Sunday, June 01, 2008

Defiance


I always believed, since the kids were babies, that something magical would happen when Ella turned six and Harrison became eight.  It would become so easy to travel, go shopping, get things done around the house - all because I believed that their maturity and independence would allow this.

For the most part this is true.  They can now buckle their own seat belts.  (I cannot tell you the difference that has made in my life.  It's so nice just to get into the driver's seat without crawling across two seats.)  They can reach the toaster to pull out their own bagels.  They can cross the street if they PROMISE to look both ways while I'm watching from the front door.  These are all wonderfully helpful accomplishments, and I get goosebumps from the excitement of knowing that they are actually using toilet paper ON THEIR OWN, but it doesn't make up for the independent thinking that comes with this growth in fine motor skills and height.  

Both kids have become a bit cunning.  Harrison is more direct.  If you tell him that he can't play with his new handheld video game, he'll talk you into letting him play one of the "learning" games.  Never fails, though, that I'll let him play "Brain Age 2" and all of a sudden I'll hear the theme to "Star Wars".  When I call him on it - he just says "sorry".  You know how they say it...automatically and yet with a sing-song quality to it that tries to give it some bit of credibility.  It kills me to know that he has figured out that I can't see through the walls when he's in the other room.

Ella is more passive.  She will whine and pester to get something.  She lulls you into thinking that you are the most wonderful, important person in the world and then BAM! - you've allowed her to talk you into two play dates on the same day, a trip to "Michael's" for MORE craft supplies AND ice cream for dessert even though she's WAY too full and can't possibly finish her chicken.

Put the two together, throw in a public setting and my stress meter goes through the roof.  They giggle and whisper and come up with devious ways to terrorize me with the constant uncertainty that they could embarrass me at any moment.   I have tried deep breathing...I must have pushed that so much with Harrison last year that now he senses when I need to do it and coaxes me into it when we're in a store and they've put their fingerprints on EACH AND EVERY glass showcase in the place.  The breathing works for awhile - as does the valium - but the fear is ever present.  They are getting too smart.  

Damn.

8 comments:

blackbird said...

Their faces are going to stick like that.

Amanda said...

I have two boys, now two and four, and my mantra since the youngest was born has been "FIVE AND SEVEN, FIVE AND SEVEN, FIVE AND SEVEN." I'm glad to hear that life gets (somewhat) easier. I really enjoy reading your blog!
Amanda

Kathy said...

Oh boy...I am so in for it...

Andrea @ Sweet Life said...

My sister and I were 8 and 10 when we strategically let the air out of a whoopie cushion at the EXACT moment the lady at the drive-thru opened the window to talk to my mom. The best part about it? It was hot with no air in the car, and my mom said "oooooooh, that feels so good" as if on cue. It makes me laugh until I cry, even to this day.

I think the whole "embarassment" thing goes on a few more years!

Andrea @ Sweet Life said...

Maybe I should have read that through... let me clarify: she said "oooooh that feels so good" when she felt the air conditioning from the restaurant through the open window. Does that make more sense?

nicolemadison said...

I clicked. :)

jer said...

@ Andrea -

I liked it better w/o the explanation. She was, for a brief moment, the coolest mom in the world (in my eyes.)

Chris said...

Never gets easier, just more complicated. If I had to choose between my 15 year olds stuff and my 4 year olds, I would choose the 4 year olds hands down,