Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/17/09 Improving the odds

One thing about having three kids: it's rare that all your children are awful in one day. Today's angel was Katrina, being adorable and delightful and funny and even relatively agreeable.

Julian has been a major pest lately. My fuse with him is very very short; I find myself snapping at his first obnoxious resistance ("No YOU close the car door Mommy"). He ignores me when I pick him up at the CDC and I often have to physically drag him away from the reading corner, then at home he swings his lunch around and strews the contents of his knapsack all over the living room, throwing himself on the floor and wailing if I insist he put it all away.

But nothing, nothing can match the horror of a confrontation with Gabriel. They're much much rarer these days, and unlike his toddler days they're now actually about something. But just like his toddler days, he takes conflict head-on when something means something to him, and when there's a row, it's really ugly -- scary, almost.

This morning's issue started, as usual, with the boys not getting dressed. This is really becoming painful -- they dress themselves in minutes if so motivated, but most of the time we're ignored or told, "It's my life to live!" Gabriel had some paper weapons he'd made -- a gun and a sword, and was bugging Katrina with them this morning. That makes her scream, and makes us scold him to stop.

Dave eventually took Gabriel's paper weapons away, and all hell broke loose. Screaming, knocking things around, bloodcurdling insults and threats -- and ultimately no breakfast. I managed to settle him down enough that he got into the car without much trouble, then he had breakfast at the CDC and was fine the rest of the day, but it was a nasty morning.

He told me tonight he was almost late to class this morning because he was scarfing breakfast at the CDC. I told him sternly that he absolutely cannot be late to school because of breakfast that he had plenty of time for at home.

I shouldn't complain...most of the time our boys are really fun and full of life and energy and ideas and joy. But on days like today, it's hard not to be grateful that there's another one here to look upon with unfettered fondness. Another one child, that is -- and not a boy.


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