You don’t know anything.

Took Peanut and Butter to a padded room last week, mostly because I wanted to put them in a padded room. But also because they play nicely together there, climbing and sliding and laughing and bouncing. The gym (my recent compromise on having no child care or breaks from the kids) has a climbing wall and bounce house and huge toxic foam climbing structures for our use, free (now that I’m paying for a gym membership), whenever we want.

When it’s time to go I give a five minute warning, and a “last chance to do something that’s important to you” warning. Then we go.

But last week Peanut would not leave. As is his wont, he ignored, ignored, ignored, then yelled, “No!”

I was calm, I was respectful, I was nicer than I should be. I wanted to throw him against a padded wall but went with:

Me: Yes. It’s time to go. We need to get home for dinner.”
P: No. Come on, Butter, let’s go over here.
M: Butterbean, come get your shoes! [He does, thankfully.] Peanut, we’re getting out shoes on and then we’re leaving.
P: I’m not going.
M: Oh. Well it’ll be hard to have dinner in a bounce house, but I wish you the best of luck.
P: I’m not coming.
M: I heard you. And I’m not compromising.
P: WHY?!?!?!!
M: Peanut, please use an inside voice. I’m not compromising because we came here for you to have fun and to bounce and climb. And you did have fun, bounce, and climb. So now it’s time to go home.
P: I did NOT have fun.
M: Mmmmmmkay. That’s a shame. Maybe next time, then. Come on.
P: No.
M: Okay.

He comes over to the child-keeping door and climbs the half wall instead of going through.

Me: Sweetie, that’s not safe. Please get down and come through the door.
Peanut: This is the only way I can find to get to you.
M: Honey, try the door.
P: No.
M: Peanut, get down. This is not a climbing wall. Come through the door.
P: No.
M: Yes.
P: I can’t.
M: Little boy, this is not working for me. Get down. Now. Because what you’re doing could hurt you.
P: But the door has a forcefield and I can’t go there.
M: I see. Here. I turned it off. Now come through.
P: NOOOOOOO! It’s invisible and you can’t see it.
M: And you can’t see my angries, inside me, but they are circling their wagons right now and getting ready to come out all over you if you don’t get down.
P: You don’t know anything.
[just a look. a really long, blinking, calmly enraged look.]
P: I’ll climb when I want and where I want.
M. [deep breath] You will take a deep breath right now and consider how you’re talking to me. And you will consider that coming here is optional and climbing is optional and bouncing is optional, but talking nicely to your mother is. not. optional.
M: Peanut Full Name Naptime, that is not talking nicely. I will not ask you again. You will talk nicely or we will think of a consequence together.

At this point a deep breath didn’t help. A snake breath I read about in a Mothering Magazine article on Mama Rage did. Especially when Butter mimicked it and I started laughing.

I still snubbed Peanut for a while, even after the situation was defused. Because I’m petty and nasty and immature. And because I could *totally* see that forcefield. What does he think I am…old? Powerless? Unfun?

(I am so old and powerless and decidedly unfun lately. But how dare he notice? He doesn’t know anything.)

13 thoughts on “You don’t know anything.

  1. You are not petty and nasty and immature. Because the way you tried to “work” with Pea before you exerted your influence? That’s more patience than I’ve had in my entire lifetime. I have seen your patience, and it is a beautiful thing. Remember the plastic fork/knife at the ferry building? You are zen momma.

    Even without childcare, which I call SuperFoul on. You need some.

    I had no childcare this winter, and remember how many marbles I lost? Damn.

    Even with some (thank god!) childcare right now, I snap and bark like a small dog. And then, yes, feel petty and nasty and immature. Fuck, there’s no help for us.

  2. Your ability to stay in “good mommy talk” mode is amazing. I think I’m ok at it. But YOU, Naptime…YOU are the queen.

    My children think every. little. thing. is open for discussion, and I am at my wits end with my two year old’s sassy sharp tone and my 4 year old’s sighs and eye rolls.
    I bow to your patience.

  3. good grief, i’m exhausted from just reading that. holy hell.

    and butter gets a lollipop for sticking with mama.

  4. Like TKW, I have never had this much patience in my entire life. Eldest, with all his issues, doesn’t really do well with reasoning. I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t work that well. At least, it doesn’t work as well as, “You have two minutes to play.” And then when the two minutes are up, I say, “We’re leaving,” and proceed to pretend to walk off without him. He now knows that “We’re leaving” means that he can either come with us or not, but he’d better make a decision quickly. I don’t know what I’d do if he ever decided just to stay. That’s the flaw in this method.

  5. Indeed. Our kids don’t know us. That seems to be coded in human genes though. They can’t admire us too much. Issues.

  6. Shit, you worked out AND were that patient, before embarking on the holy hell I know as feeding time at the zoo? You deserve freaking mother of the year in my book. Summer vacation started last Friday and I can honestly say that Mommy is ready to go back to work. Not because I don’t love my children, but damn, the school version of them DOES NOT translate at home. Home version of kids SUCKS…I mean, how much whining and arguing can one human being take….

    They don’t know anything either ;)

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAROFLHAHAHAAH holy hell…..hahahahahaaHAHAHAA! omg do you remember that cheesy 80’s movie where the guy dies and goes to like purgatory or something and everyone is dressed in white and they ride these trains to see movies of the parts of their lives that are being used to determine if they go to heaven or hell? ok well i just sat through a movie of a part of my life but you were me and yours were mine and it was funny and i realized we passed the good mother test!lol! ok well it wasn’t exactly the same, my littlest would have been darting back and forth asking if i could see the green monsters shooting lasers through the force field cause they would be trying to make her stay too. oh geeze, still laughing. !

  8. Oh, my. I still have PTSD from that day at the gym. I didn’t even get to *use* the gym. I had to supervise the bouncing and nonsense.

    @Kitch I am more zen with witnesses, which there often are. But the veneer is thin, my friend, and what’s beneath is cheap mama plywood.

    @dirtdonthurt Wait with me, for when the younger ball of awesomeness starts sassing me, I will lose it with great frequency. I really am only hanging with this high wire act because it seems as though all the moms around me are more patient.

    @jc yeah, that kid is often chemically-processed dairy to my sparkly Unicorn self.

    @Fie, yeah, he’d stay. I tried that line once when he was young and he was terrified and devastated. And we talked about how I’d never leave him. So he knows. I should never have been so honest or reassuring.

    @subWOW I know…I guess I don’t wish for some Oedipal freak show. But maybe a teenie bit of respect? Itsy bitsy?

    @Maria oh, I didn’t get to work out. I have to stay with them at the bounce room. I don’t have the heart to use the gym child care. But summer with kids ranks high on my list of phobia. It doesn’t help that every teacher and babysitter tells us “oh, they were great” because we just never get that. I wish I could videotape the version of him at one of these “he was just fabulous” so I could see such a phenomenon just once.

    @tara I know full well that soon the tiny one will join in. For now, it is my only sanity that he goes along with me. Once it’s two against me, I’m gonna look into binge drinking and corporal punishment. And Cheetos.

    @letmestart you would think so, right? My angries make loud overtures toward overthrowing my kinder, gentler side. Why can’t he hear them? Guess I should teach him to watch for the signs. As soon as I figure out what they are.

  9. i binge drink. it happens. i’m not proud. oh and nap, i soooo miss mothering. the snake breath cracks my kids up too. brilliant. when they ceased publication i felt like a friend died. sniff.

  10. A friend and I were talking about how we miss Mothering. I don’t want to read it online. It seemed like the only place I was center, not way out on the margins.

    Binge drinking sounds really, really good. Except I’m too old to shake off the effects the next morning, and these effers are up and out of control by 6am. I’d have to be drunk by noon and sobered by 9pm. Not a great option. But it’s *totally* in my back pocket as a Plan B.

  11. Jane, I didn’t feel very patient, since I was fuming the whole time. I guess controlling how I order him around is all the patience I can hope for.
    *Some* days you need the padded room? Most days I inappropriately envy those in comas.

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