Azul has really been going through a “stage” recently and not a good one, not the worst one, but he has turned into a little monster. Not the typical screaming, angry, mean monster, more like the questioning, conniving, proving you wrong, you won’t like me when I’m angry so don’t even try it kind of monster.
I know parenting and growing up are full of stages; there are the stages in infancy, sleeping through the night (or not), the screaming and changing diapers. Then there are the fun stages, the laughing and cooing, and then the rolling over and becoming mobile. Soon potty training comes around, and talking, and at that point there seems to be a break in all the chaos, life is good! And just when you get into a groove, here come the stereotypical Terrible-twos, which really didn’t hit us until three. No matter when it comes, you’ll know it when it gets there, the new-found independence and willingness to challenge everything you say. And then it passes, and a new unique personality develops just like a beautiful butterfly breaking out of its cocoon.
The one stage I must have pushed deep into the darkest corner of my brain and don’t really remember is one my mom claims I called the F@cking Fours! Again I don’t remember ever saying that, but it’s not beyond me and really, that is the beauty of parenting and why people do it over and over again, we choose not to remember the bad and boast only about the good.
Now, from what I remember four was pretty good and five has been awesome, until now. This has become the stage of self-righteousness, the willingness to create unnecessary friction and the world I tried to create of thinking in shades of gray has turned into a sharp division of black and white. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but it seems to be with everything.
Gone are the carefree days of my son just doing whatever I wanted, now the schedule must be approved by him in advance, and if not followed exactly, then it all falls apart. If I suggest out of the blue, maybe, some frozen yogurt, he responds, “Ugh, I wanted ice cream.” This is when the battles begin and I respond with, “Well, that’s fine, we don’t have to go at all.” And he’ll say, “But, I want to go.” In disbelief I say “Then why are we arguing about this? None of this is necessary. I thought it would be nice to get something sweet.” In a show of defeat he succumbs to my wishes with a sigh and an, “Okay.”
Not every encounter ends as pleasantly as that one and sometimes I yell and we just go home and I end up mad. But you get the point — and none of it needed to happen in the first place. This happens with everything from brushing his teeth to eating dinner to playing a game. And yes I know it’s a stage and yes I know I am super lucky overall, because he is a really good kid, and yes I know he’s five and yes I know he is a whole lot of fun and yes it doesn’t always happen, but sometimes all I want is my sweet mini Bruce Banner back!