When Gabriel and I got off the bus by our house this afternoon, he didn't want to walk home. He wanted me to carry him. The child is 2 1/2. He's heavy and he knows how to walk. I had his backpack and my purse. Then he did one of those child-fit collapsy moves in the middle of the crosswalk. So I pulled that parent-marches-obstinate-child-by-hand-so-that-child-must-run/drag-to-keep-up whilst he yelped and hollered and I scolded in low, mean tones. Once we got through the gate of our complex and he could no longer dart into traffic, I let go of his hand and told him he had to walk.
"Fine. Stay here."
"I'm checking the mail."
I check the mail, about 25 yards from Gabriel, who is squawking like a very angry little baby dinosaur, and then I call for him to come with me into the house. Squawking continues. I walk over to him.
"You left me! You left me here! You left me all alone!"
"No I didn't. C'mon we need to get inside."
"No! You're bad! I'm bad! I want to be bad!"
So I picked him up and took him to my front door, and I told him that if he wanted to stay outside he could, so long as he stayed on the walk in front of our door. He recovered. So did I. He played. Then we had to go to the store. And Gabriel insisted on climbing into his carseat and buckling it himself, even though it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for him to buckle it by himself. And he won't let me do it. But he's all frustrated because he CAN'T do it. And there was some more crying in there. I was already worn thin by the walk home you see. Then I apologized for being impatient with him, and he spent the whole drive to the store reprimanding me for being impatient with him. In a friendly conversational way. And we got to the store, where I had some things that Gabey needed (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap), and I let him pick them out, because then they seemed like marvelous treats! And how kind am I, for buying them? So very kind. Back at the car, Gabriel wants to hold all of these things.
"You can hold one thing."
"Both!" (Gabriel uses 'both' to mean 'all')
And then he hauls off and hits me in the face.
Which is not okay. So he can hold zero things.
He spends the whole drive back home screaming, "Not zero, I'll hold one, one's okay, not zero!" I just want him to apologize for hitting me, because, really, I want him to have his way, but he just keeps saying, "I'm not bad! I'm not sorry! I hit you again!" So, um, no, he gets zero things.
When we get home I'm willing to call truce again. We have dinner, he's holding his new things. We look at his book order form together to see if he wants anything. He wants the "How Do Dinosaurs" pocket library. I'm on the phone with my sister when he starts driving me totally nutso climbing on me and sticking his hands in my shirt and freaking out. I get off the phone, take both of his hands, get down on his level, and tell him he needs to calm down and use his words. When he spits in my face. Which earns him a timeout. While I'm putting him in timeout, he hits me again. I give myself a timeout.
Finally, it's time for bed/routine/etc. I need a shower. Gabriel do you want a shower? No I'm playing. Okay, so I'm in the shower when Gabriel comes in screaming and yelling and whatnot. He wants his Baby Signs movie (which he still totally loves even though he's owned it and been watching it for like two years and he's pretty much not the target audience at all).
"I'm in the shower."
"I WANT MY BABY! SIGNS! MOVIE!"
"I will not get out of the shower to put a movie on for you. This is my time. You can get in the shower and get clean if you want, but otherwise you need to leave the room."
"BABY! SIGNS! MOVIE! GET! OUT! OF! THE SHOWER!"
Okay so I count to three, he hasn't stopped his screaming, I get out of the shower DRIPPING WET AND NAKED, march him out of the bathroom and lock the door. I finish my shower (quickly mind you because my stress levels and heartbeat are all up from the screaming on the other side of the bathroom door), and when I open the door HE'S naked, with his back against the door, weeping. So I get dressed and we have a snuggle minute and I tell him that when I'm in the shower that's my time and he needs to give me my space and not scream, etc., and we get jamas on, and I put on his movie, and he's asleep in five minutes.
I know that this is because he started new school this week, and because at New School he's not QUITE used to it so he's not napping quite as well, and he has to wake up a little earlier to have breakfast at home, and he's still meeting people and adjusting, and blah blah blah logical reasons and also sometimes? He just has bad days and that's okay because sometimes? I just have bad days too.
That was exhausting.