In 30 short days Preschooler has managed to become a three foot tall menace of monumental proportions. He wants to be the boss of me now that Dad is out of the country, and he senses the absence of control: no smell of testosterone, no deep voice, no death grip. And he is now taking not so infinitesimal steps toward seizure of the family crown.
It all started when we Skyped with Dad one evening. Preschooler was chomping his meat loud enough to be heard through cyberspace, and Husband merely reminded him to chew with closed lips. Preschooler volleyed back complete apathy: he smacked his lips in satisfaction, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, and just for good measure looked directly into the Dad in the Box as if to say, “Or what? You’ll reach through the screen and stab me with my own fork?”
This is where the normal Mano-a-Mini-Mano stare down should have occurred. But something was horribly wrong. Preschooler did not feel the pucker just thinking of the possible result, nor did he feel doomed to spend the remainder of mealtime exiled to a location of the triumphant Mano’s chosing. Preschooler was suddenly aware that the natural family order had been inexplicably broken. He opened his eyes, and his life had been spared. There was blood in the water. My blood.
When the third day in a row of “incident reports” described his – mmm, lets call them “aggressive” behaviors – I knew I had to do something. At least one class parent already has it out for my kid; this defaming malpracticing physician falsely scorned us into the scarlet letter of scabies just weeks before. So on top of “infested” the term “bully” isn’t exactly a desirable addition to the pre-K resume.
Before you say one single word about where he might possibly get his violent streak, just think about the fate of the Lancome Lady, and chose your words wisely.
The way I see it, these traits can only originate from Husband. Naval Aviators must certainly produce arrogant offspring like the Preschooler. Think about the kind of man who actually believes he can fly a hunk of metal around in the sky after being slingshot from a bigger hunk of metal, only to be asked to land mostly by slamming the aircraft down onto the rolling deck of a ship in the off-chance that one tiny little hook thingy will catch (and remain attached to) one of four wires strung hopefully across the deck. And then think about the kind of man who can actually succeed in doing it. Over and over again. Every desire to repeat that insanity is something I don’t personally understand or have the ability to articulate.
I, on the other hand, am a lawyer. A government lawyer. I admit, I landed in this profession mostly because it’s a higher-paying job than being a writer and it doesn’t require math or any significant number skills. Heck the only way I’ve been able to fake my way through second grade homework so far is by being on the right side of the flashcards. This profession exhibits how truly risk-averse I am.
Oh, I like a good fight, don’t get me wrong. But I like fights I can win. And none of my fights have ever involved gravity, the ocean, the splitting of air molecules at speeds substantial enough to obtain lift, or the wearing of a “suit” whose sole purpose is to squeeze me hard enough to prevent all of my blood from fleeing to my extremities as I approach the speed of sound. Nope, I’ve never once intentionally taken on the disturbance of natural biological functions or tried overcoming any force of nature – unless you count my foolish attempts to sleep in the same bedroom with Husband after I knew or should have known that he had consumed no less than three bowls of his famous After-Burner Chili: the chili that burns after.
Having successfully stated my case and concluding that children of crazy military aviators are inherently difficult, arrogant, and controlling, I am reminded that just yesterday I wrote about my Dad – the Naval Aviator.
So WHAT?! This only means I can win this fight. I am after all smarter than Preschooler, and marginally more mature. Therefore I’m resorting to that last bastion of hope for all mothers everywhere who have lost control of their children, been left wrung out on the dirty kitchen floor, and shamed by the third consecutive incident report. That’s right, I’m going to do it: I’m going to read a parenting book.
I will begin my search on Amazon.com with the keywords “parenting a difficult child without any of your redeeming qualities and all of your spouse’s shortcomings.”
To be continued …