Mornings in my house suck donkey omelets.
Am I using that right? I’m assuming “omelet” is a slang term for testicle, but if it actually refers to an egg dish with minced donkey, well, my mornings suck that too.
Lately, the Beast has been waking up several times throughout the night to beckon either me or Virginia Slims Man to his room to reaffirm that in the morning he will get to eat cereal.
After being reassured that we are not going to starve him, he goes back to sleep.
At 6:30 he wakes up screaming, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, I need you, I need you, I need you, mom, mom, mom, I need you, I need you, I need you!”
So I go running to his room where he’s sitting up in his bed, rubbing his eyes, looking generally adorable and cherubic, and then he says, “Mom, I’m awake. Can I eat cereal now?”
“Yes, honey, let’s go get cereal.”
So I carry him to the pantry where he selects a cereal. Usually it’s Rice Krispies or Cheerios, because I’m one of THOSE moms.
I then place him in his chair at the counter, pull a bowl from the cupboard and pour him a bowl of cereal. Then I ask, “Do you want milk in your cereal?” because if I assume that he wants it and he doesn’t want it, well, then, I brought the fury of Hell upon myself.
This morning he wanted milk in his cereal, so I poured the milk and then pulled a spoon from the drawer and placed it into the bowl of cereal. And with that very simple, mundane, inconsequential movement of placing a spoon into a bowl, Satan unleashed his army of demons to quickly descend upon my kitchen.
The Beast, who is quite obviously obsessed with control, flipped out because I placed the spoon into the bowl when he wanted to do it.
We had this conversation:
The Beast: I WANTED TO PUT THE SPOON IN THE BOWL!!!
Me: Well, take the spoon out of the bowl and then put it back in.
The Beast: BUT YOU DID IT FIRST!
Me: Beast, it really doesn’t matter who puts the spoon into the bowl. Just take it out and put it back in again, then it’ll be like you did it yourself.
This did not sit well with The Beast, so he started in with the screaming of random things that I’ve likely screamed at him that make no sense whatsoever in this moment, but he knows they’re things that I yell in anger and frustration.
“I SAID NO!” “LOOK AT ME!” “LOOK IN MY EYES!” “I’M GETTING VERY UPSET!” “YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO; I TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!” “I SAID LOOK AT ME!” “I WAN’T DADDY!!”
That last one is all him, but in the heat of an angry moment I have cried out to my mother and Jesus…and Cabernet-Sauvignonidite, The Goddess of Wine and Stay-At-Home Moms.
Now, the argument and the yelling isn’t always about the placement of a spoon, but there is always arguing in the morning. And that’s usually when I start fantasizing about the wine I’m going to have in the evening. Or in 30 minutes when The Beast and The Good One leave for school and VSM leaves for work.
Shut up. Don’t judge me.
Now, you may be thinking that I should beat the ever-loving tar out of The Beast for screaming that way. At the very least I should scream and my head should spin and I should vomit on the walls in anger, but I’ve done that before (minus the vomit), and it only makes things worse.
So I gently pick up The Beast and walk him to the timeout corner. I explain to him that I can’t talk to him when he’s screaming at me, and within a minute he’s calmed down enough to say, “Mom, my cereal is going to get foggy.” He means soggy, but he’s an idiot.
I remove him from the timeout corner and he climbs back into his chair.
But the donkey-omelet-sucking part of my morning isn’t even close to being over, because now I’ve got to get The Beast to actually consume food. He usually just sits there and talks and talks and complains because he actually wanted two separate bowls, one with Rice Krispies and one with Cheerios, and a piece of peanut butter toast.
I’m no nimrod. It only took me a week of feeding my still-not-dead dog two bowls of cereal and a piece of peanut butter toast every morning to stop giving The Beast that much food.
So I spend the next 15 minutes telling The Beast that he’s going to run out of time to eat, and he responds by not eating. After he runs out of time, he gets down from the counter and then the battle to get dressed for school starts.
He screams about not wanting to wear two shirts when it’s cold outside. When I pick him up from school on those days that I force him to wear two shirts, he’ll have removed one of the shirts just to remind me that the minute he’s out of my sight, I no longer control him.
He’ll argue about wanting to brush his own hair, which would be fine if I didn’t have to wet it down in the morning because it looks like a nest of beavers have taken up camp in his hair overnight.
The Beast has gotten infinitely better at controlling himself during the day (except for the time he threw a temper tantrum because of the location of an M&M in his cookie), but the mornings are killing me and I’m burnt out.
So my question is this: How do I stop this horrible episode of Groundhog Day meets Chucky? Is The Beast not sick of the screaming and yelling? Is he just too tired to control his morning anger? Does he not want the breakfast demons to go back from whence they came?
If you have a strong-willed child and you’ve found something that works, I’d love to hear about it. Because if I have one more argument about the level of Cheerios in the bowl, who inserts the spoon into the bowl, the volume of milk in the bowl or my decision to provide The Beast with a cup of milk when he didn’t request it, I’m probably going to shove a donkey omelet down his gullet and then walk in front of a bus and pray for Cabernet-Sauvignonidite to take me home.
P.S. This post has a lot of flip-flopping of tense. If you know what I’m talking about, just ignore it and accept the fact that I did not care enough to go back through and correct the tense changes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are evidence of our failing educational system.