The rat 1

Everyday is Halloween in our house—trick or treat.  I stand there in my Daddy costume with my little bag open wondering whether there’s going to be some sweet treat or whether he’s going to toss me another big ugly rock.  Both of us have written on this subject a few times, the terribleness that is T.  You can’t possibly have terribleness like his terribleness. 

Each time I think I have mastered the material, the test comes and I usually fail.  I think what gets me the most is when I’m caught off guard.  I am home from work, tired, agitated by the commute and only wanting to feel loved.  Sometimes that is not what he is able to give.  Whether he is hungry or tired or just being his age, he let’s me have it.  No, no, no; arguing about everything he wants to do or doesn’t want to do; throwing food at the table; wrestling me about changing his diaper or his clothes, and on occasion breaking one of the cardinal rules—biting, hitting or kicking.

It’s the anger that gets to me.  I know there are times when it seems appropriate to demonstrate a little anger towards him, like when he breaks one of the cardinal rules or worse, does something to endanger himself.  I hate though, that as an adult, as a parent, as his Poppa, I can’t seem to deal with him when he is being a rat without getting angry.  I don’t want that thing, that ugly anger thing to intrude into my relationship with my son.  I don’t want him to react either positively or negatively to that face, that scowl, those narrowed eyes, the finger wag, the terse words, those pointy eyebrows.

Last night I couldn’t take anymore.  From the moment I got home he cried, screamed and kept falling down into a puddle of unhappiness.  I had only been in the house forty-five minutes and we were on our third dirty diaper.  It’s not that diapers are a problem, but the cooperation in changing them.  After several failed attempts to get him upstairs, I stood on the landing and shouted up to the heavens, “I just can’t take this anymore!”  I of course startled T.  He stood at the base of the stairs with a queer look, trying to determine why Poppa was shouting.  Like the dutiful parent, Darrow came and helped escort the little urchin up the stairs where I was able to change the puzzled little boy.

I know all parents eventually experience the throws of two year olds.  I know I am human and have a temper.  I just don’t like it getting out in front of me without having the opportunity to take a breath first.  I love my son.  He is a beautiful little kid in every way.  I don’t want my inability to deal with this stage of his development to impact our relationship.  That’s all, I just want to be a better parent whether he is being his sweet, happy self or the little rat.