Gabriel has been positively rotten for the past couple weeks.
As soon as I type that, I need to clarify. He's been having good days at school, hasn't been torturing my mom or sister (primary after school caregivers), has been generally getting along with the other kids, has been eating.
Those are the typical problems. Getting in trouble for talking out in class, fighting with his cousins (sometimes at school! for bonus double problems!), refusing to eat, fighting with my mom (usually about fighting with cousins! or refusing to eat!).
Anyhow, none of that is going on.
Which is good!
So, so good.
Thank you lord jesus for the thing where my kid doesn't have to be the school behavior problem.
Also, he's been eating! At his 8 year checkup I learned that buttering everything that might touch his lips, and constant hounding about YOU HAVE TO HAVE BREAKFAST EAT ONE MORE BITE has clawed him into the 40th percentile for weight (and 80th for height, if you were wondering). Three years ago? He was in the 80th for height (he's pretty solidly 80th for height) and the SEVENTH for weight. So we're making some real progress with my odd bird bones child. I almost don't fret about him tossing his entire lunch and going for an entire day on hunger strike.
Gabriel has been rotten.
He's good, good, good, and then I get home, or it's the weekend, and he's just this nasty tantrum monster. Yelling and flinging things about and every night has been ending with him in trouble and me frayed to my very ends.
I don't want to get you in trouble.
Please just don't talk to me that way.
Why are you talking to me that way?
Please, Gabriel, just stop being nasty.
We've had an array of consequences that I don't ESPECIALLY want to enforce because I actually like doing fun things with my child but there you are making the threat and boom, follow through, etc.
I feel like I've been in a permanent state of Enforcing Consequences.
I don't feel like I'm cut out for it.
Last night was especially bad.
It ended with me locked in my bathroom, locked in my bedroom, Gabriel pounding on my bedroom door alternating between demands to be let in and commands to stay in there and never come out.
Finally I DID come out, to march him to bed and WHY CAN'T YOU JUST STOP I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS I JUST CAN'T YOU CAN'T TALK THIS WAY TO ME and then weeping and asking in his small voice if he could have a hug with me so keyed up and furious and frustrated that I could barely say yes even though OF COURSE you can have a hug.
This morning was going more or less okay. He sassed briefly because I refused to go on a hunt for the SPECIFIC pair of socks he wanted to wear, because no. Then I handed him breakfast (warm buttered tortilla, per his request), and in his nastiest, most rotten voice, "I WANTED CRISPIX MOM."
It's like having a human viper hissing at you in your dining room.
I burst into tears.
I wasn't exactly expecting to cry. I'm not a crier.
Gabriel obviously wasn't expecting me to cry. He ate his breakfast without another peep.
I'm hoping this phase passes soon.
I am not equipped.