My children are amazing. I love watching them develop into kind, funny, smart, loving, creative humans. And I love how brave they are. My son climbs to the top of every jungle gym he's ever seen. My daughter rolls up her own sleeve before vaccinations. But then there are times my children are extremely brave and... I'm less enthusiastic. Because this is when they're brave in the face of my wrath which, rest assured, is mighty.
And, I get it: Kids don't grasp all of the social niceties that are ingrained in a lot of adults. They also are naturally inclined to test boundaries and are developmentally incapable of really thinking too far beyond themselves until around seven or so. But sometimes? Sometimes? That developmentally appropriate egocentrism is really, really bothersome and I freakin' can't, you guys.
The trick, I've found, is to realize that even though these slights can feel extremely personal (especially after a long day/week/month/decade of parenting), they're really not. Take a step back, take a breath, find the humor in how patently ridiculous your child is being and try not to take it to heart. The fact that they're being a brazen brat (or, in the case of infants, seemingly possessed) is not a reflection on you or even, really, who they will be as fully formed adults. Sometimes kids are just thoughtless. Or jerks. Or thoughtless jerks. It's a phase and, when handled correctly, one they can grow out of.
Here are some of the times my children have made me wonder if we're ever going to get to that stage because, holy crap, I'm going to eat them.
1. When They Poop On A Fresh Diaper You Just Put Under Their Butt
Classic newborn move. You smell poops. You wait for there to be more poops. You go ahead and prepare all the diapering supplies to change the poops... and then the baby poops again as soon as there's a clean diaper beneath them. I can only imagine how much worse this is for moms who cloth diaper. Not that wasting a disposable isn't painful, personally, financially, or environmentally, but I would be so annoyed to have to wash a diaper for, essentially, a shart.
2. When They Cry To Breastfeed And Then Keep Popping Off Your Nipple
They pitch a fit, they shatter your heart with their pitiful, hungry cries, and then they spend the entire time nursing... basically not nursing. They're distracted. They're uninterested. They keep popping off your boob and, in the process, biting the hell out of your nips. But if you take them off they start crying again. It's the baby equivalent of you changing the channel after your partner falls asleep only for them to immediately wake up and insist they were "watching that."
3. When They Immediately Stop Crying For Someone Else
"I don't know what's wrong with her! Nothing is working! I've tried feeding her, changing her, putting her down for a nap. I've tried singing to her and giving her her favorite lovey and setting her down to play and giving her a bath and nothing is working!"
*other person takes her*
*baby instantly begins cooing*
"... ... ... you know what, f*ck you, too, baby."
4. When They Complain That Their Food Is Broken
How. Does. Food. Break. Tho?
Food is food. Your graham cracker doesn't stop being food because its edges are slightly irregular. I'm sorry there was a tiny thread of membrane left on your clementine. Just take it off. And no, your sandwich isn't "broken;" I cut it in half. On purpose. So you can hold it without dropping it all over yourself.
5. When They Take One Bite Of An Apple And Ask For Another One
"Eat the rest of the apple you have."
"No you're not, you still have an entire apple left."
"That part is yucky."
"What do you mean "that part"? It's an apple. It's all one part. Eat the damn thing."
6. When They Actually Wait For You To Count To Three
Guys, I haven't gotten to three in years, but when my kids were younger and they did... well... there's a reason they haven't tried me again in a while.
7. When They Touch What You've Told Them To Stop Touching ONE MORE TIME
My son is famous for this. He just needs, for primordial reasons I cannot for the life of me understand, to get one more little poke or or gentle grazing of the fingers in there. I don't know if it's some sort of compulsion or if he's testing boundaries or both, but there is nothing that will make me fly into a rage more quickly than this move.
8. When You Spend Money For Them To Have A Nice Experience And They Refuse To Do It
This can be anything from an extracurricular activity to a fun family outing to, say, an amusement park. They'll be all gung-ho about it but when they're actually there and the time has come to enjoy themselves they pitch a fit. And you know, deep in your heart, that kids are unusual creatures and things too outside of their routine may be hard for them to really engage in right away... but then, deeper in your heart, you know you pay $300 a semester for gymnastics and they sit on the mat pouting every class.
9. When They Don't Finish Their Meal Then Say They're "Starving" And Ask For A Snack
Ummm... are you really just acting like I didn't just put out an entire dinner for you? Are you pretending I wasn't there and saw you shun your meal because you "weren't hungry?" Who exactly do you think you are? And whom do you think you are dealing with? TFOH.
10. When They Say You Never Do Anything For Them
*blink blink blink* Why don't we discuss that on our way to gymnastics...?
11.When They Can't Decide If They Want In Or Out Of The Stroller
Uuuuugh. I hate this so much. I feel like this is more and more common as they begin to age out of the stroller. It's annoying when they're little, but it's even more annoying when they are old enough to get out themselves and they try climbing out when you're moving without telling you and then they trip and you run them over and you feel like crap and they make you feel like crap and even though you're like "This is not on me! You need to make your intentions known, child!"
12. When They Actually Take *That Long* To Do Anything After You've Told Them To Hurry Up
Fun fact: it takes approximately 1.7 seconds after my back is turned for my kids to fall or break something, but 47 years for them to get out of the car. And it's not like I drive a mini-van, where they need to climb out from the back seat or anything. It's a four-door sedan, people. The door is right there but for some reason it's like they're finding their way back from Narnia or something. And it's not just getting out of the car. It's getting into the car. Or getting ready to go to the car. Or literally anything that it actually takes five seconds to do.
13. When They Tell You You're Not Doing Something Fast Enough
Oh. Oh you did not. You did not Miss/Mister "It takes me 27 hours to put my shoes on."
14. When They Outgrow Clothing Just Before The End Of The Season
Look, I know they have no control over this and it's not something they do either subconsciously or maliciously... but are you friggen kiddding me? You couldn't make these pants last, like, another six weeks?! Because by then the season will have changed and you'll need new clothes for that kind of weather. Are you really trying to tell me that you need new jeans on April 3 when we all know that come May 15 you're going to be in shorts and by the time October rolls around you're not going to fit in the jeans I'm going to have to buy you on April 3? This is bullsh*t. BULLSH*T!
15. When They Act "Like That" In Public
Because I know the woman who raised you, and we both know she does not tolerate this...