Insanity is a path all parents walk down from time to time. We are led there by periods of totally irrational behavior in our children. Kids do crazy things, and it makes parents crazy. It's like reverse heredity, if you think about it.
You may be thinking that something happened in my house tonight to inspire this post, and you would be right. I'm not going to get into the details, because that's not the funny part. Lets' just say it involved an extraordinary volume of tears...a volume totally disproportionate to the act that inspired them.
This particular tantrum yanked an age-old parental cliche out of me. I tried to stop it, I didn't want to go there, but it just made sense to say it. The perfect words to sum up what I was feeling, right there at the tip of my tongue. Before I could stop myself I said, "Do you want me to give you something to cry about?"
I can say it worked, he didn't want anyting...wait, my wife just told me he's still upstairs crying. I'll be right back.
Okay, I'm back. Now before you call CPS, for the record, I did not give him anything to cry about. Unless you count enforcing bedtime hours without the privilege of reading a book, something he was encouraged to do earlier in the evening. Personally, I don't count that. He argued that he's supposed to do it for school, which is true, and that his teacher will be mad at him, which is not. It's Monday and he can make up for it any of the remaining days this week. I'm not buying the tear-inducing necessity of "just one page." I'm all for reading, but not as a reward for driving my wife and me crazy.
Eventually he stopped I didn't need to follow up with "this will hurt me more than it will you."
Once, years ago, I caught myself using the threat of a spanking in a horrible juxtaposition that bewildered the tears right out of my son. He was back-talking, and said no when I told him to do something he needed to do. So naturally, I said, "Don't you say no to me. Do you want a spanking?"
So what option did I leave him as a response? Yes? Maybe? It stunned us both into silence.
Now that's it for tonight. No more blogging. Put the laptop down. Do it now. Because I said so.