Thursday, July 30, 2015

What did you (I) say?

Yesterday evening, James was whining. This is nothing new; we're evidently going through a whiny phase. There's evidence to suggest it's nearly over, though, and during certain times, I'm confident I've handled it pretty well. At least a few times I've said, "James, it's hard for me to listen when you're whining. It hurts my ears and I get really irritated." I'd say that about 50% of the time that has led him off of the whining path. 

However...there are times I haven't handled it so well. At least once or twice, when holding the also whining one-year-old and trying to make dinner and do the dishes at the same time, as he's whining something-or-other, I've said something unkind. I'm generally pretty good about catching it quickly and apologizing, sincerely, for losing my temper. Sometimes, though, it's mere irritation that prompts a less-than-kosher comment from me. Sometimes the annoyance has simply snowballed into idiocy.

I've been pretty good, though, because lately, all I've had to do is look at him when that nasally, high-pitched screech creeps into the first syllable of a word, and he stops, rephrases, and uses the word "please."

Yesterday was not one of those times. Neither of us was on our best behavior. It was the end of the day, Violet is teething or grumpy about something, and Warren's been stressed at work.I think it's fair to say that James and I, in our own different ways, were both fried. I knew he needed some "Mom time" and Warren had Violet (who was screaming in his lap, over-tired) so the time was ripe. I, however, had fifty different things in thirty seconds that I needed to do before settling down to focus on James.

Never mind the other forty-nine things - thirty seconds for me to pee was just too much for him to bear. The sharp, off-key crescendo began: "Mooooommmmm, I want you to play noooooowwwww...."

I was over-tired and cranky. (Why wasn't Warren holding me while I screamed, huh?!) I snapped, "Stop, James! Just freaking stop already."

He glared at me. Then, he opened his mouth, and, shockingly, my voice came out. How did that happen?! James said, pretty calmly but with clear annoyance in his voice, "Geez, don't be a jerk, Mom."

I had to bite my lip to keep from giggling, and I'm pretty sure I heard Warren snort in the living room. What was I supposed to do? Yell at him for turning into annoyed me? I said, "Okay, fair point, James. But you're being a jerk, too. So maybe we can both stop being jerks, together, and spend some time together."

He nodded seriously. "Okay, Mom. Go pee."

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