I spent yesterday afternoon on the phone with insurance companies and third party administrators trying to get our company health insurance reinstated after it was mistakenly terminated due to no reason whatsoever) and cut me some slack.  Maybe sleep through the night, or follow simple instructions.  Nope.


Jamie has gotten in on the game now, just as Charles has started to become more, um, reasonable, we’ll say.  Charles understands consequences and generally hops-to if he knows he is going to lose a privilege should he not attend my direction.  I haven’t quite gotten him to figure out that if he just gets dressed without asking or brushes his teeth or whatever, he won’t even get the threat of consequence, but we’re clearly going to be working on that until his brain catches up with his brawn (this might take awhile) (like, until he’s 25).


But oh, Jamie.  Call it “terrible twos,” call it “strong-willed,” either way, I am pushing my limit of being more stubborn than my child.  It’s not easy.  He got out of bed repeatedly last night, all the way until 10 o’clock.  I wanted to be asleep before 10 o’clock.  And there is no consequence that resonates with him.  Take away his stuffed animals?  He doesn’t care.  Take away his mounds of blankets?  He doesn’t care.  Turn off the light?  Shut the door?  Smack his butt?  He doesn’t care.


This morning, he didn’t want to get dressed.  Have you ever tried to dress a thrashing, screaming two-year-old?  While pregnant?  Not for the faint of heart.  And then he refused, flat-out refused, to pick up the toys he’d scattered everywhere.  I would normally leave that argument for another day, or for bedtime, after he’d played with the toys all day long, but the housekeeper was coming this morning and I quite like it when she is able to clean my floors.  Jamie and I went round and round until I deposited him in the car, with no shoes or jacket (he refused those, too, and lest you think I should be able to force him into his shoes and jacket, well, you either have never tried to force a recalcitrant child to get shoes on or your children are not stubborn hell monsters).  I then told both of the children to be quiet (Jamie continued to wail because he had finally decided – too late – that he wanted shoes) and I called Tony.  I told my husband, loudly enough for my brain-damaged urchins to hear, that we would be summarily removing all toys from the house this evening.


I’m so tired of this bullshit, you know?  And in every other aspect of my home life, I de-clutter constantly.  I don’t have lots of clothing and I routinely cull the herd, so to speak, of clothing I no longer wear or fit.  Our walls are full of art and framed photos, we can’t get any more.  We don’t buy “stuff” because our storage space is severely limited.  When this baby is born, I’m giving away or selling all of my maternity clothing and reclaiming the space it has taken in the garage since 2008.  Ditto the post-pregnancy box of super-extra-extremely large clothes I will no doubt need immediately after giving birth and then, hopefully, never again.


I fully intend to follow through with this and remove every single toy from the house.  I’ll probably start by sorting through them and removing the toys that we will “save” for the new baby.  Then we’ll separate them into categories (small toys shouldn’t be in our giant toy box because they get lost at the bottom) and put them in the garage.  Until I’m feeling less like an ogre and more like a nice mommy again.


Turning these children into responsible adults just might kill me.

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