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tyrant, child, stubborn, disciplining an obstinant child

Help My Child’s a Tyrant

by Deborah Cruz

My daughter has metamorphosed from a sweet, loving child into a tyrant who rules with a iron fist and a sadistic sense of humor. It feels as if she’s made it her mission to frustrate me to the point of submission. I have to admit, she’s getting close this morning.

I was all set to write my post about this upcoming year…my resolutions. I have them plenty, only mine aren’t resolutions they are revolutions. Nope, no empty threats, just promises to myself to do and be better. I had it all worked out in my mind only I can’t write that post today because I’m laying here on my bed contemplating the meaning of it all. This, my friends, is what happens when you are taken emotionally hostage by a tiny tyrant whom you happen to love unconditionally.

Look, I’ve never been the mom who could say, suck it up and rub some dirt on it and move on. I’m the mom who gasps and kisses booboos, even when it’s not my kid who got hurt. My mommy heart is just too damn big for my own good. My daughters know this.

Sure, I come off like a cold-hearted twat sometimes but I’m not. Not even a little bit, especially when it comes to little people. That’s my soft spot and when they are my own, well, that’s my fucking kryptonite and they know that.

This morning, my littlest one made it her mission to do my head in. There is no other possible explanation for it. You see, my eldest has entered the tween years and is emotional, hormonal and has perfected the eye roll to my dismay. I expect this and I have developed a tolerance as to not lose my mind. We’ve been having long discussions about hormones and puberty and why it’s necessary to wash your face every single day, especially since your dad suffered from acne. She half gets the message. All I can do is offer advice, give her a facial cleaning system and be there, astringent in hand, when the shit hits the fan.

However, when the 8-year-old gets a full on, honest to God pimple on her chin and literally freaks the fuck out, I have no idea what to do. I tried rationale but let’s be honest, you can’t be rational with an 8-year-old with a white head about to burst. She worked herself into such a tizzy that yesterday, I kept her home because she had diarrhea. I know TMI but I honestly, thought the kid had the stomach flu. Not until last night when she came to me with tears in her eyes asking if I could cover up the pimple and told me that her stomach issues were caused by her nerves did I realize the weight of that damn pimple.

I spent yesterday coddling and reassuring her that it’s no big deal and I would help her clean her face and astringent the damn thing to death. I felt bad for her. I know the frustration that comes with pimples and a body that you have no control over. I was understanding and nurturing. I was going to smother that pimple in love and self-confidence if it killed us both. Hell, I even let the little one climb into my bed when she told me she was nervous and her stomach was bothering her at bedtime. However, that was yesterday. This morning was a different story.

In the place where my child who wanted pity and coddling stood yesterday was a defiant, mean spirited tyrant this morning. She woke up tired, because she stayed up too late explaining her stomachache and pimple woes last night. She didn’t want to get out of bed. Finally she got ready. Argued over breakfast. Went to the bathroom, where she proceeded, not to use the bathroom. Cried as I covered up the pimple as she had asked and just when it was completely invisible, she grabbed a tissue and yelled at me that it wasn’t working and smudged the whole thing.

Then she told me that I don’t care about her because if I did I wouldn’t send her to school where she very well might “poop” herself or throw up in mass. I email the teacher to make her aware that my daughter may or may not poop or throw up during mass, either way, please call me to pick her up if she does so and for the love of God, if the kid says she has to go to the toilet…this is not a drill. Heed my warning, woman. What kind of monster am I? (Probably the kind who hasn’t been alone in 3 weeks.)

Meanwhile, I go on feeding her sister and brushing hair, all the while the littlest is dragging her feet and making us late and absolutely refusing to eat. I can do no right. Every single thing I do, including taking breath is annoying her. I wasted so much time trying to cajole her into gear that I have to get myself ready in 1 minute. It’s okay; I have no intention of ever leaving my vehicle. Finally, we head out the door with 4 minutes to get to school that is a minimum of 5 minutes away. She’s fidgeting and sighing exasperation at a deafening tone. I ignore it as I tell myself, this too shall pass.

We get to school and she refuses to kiss me goodbye. Oh the defiance is strong with this one. You know when you’re a child and you piss your mom off and she curses you by saying those fateful words, “I hope you have one just like you when you grow up?” Well, my mom was good at it because I got a Mega mini me on steroids; big heart, big mouth and more stubborn than any mule who has ever lived. It will serve her well in the real world someday but it’s slowly driving me insane.

After all this, in the middle of my daily prayer for them to survive their school day, she walks back to the car and tells me that she’s going to be sick. I offer to walk her in. She refuses and walks away, only to instantly turn around and say, “Are you coming or what?” I jump out of my car, looking like a homeless person (who wasn’t expecting to be seen in public) as I have to chase her down in my boot cast (because I just had surgery a week ago and am back in the boot). She stays at least 15 feet ahead of me all the way into the building.

Finally, I hobble into her classroom, looking even crazier with sweat and explain the possible shit situation to her delightful teacher who looks at me like I might need some lithium in my life. I then walk over to my daughter to confirm that I have, in fact, made the teacher aware of the situation and there will be no shitting or vomiting on herself on my watch to which she responds by giving me the side eye as she maintains her 15-foot buffer and mutters, “Whatever!” I catch up and kiss her goodbye just to show her whose boss.

Just to make the morning even more magnificent than being caught in public wearing leggings as pants and looking like a homeless person covered in sweat and frustration, I was greeted while exiting the building by the annoyingly good looking 20-something year old vice principal who I serve on the school board with. I thought parenting was supposed to get easier as our children got older so why am I feeling like I’ve just been water boarded by a tiny tyrant with a pimple on her chin and a really terrible, no good, very bad Napoleon complex?

If this tyrant attitude is hanging around for the teen years, I may not survive.

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