Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's me again, Heather. And don't worry, I'm not going to write a sugary-sweet, mushy, best friends post again. I worry that some of you might go into a diabetic coma reading my guest posts. Besides, Melonie's Rule Number Five is: No emotional, hand-holding posts!

One of the things Sharon and I have in common is that we have only male children. She has three sons and I have two. So, I can tell her my parenting laments and she gets it. Like when I tell her that I have to wash the shower curtain and rug in the kids' bathroom often because they don't aim when they pee and they end up spraying every surface in the bathroom. Like when I tell her that I fail to see how a book on How To Raise Well-Mannered Boys will be helpful in my situation unless I use it to beat the children about the head every time they fart at the dinner table. She gets it.

My youngest son is particularly willful and stubborn. He's also very smart. He keeps me on my toes, I tell ya. Like me, he is not a morning person and thus we are more likely to clash in the mornings when I help him get ready for school (he is in kindergarten). This morning, I said, "Come into my bathroom so I can brush your hair." He replied, "I don't want to brush my hair."

"Too bad. Come into the bathroom"

He drug his feet and slowly started down the hallway and then stopped halfway and said, "I'm not going any further than this."

"Get. In. The. Bathroom."

He walked as far as my bedroom when he once again rooted himself to the floor and proclaimed, "Fine then. This is as far as I'm going."

"Get your rear in the bathroom!" Except I am Texan and my accent is more pronounced when I am upset and it sounded like, "Git yer reer in the bathroom!"

He said, "Nope. I'm not going. I'm not."

"One! . . . Two! . . ."

"Okay! I'm going!" and he very slowly made his way to the bathroom as I stood there with nostrils flaring and pulse racing and thinking that, for winning that battle, I sure felt like I was the loser.

After school, we had to take our puppies to the vet for their booster shots. We had to wait nearly an hour and, understandably, the five year old was a little cranky. But one thing I do not tolerate is bad behavior in public. My son asked me if I would buy him some candy on the way home. I told him, no, I'd be cooking dinner as soon as we got home.

"Can we get a snowcone then?"


"Ice cream?"


At which point the foolish child began wailing. I was mortified. I growled under my breath, "Stop that crying. Right. Now."

He negotiated: "I'll only stop crying if you buy me some candy."

It was then that my head popped off of my neck from the sheer increase in my blood pressure.

I promised the child a time out and promised to lengthen it, and actually did lengthen it, before he finally shut his pie-hole. We got home, I sent him to his room and set the stove timer to the appropriate length of his sentence, and went about the task of cooking dinner.

Ten minutes later? The boy walked out of his room, smiling and cheerful, and gave me not a single problem the rest of the evening. He even gave me several kisses for seemingly no reason at all. He was the very picture of compliance.

At least my life is always interesting.