I recieved a rare glimpse of how Kaleb sees me this afternoon.
A lot of the time I like to think I know how Kaleb thinks. The truth is, I have no more idea how his brain works than I do that of an alien life form (ummm yeah, I totally believe in aliens – how can you not?!). I do know I am fooling myself, but it offers comfort when I feel like the world is sliding out from under my feet – which is more often than I care to admit. So, anyway. Today I got one of those rare opportunities to learn how he sees me.
As a giant, mean play thing who supplies milk and food.
The first thirty minutes or so after he got home from school were fine. Until the Great Lego Meltdown (part um… 17 maybe?). It got to the point where I was ready to ban all Legos until he could control himself a bit better. I understand the frustration of it crumbling in your hands bud. However, if you weren’t so rough, and so frustrated it might work a bit better. I spent twenty minutes on the floor with him helping to construct whatever it was that he was constructing (some form of vehicle, but he’d yet to define it) – trying to help him understand that it was top heavy, and if he didn’t add support it was going to keep collapsing.
This worked for about fifteen seconds. Then he decided he didn’t like the way the ‘support’ looked and the whole thing fell apart again. This very quickly turned violent. I’m getting my butt whooped by my five year old. Deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths. By the time he’s done with me, he’s using his blankie as a weapon, has completely demolished the living room, and has gone after Mason – who has discovered that he has speed to his advantage in these situations – which increases the frustration when Mason escapes time after time.
Over the course of the next hour and a half Kaleb screams at me. Screams and screams and screams. Sometimes nonsense, sometimes mean things. At this point I’m so frustrated I am cleaning my house like a freaking Molly Maid. By the time I get to Mason’s room, Kaleb is standing the doorway still screaming at me. This is where my glimpse of how Kaleb sees me comes into play. At this point I’ve been blantantly ignorning him for going on a hour, for fear of encouraging the behavior with my interaction.
Mason and I are cleaning Mason’s room (because Mason only cleans when I am – and when Kaleb is peeved about it). Kaleb points his finger at me and says:
“You go! I don’t need you here any more. You leave! I will do it all by myself! Because you are mean! And you are making bad choices! You go away! I will do the milk! And I will cook the food! And I will read the stories! And I will sing the songs! And I will drive the places! And I will do the beach! You just go away!”
You get the idea. He went on for a good five minutes. And I sat there trying not to let him see I am stunned. Okay. It’s time the kid get some chores. Because seriously? That’s all you think I do?? Okay. I know he’s five. And yeah, mommy takes care of pretty much everything when it comes to housework (albeit, not very well because mommy hates nothing more than dishes and laundry – except ants. I really hate ants). But that is how Kaleb sees me.
Though, if I’m being honest, a part of me is a bit happy. Because at the very least, I know my kid will look back on his childhood and remember me (even when I’m ‘mean’) as singing the songs and reading the stories. I’m kinda glad to know I’m the play thing. That I don’t spend too much time working on this or that – that I spend enough time just playing that it’s how he sees me.
At the same time… seriously?! Keep yelling kiddo. Just keep on yelling. Because I know you need to. But I’m not going anywhere. Mean or not – I’m your mommy, and I will be here. To do all the things you don’t see me do – and all the things you need me to do.
Oh – and when the meltdown was over – guess who cleaned the family room? One hint – it wasn’t me, Mason, or Milo.