I’m confused.

I’m a bit confused, I must admit. When you were new to this world, we had to eat dinner in under 3 minutes. As you grew, we got even faster, because without at least two hands to supervise your every antic, we were in way too much trouble to even make dinner worth it.
And now it takes you 90 minutes to eat the tiniest dinner we can concoct.

I’m also stymied on this: I know my parents wished upon me a child just like me—nay, worse, if possible, in every timbre. So is that why you have that thing about licking applesauce and yogurt off your spoon one cc at a time? Is that why your temper is absolutely off the charts? could this be why you hold grudges for over a year, even if that means more than a third of your life? Is that why you drive me batshit insane? Because I thought it was that you took after your father.

And clear something up for me, if you would…why do you feel the need to use what I say against me? I can’t handle tantrums or whining or freaking out in general (from you anyway, since I’m brewing my own over here), so I told you to take a deep breath and explain your point of view carefully instead of flipping your Dr. Jekyl switch. But that doesn’t mean you need to answer a “no, we don’t have candy corn for dinner,” with “[big sigh] Mommy. I understand you don’t want me to have sugar right now. But how about just one piece?” What the hell kind of freak of nature are you? How can I resist a calm and reasoned response? You know me better than that. Let’s be honest: I really need you to be of moderate intelligence, like me and Pa, because we are simply not up to the task of someone who listens and modifies his attacks based on our weaknesses.

And maybe it’s my lack of a full compliment of firing neurons, but I’m not quite clear on why, in a fit of frustration with your nonsense, I ask, “you wanna rumble?” having never used that word before, and you intone “and ramble in blackberry bramble” from a book we haven’t read in several months. Do you have a perfect memory for words? Why, then, does it seem impossible for you to remember what I said just three minutes ago? You do something forbidden. I gently correct you. You stop. I thank you for listening. And three minutes later it happens again. And I’m again patient and you’re again responsive. So why does it happen again five minutes later? You just proved you can remember what I say when you want to.

Do you want to rumble?

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14 thoughts on “I’m confused.

  1. I recommend, in difficult moments, that you pause, take a deep breath, walk to your bookshelf, pull “Infinite Jest” off the shelf, hold it firmly, and beat yourself senseless with it.

  2. Kitch, Jamberry is a great book. Get it.
    It really sucks to complain about a kid who is clearly three handsful mostly because he’s wicked smart. Do you prefer the alternative? Um, let me get back to you.
    Dan, tried it. Does not relieve the pressure. Also have flagged the passages about Don being *positive* that tolerating and withstanding (esp Lenz and Erdedy) is teaching him patience, somehow. Doesn’t work. Don’t suppose you’d give the go ahead to lock kid in closet and use IJ as a barricade?
    Ink, mine actually does. And says if she has her way, it’ll get worse. She plans on frequent visits during the teen years.

  3. You have my dispensation to lock the kid in the closet, but only if there is a lurid, bare lightbulb inside, which you use to illuminate the many pictures of Christ hanging there.

    I would, however, pursue a different disciplinary tack if the Peanut develops telekinesis.

  4. Nap, my darling friend, you can totally complain about your sassy, big-brained kid.

    A friend/colleague of mine who taught at the same high school used to laugh, because we have this theory: everyone wants a brilliant, creative, insightful kid. Until they get one. And then they learn that those kids are totally high maintenance and you worry all the time and they are moody pieces of annoyance.

    What you want, my friend, is a bigdumbwhitekid. I had so many of them, and they were always so good natured, sorta like Lenny.

    So be careful what you wish for, because your smart kid might pull a Plath on you, but the dumb one will just sing “Dixie” and be on his way…

  5. “sorta like Lenny”? I just snorted Diet Dr. Pepper through my nose.

    And Nap, with future frequent visits, now is the time to invest in a guest house! While you’re thinking about moving and stuff. :)

  6. oh the christ closet with interrogation lightbulb is BRILLIANT! hahahaha! he wants to rumble, alright. that boy is a pile of trumble.

  7. Short answer: Yes.
    May I refer you to my raptor theory? They keep testing the weaknesses. I’m starting to think it would be easier to just get a tranq gun.

  8. If misery loves company you and I should be friends. My 4-year-old sounds exactly like your child. (Does it surprise you her birthday is the day after mine? Talking about getting the curse my mom bestowed upon me.)

    • Reluctant, I love your user name. Wish I’d have thought of that because it’s perfect.
      I thought horoscope and birthdate stuff was bunk until I read how, hypothetically, I should be getting along with my son and how Spouse should…amazing. As I say, often, my kid is a handful and a half, and I’m even more than that, so we need more than just the six hands we have on this particular deck.
      Sigh. Oh well. At least we have blogs on which to find other people walking the misery/joy line.

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