I feel like I need to preface this post by stating affirmatively that I love The Beast wholly and completely. He is one-half of my world. (Right now Virginia Slims Man is doing the math and he is pissed.) I cannot imagine The Beast not being my son and I would not trade him for another child, even if that child were as good as The Good One. There are moments, when The Beast is sleeping or unconscious from the “special purple juice,” that he is truly angelic*. I will watch him sleep and my heart is both ready to bust out of my chest and break by how much I love him.
And then he wakes up and I want to rip my head off of my shoulders and throw it at him.
When the hell is it going to get easier?
Who was it that said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? You Google it. I don’t feel like it.
Well, put me in a straightjacket and set up the DVR in my padded room in the looney bin because every Saturday morning I pack up a bag of “fun” and take it with me to The Good One’s soccer game, and every Saturday I’m hopeful that The Beast is suddenly going to morph into an easy child who lets me enjoy things, and every Saturday I’m surprised all over again that The Beast has managed to turn me into a stark raving lunatic once more.
You see, Virginia Slims Man is assistant coaching this year and isn’t able to tag-team with me as we did in years past, so now it’s entirely up to me to control the Beast for one hour in the wide-open spaces of the soccer park. I swear it makes me want to divorce him.
At last Saturday’s game, I made the mistake of not putting The Beast in a stroller (which is still not a guaranteed containment device as he can squirm out of the seat belt and harness) and the minute I let go of his hand, he ran out onto the soccer field in the middle of the game, and like the maniac lunatic insane woman that I am, I went screaming and chasing after him.
Beast: (Runs onto the soccer field screaming in delight.)
Me: (Run onto the soccer field screaming in anger.) Beast, you get back here right this second!
Beast: (Devilish laugh. Runs faster.)
Me: BEAST, I SAID GET BACK HERE!
Really, it was just a spectacular display of how little control I have over my child.
The ref blew the whistle and stopped the game so that The Beast didn’t get kicked in the head with a cleat, and I had the joy of knowing that I my child brought a game of soccer to a complete halt.
The tears in my eyes? Pride.
So this Saturday morning, I put the stroller in the van and then I completed my weekly exercise in futility and I filled a backpack with crayons and coloring books, snacks and a five-pound bag of sugar. I figured, why mess with unwrapping Smarties when I can just feed him sugar right out of the bag?
I also added an iPod Touch to the backpack so that The Beast could watch some T.V. shows or movies. Genius, I know. What child can resist the opportunity to enjoy a new show whilst sitting calmly in a stroller eating sugar by the spoonful?
So I gleefully rolled The Beast in the stroller up to the field and he instantly started squirming to get out. I first offered him a lollipop. He sucked on that for a bit and then wanted something new. I threw a granola bar at him. That was as good as health food and he exhibited his displeasure by throwing the granola bar as far as he could. Then I offered him Smarties. He loves Smarties.
I knew that the sugar was just going to make him more hyper within a short time, but for the four minutes that The Beast was eating packages of tooth decay and licking sticks of diabetes, I was able to just watch soccer.
And as I shoved this junk food at The Beast, I looked around and everywhere I looked there were toddlers playing quietly near their mothers. Some were sitting in chairs watching the game. Some were playing with other children, and when their mothers said, “Johnny, don’t go too far!” Johnny would say, “Yes, ma’am” and I’d think to myself, “How in the name of all that is holy does she get him to listen?” and then I’d remember that The Good One used to listen to me and it’s just genetic and has nothing to do with good parenting.
So right now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “My children listen because I’m an awesome, consistent parent,” you are actually just a sanctimonious twit who hasn’t yet had the boomerang of parental judgment turn its ugly ass around and smack you in the head.
It’ll come. I promise.
If you don’t have kids yet, I highly suggest that you never think to yourself nor say aloud that your children will “never behave that way,” because there is a special place in parenting hell for you.
I’m walking proof of that.
Anyway, it occurred to me that if I let The Beast run untethered around the soccer park, he would disappear to play under a car or in a drainage ditch. He would find a rock and throw it at a car window. And he won’t throw it at a beat-up Chevy with no mirrors. He’ll throw it at the Lexus SUV with the vanity plate that says “RchBich” or “AwsmMom” or “MyKidsListenToMeBecauseIRock.” And if the window didn’t break the first time, he’d throw another bigger rock at it.
Back to the Beast: He was enjoying his plastic-wrapped, dye-filled sugar, but four packs of Smarties will only buy me a few minutes of soccer-watching, so I got his next insulin jacker-upper out of the bag and shoved that at him. He wanted nothing to do with it.
I tried to give him the iPod Touch to watch a movie and he wanted nothing to do with that. I showed him that I had downloaded a new Dora the Explorer for him to watch, and he let me know that unless Dora herself showed up to explore the park with him, he wanted nothing to do with her either.
The Beast had decided he was quite done with the stroller, thankyouverymuch. He started screaming and rocking the stroller trying to topple it over. I know that this was likely a byproduct of being on a sugar high, but those Smarties enabled me to watch a few minutes of The Good One’s game. If I hadn’t given him the Smarties, the stroller would have lasted 12 seconds.
The Beast’s screaming and hysterics drew the attention of all the people, and every one of them (small exaggeration) started looking at us and judging us. I wanted to kick all of the men in the nuts and the women in whatever I could kick them in that would hurt as much as possible (not even a little exaggeration).
So I packed up all of my stuff and rolled The Beast back to the van, and we sat in there and watched Monster’s, Inc. for the next 45 minutes. He’ll watch T.V. in the van but will not watch it on an iPod. The child is an enigma. And maybe he also has multiple personalities. I haven’t decided yet.
So I got to see about six minutes of The Good One’s soccer game, and honestly, that’s probably the most I’ve been able to see all season long.
So my question is this: Why do I even bother? I want The Good One to know I’m there supporting him, but I spend the entire game either chasing The Beast through the forest nearby or desperately trying to keep him calm so that no one kicks us out of the park for being chaotic.
I’m so very tired of it. I’m tired of the mental exhaustion I feel every time we go anywhere.
We visited my father-in-law at his house yesterday, and I spent the entire morning trying to keep The Beast from jumping over the edge of my father-in-law’s unrailed deck, from throwing large rocks into my father-in-law’s water fountain, from walking through all of my father-in-law’s flower beds and from throwing random items over the loft railing into my father-in-law’s kitchen below.
I was successful at exactly none of it.
When do I just give up and say, “Honey, I realize you want to go visit your dad and that’s fine, but I’m staying home because I do not enjoy visiting even a little bit because I spend the entire time trying to control The Beast and it makes me even more psychotic than usual”?
Or do I just suck it up and follow through with the appearance of politeness even though it makes me miserable? Do I continue to go to The Good One’s soccer games and never actually watch the game? Or do I just explain to The Good One that I just can’t tolerate taking The Beast anymore and will only be able to attend if I get a babysitter?
I’m genuinely, sincerely asking for advice from any of you with wisdom. Or even any of you without wisdom. I’ll take your crappy advice and consider it just the same.
I’m that desperate.
If none of you has any suggestions, my only other option is going to be to sever my head from my neck and throw the bloody, sinewy mess at The Beast and scare the living hell out of him.
That feels like a prayer.
*Note: I do not drug my child with medicine just to knock him out. He has had Benadryl two times in his life; once after stepping in a nest of fire ants and having over 100 bites on his feet and once after being attacked by what I believe were mosquitoes. (He didn’t cry or complain either time.) Those two days were the most relaxed days of my life.