J was in rare form last night and this morning. I know being spirited means he really does feel things more intensely than other kids, but OMG, the drama. I picked him up from school. He asked if I brought a snack - well, no, but we're five minutes from home. Aaaaaand the wailing commenced. "I wanted a SNAAAAACK! I'm HUNGRY! I never get any snacks to eat in the caaaaaar!" He gave that up about halfway home, and when we got home, I gave him some peanut butter crackers while I fixed dinner (pizza bagels for him, which take all of about five minutes). He sucked those down and asked for more just as I was putting the pizza bagels in the oven (meaning, they needed to toast under the broiler for just a couple of minutes, and then they'd be done). I told him no, no more snacks right then, that dinner would be ready in just a couple of minutes. And more wailing about how he was STARVING, he never got anything to EAT, and on and on.
This morning: We woke up, not quite late but not as early as I'd hoped. I told him to go brush his teeth. Screaming and "I don't know HOW to brush my teeth!" Lisa goes and bangs her head against the nearest wall. He certainly does know how to brush his teeth - I love how, if he doesn't *want* to do something, he suddenly doesn't know *how* to do it. So we're working on getting teeth brushed when he starts screaming again. What?! Why are you screaming like your hair is on fire? He tells me his arm hurts. I don't see a mark on it, he seems to be able to move it OK and wiggle his fingers and everything, and I tell him he probably just slept on it funny, that the soreness will work out after he's been up and moving for a while. I gave him a dose of Motrin just to be on the safe side, but I didn't see a thing wrong with his arm. But he screamed like it was broken in three different places or something.
And trying to get out the door makes me nuts. How do you get your child to grasp the concept that when it's time to get ready and go to school, we don't worry about things like putting the feet back on our Bionicle that's going to be at home all day anyway. I told him we needed to get out the door, that we were close to being late and it was time to go right then, and he starts howling because I won't take the time to fix his Bionicle that he's just dismantled. *bang head, bang head, bang head, wish for Kahlua in morning coffee* I was worn out before we ever got out the door.
And we're still struggling with the concept of the reindeer store (the store they're having at school to give the kids a chance to buy presents for their family members). We've had this conversation more than once. He keeps insisting we need to buy presents for him there, that no one gets him any presents. I'm trying to explain to him that he buys presents for others there, and we buy for him (me, Daddy, Brian, the horde of grandparents, etc.), and no one knows what they got from anyone else UNTIL CHRISTMAS, because we don't open our presents UNTIL CHRISTMAS. This is all going over like a ton of bricks with the boy who thinks all the presents should be for him, right this minute. *wish for Kahlua AND Bailey's in morning coffee* I sent him with a budget and instructions to buy for parents today. The reindeer store is open late tonight, so I told him we'd take care of grandparents this evening, together. I can only imagine what he'd do if I tried to send him with enough money to buy that many gifts - come home with things for himself, I'm sure.
It just makes me tired that everything seems to call for a big dramatic production. (I'm a Gemini, I don't do drama so well.) I can understand disappointment - it's fine to be disappointed over something and to express that disappointment. It's understandable that sometimes you're so disappointed, you cry. But having to have the same conversation over and over again, and having every disappointment, big or small, expressed in the form of tears and screaming, that just wears me right out. I love my son dearly, I just wish I could help him figure out some way other than the meltdown to get those feelings out. I think I'm spirited, too, which is part of the problem - we both want things how we want them, when we want them, and depending on the circumstance, one of us isn't going to have that happen. That's when he gets weepy and I get impatient, and then all heck breaks loose. Maybe I need to learn to step back and do a better job of staying cool - I'm the parent, after all.