A Little Bit of the Devil Never Hurt Anyone…

I created this category to get at the times when kids are irrepressibly impossible to stomach another second, let alone an entire lifetime. Also, posted here will be the times the pendulum swings in the direction that heals all parental wounds–when I see the big picture and know that children and their innocent ramble through life could teach most adults a lesson or two. So here goes.

After a month of meltdowns, fueled by stimuli invisible to the naked eye, Jake (almost four) has been fully acredited in the field of Parental Torture. Seriously, his papers arrived in the mail yesterday. The steady build up of time-outs for Jake and calming self-talk for me was beginning to make some headway in his behavior–until a half hour ago. From the kitchen where I was slaving over a difficult breakfast of frozen silver dollar pancakes and grapes, I caught a glimpse of Jake “riding” the leather recliner for the fiftieth time today. It’s only 9:23 AM.

Knowing he wasn’t aware that I was watching him, and tired of “teaching” good behavior I let him ride it out, sister Beth (2 1/2) cheering him all the way. His small face plastered with a giant smile, hair wipping in the wind he was creating as he stood gripping the back of the chair, yanking it back and forth, unglued all my motherly instincts and I shuddered with laughter. Trying to contain the laughter, I choked and pushed aside my safety concerns–yes he could potentially torpedo backwards off the chair into the coffee table. Yes, I’d have to explain this in the emergency room…”but he looked funny and happy and I couldn’t stop from laughing, Doctor…”

Thrust asunder were the warning thoughts of a broken and expensive chair, Bill’s facial expressions when I explain we need another one four years into its 30 year life span. I was struck by the complete sense of bliss on Jake’s part. Finally I rationalized that he’d get it out of his system if I let him do it (not that he knew I was letting him) this one time. Yea right.