There are days in a child’s life that no matter what, it’s wrong.
The youngest of my grandchildren is three. He’s a darling little red-head who has had to tolerate three other, older siblings. So, the little dude learns. Fast. He learns to:
Take what he wants, when he wants. Even to the devastation of others.
“He took it from me.” (and who do we believe? The baby)
Push and fight your way; over them, through them. Whatever. If the other cries, ah, the ‘that’s just to darn bad attitude rears its ugly head.
“He started it. He hit me first.” (and who’s side do we defend? The baby)
Blames others. The youngest seems to believe that he or she never does anything wrong.
“I didn’t take it. Somebody else did; I seen him.” (and who do we believe? The baby)
I watched the cutest little guy in the world become the most mischievous little brat ever to walk the earth.
One day seemed to be particularly horrific for him. From the time he lifted his ornery head off the pillow at 5:30 a.m. until tragedy struck around two. I couldn’t quit yelling at him.
His mother works nights and his father is a soccer coach so I was helping out by tending. Or do I mean refereeing? The morning was the same. I arrive at 7:20, the same time my daughter gets home from work. We get the older children ready for school and sit them down for breakfast. “The Grouch” doesn’t want cereal, he wants eggs and toast. We fix eggs and toast. After one bite of toast and he declares that he’s full. Off he goes, out to play.
Let’s face it; grandmothers can be a tad easier on their grandchildren. Especially when he resembles his mother at that age and you see so much of her in him that…well…I might look the other way at some items. I encouraged him to go out and play. No more that five minutes goes by that the four year old is crying and saying that ‘The Grouch’ took his truck.
I tell the four year old, “Let The Grouch have it, and he’ll get tired of it soon.” (Yeah, like right after he ‘wins’ he throws it on the ground.) A little while later, The Grouch leans over and smacks his brother. For absolutely no reason that I could see. After that, he comes in begging for food. I tell him no, he didn’t eat his breakfast, he can’t have a treat. According to him, breakfast was horrible. He wanted cereal. I give him cereal; he takes one bite and goes outside. He comes back in thirty minutes later, the four year old follows, crying that ‘The Grouch’ did…this and that…and the day goes on.
Around two, I am exhausted. His mother is sleeping, the four year old is watching television and ‘The Grouch’ has pulled my last string. I send him to his room, he cries all the way down the hall, down the stairs, and into his mother’s room. He tells her that grandma is mean and she made him go to his room. She’s asks why and he says, “I don’t know, but grandma’s been yelling at me all day long.”
His mother looks at me and I give her my best, if you don’t do something with this child, I will and it will be permanent. She tells him to go to his room like grandma said. His puts his chubby little fits on his hips, and releases the crocodile tears (big and fat, the break you heart tears, which they usually do) and between hiccups declares… “But, I’m the Baby! I didn’t do nothing.”