Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How Do I Stop My Transformation?

Recently my 2 year old son has been taking a mouth full of whatever he is drinking and letting it run out of his mouth. This has been a HUGE problem and mess. So I decided to let him explore this and told him he could do it in the bathtub and his swimming pool when it was warmer. Wanting to keep my promise I took him to spit out water in the bath tub after lunch today… He was thrilled!

But then, like many of my plans to do something nice for him or to teach him something, it turned bad. He quickly went from being overjoyed to being outraged at me for not letting him turn on the faucet in the tub. He had a full-on melt down and there was little I could have done to prevent it (you have to know him). He wants to have things his way 100% of the time, He is stubborn, willful, strong as a baby OX, and he is not likely to give me a break or relax on ANY issue. It is very tiring to try so hard to please someone only to have them act like you are a monster.

Also this day, my wife had left a pie pad full of bird seed out on our deck table. He reached for it and I asked him to STOP! but he ignored me and poured it out onto our deck as I repeated the stop command 2-3 more times. I calmed myself and spent 30 minuets teaching him that the seed was for the birds and getting him to help me sweep up what we could so that the birds would have something to eat. He really seemed to "Get it" and seemed concerned for the birdies. I thought I had scored a big "daddy win".

Thirty minutes later he rushed over to the pie pan again and spilled it out before I could stop him then just acted like he could not hear me when I tried to talk to him about it and charged into the house with muddy boots making me leap up from my "gentle (down at his level) teaching guru position" and grab his arm like the "angry dad" I have never wanted to be.

Did I mention that he makes me tired and often frustrates my best efforts to be a "cool dad".

He also defeated the play yard keeping him out of my work area forcing me to consider moving my office behind closed (and locked) doors and making it so I can't work while I am with the rest of the family now. He had the run of the whole downstairs and I had just fenced off a small area… but thats not good enough, he has to have access to everything or he will hurt himself trying to get to it. This will also mean that I will have less time to work and will need to stay up later at night to keep my clients happy.

In addition to that, defeated a fence that I built to prevent him from crawling under our deck through a hole a tree and bush grow out of. He just kicked it apart ignoring me while I was asking him to stop. (it only took seconds) I now need a more sturdy solution, which is crazy because he will only be in danger of getting "stuck" under there for the next 6 months to a year. I think I may just toss some sand bags in the hole or something.

I think he is changing me. I am now a protector in a world that doesn't really respect protectors. A man forced to "set rules" for a lovable and irrepressible Dennis the menace. A squasher of freedom and joy. The "MAN", The foil of 75% of all sit-coms, a curmudgeon, an increasingly stoic pillar of authority, an out of touch fool to be gradually more and more despised over time... in a word, Father.