Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Childhood Eccentricities

I am pre-empting my "Trippy Tales from Atlanta" to take you on another tour inside the mind of a 6-year-old boy.

Son is picky. Son doesn't always know what he wants but he absolutely knows he's unwilling to try anything new - easily. Son is afraid of bugs. Even the microscopic ones. OK. We can live with that. (But don't tell him the truth about what lives inside of mattresses! Oh, we'd all lose sleep for months!)

Son hates to feel the seam of his socks. OK. We can live with that.

Son hates for his pants to make noise. OK. We can live with that.

Son doesn't like his T-shirts to show through the neck of his shirts so he buttons up to the top, even in the spring. OK. We can live with that, especially since he doesn't have to wear T-shirts in the summer, so no problem there.

Son can't abide ketchup on his french fries so if he shares yours, you must pick one with absolutely no ketchup on it. Sigh. OK. We can live with that.

Son will eat cereal from the bowl with flowers along the rim but NOT the bowl with the flower at the bottom. I know this. I live with it. (This is the bowl that is acceptable.)

This morning I exploded.

Son asked for cereal so I fixed him cereal. Then he came to the table and said he didn't want Fruit Loops - the cereal he has wanted every day for oh, say A MONTH. Today?

Son: "I want oatmeal."
Mom: "But you said you wanted cereal."
Son: "I changed my mind"
Mom with rising temperature: "I already FIXED it, Son."
Son: "But I don't want it!"
Naked Mom clutching towel from recent shower so as not to clutch Son: "You ASKED for it, you GOT it, Toyota!"
(Ugh! More whining!)
Mom at top of lungs: "Get a job, buy your food, then do it YOUR way! I'm not throwing away good food because of your whims!"

Son leaves and comes back crying.
Son sniffling: "I want a different bowl."
Mom in tone only dogs can hear: "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!"
Son in tears: "I don't like that bowl!"
Mom unmoved: "It has a stripe! What's wrong with the stripe?!" (This green stripe one you see here was the culprit.)

OK, I won't go further. He cried yet I refused to give in. I muttered to Husband, "I can not let that boy's eccentricities turn him into a hypochondriac or worse. I know he's 6 and it's just the way it is, but this is too far. It's just insane! I can't let him be insane!"

(This bowl you see here with blue stripe is not a problem unlike the green stripe above.) I know he's not insane. I know this is just Son. I've got my quirks too. Don't ask me to stay in just any old hotel. You may as well ask me to roll around in garbage as far as I'm concerned. And if I visit someone and things look, well, too worn for my tastes, I'm uncomfortable the whole time. I'm me. I'm OK with it.

As for Son's cereal, he ate it. Oh yes he did. And I think I was supposed to applaud every bite as if I had asked him to climb Mt. Everest with no climbing gear. All I could do was raise my eyesbrows and keep my mouth shut. In the end, you know what? He thought the green striped bowl was the one with the flower at the bottom! That's why he hated it!

Just so you know, I used the crazy a bit too much this morning and the next thing I know Daughter has picked it up. 75% of the time I think before I speak because I know I have fragile egos here. This morning I was in 25% mode. Still, I pulled them both to me and apologized. I qualified it too saying the behavior is truly just going too far for my tastes but I ended on "He's not crazy, Daughter. Do you know what it means? No? Ok, drop it for now." "You're not crazy, Son. I know you want things a certain way and so do I."

Morning angst stems from painted flowers. This is my life. Thank God he's cute.


theresa said...

Wow, that is exactly what my boyfriend deals with every morning with his son. I'm glad you didn't allow him to get his way. You seem to be keeping everything in balance.

Nice to hear from you Monica. Have a good night.

Monica said...

Thank you for making my insanity seem normal.