Opposites Attract (except when they’re driving parents up the wall)

Night and Day

Destroy may physically be a carbon copy of his father, but lately it appears my genes have been making an appearance.

Tantrums abound. And I may have been a wee bit difficult (and/or incoherently irrational) as a small (midsize and large) child.

I was warned that 3-years-old was a “difficult” age. The boys are definitely starting to assert their independence more. And as we barrel through the final months of the “terrible twos,” they currently know no boundaries when it comes to sharing their opinions.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Or Dear Destroy and My Almost-3-Year-Old. My sweet little boy, typically the gregarious life of the party, transforms into a raging indecisive maniac.

DD: Mommy I need Kix and Cheerios! (I hand a small cup to the little one.)
MA3YO: Nooo…I don’t want Kix. (Flings cup to floor – delighting the dogs.)
DD: I need Kix and Cheerios in the green cup. (Runs and brings me pink cup to replace.)
MA3YO: AHHHHHNOOOOOOOO! (Thows self to floor, sending cereal flying.)

Crocodile tears stream down his chubby little cheeks as his hysteria escalates. Nothing can console him.

Offer him a waffle? He’ll bounce with excitement until the toaster pops. Hand it to him and he’s suddenly the master of Frisbee.

Outdoor entertainment involves the little man shooting baskets while wailing that he doesn’t want to play and near-mortal worry over where his foam sphere is after he’s hurled it away. One manic moment later and homeboy is toddling with glee. For at least three steps. Before the next meltdown.

Read a book? Yes! With the ever-adorable toddler run, he’ll grab “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” and settle excitedly into my lap before ripping pages from the book and hurling the bindings to the floor in a blind rage.

Offering a Disney Jr. show as a last ditch effort? He’ll request Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Until you turn it on. At which time a muppet meltdown will ensue with cries for Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

I’ve offered apple juice – a special juice box treat rarely proffered in our house – which was promptly squirted on the floor via the contraband straw as Destroy pushed his plate toward the table and fell out of his seat.

By this point the normally snuggly cuddle bug was writhing on the floor, possessed and/or transfixed by the demons of what he wants/doesn’t want.

Meanwhile, as Destroy refused his dinner plate – shoving it across the table – while screaming that he’s hungry, Search had polished off his portion of the evening’s grilled salmon and chowed down on mine. He consumed two cups of broccoli and, while I attempted to let Destroy exhaust himself, was hoovering up his third cup of rice and peas.


I looked at my son, dramatic as his mother, and currently clearly compelled by the power of Christ.

“I am not having this argument until you eat a cheese stick,” I demanded of the flailing puddle of tears and snot on the rug.

I won’t lie. The thought of taking him by surprise by a stream of the half-squirted box of juice crossed my mind.

It was Jon’s brilliant idea to distract him with a marshmallow. Puffy sticky sugar. Perfect.

Two Staypuffs and a bag of Teddy Grahams later, Destroy returned.

For now...

For now…


Filed under Destroy, Home, Seriously?

6 Responses to Opposites Attract (except when they’re driving parents up the wall)

  1. My son at 3 is just plain defiant. He wants to see where the boundaries are. My daughter, three in June… The most minute thing goes wrong, and hysterics ensue. Academy material.

  2. Joanne Hamann

    WOw – this is one of those posts that I’m tired just reading it!

  3. Man do I remember those days. You write them so exactly how they are. Hang on sister. You do such a great job.

  4. Steph

    I wonder if Paul thinks the same of me when I’m hungry…

  5. What Duffy didn’t mention that “anything goes wrong,” like hand her a “wrong” sippy cup and you get a full-blown tantrum. Seriously, we deliver milk first thing in the morning. I, apparently, put the Mickey cup lid on the Princess cup (and vice versa). You’d have thought I was approaching her eye with a hot poker.

    This is at, like 4:30 in the morning, normal people can barely see, nevermind color-coordinate.

  6. Laurie

    Hang in there. It DOES get better. My twins turn 8 next monday and despite them both being ADHD kids, they are a lot of fun now! (and were even much better at 4 than 3 I promise!)

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