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.
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.
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.
M: Peanut, get down. This is not a climbing wall. Come through the door.
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.)